Whitehorse: an Oasis City In The Yukon Territory

Photo by Kailen Gingell on Unsplash

24-hour sun, mountain biking, gold rush history, and packed bars are some of the ways to describe Whitehorse, the capital city of Yukon. Yukon is one of 3 federal territories of Northern Canada, and despite being bigger than the state of California, there are only 40,000 residents, making it the smallest territory or province in all of Canada.

The main reason people end up in this far away, sparsely populated territory, is because it is on the way to Alaska, as the only highway takes you through hundreds of miles of the Yukon. After days of driving through the wilderness and tiny towns, Whitehorse is the perfect place to stock up on supplies and to experience the way 3/4 of the entire population of the Yukon live in this small city barely a few miles long.

History is what shaped this part of the world, as the Yukon Gold Rush of 1898 and the building of the Alaska highway in 1942 brought workers and settlers to Whitehorse. The Transportation Museum and the Interpretive Museum are two great places to learn about the history of the natives and how the modern territory grew into what it is today.

Whitehorse is a haven for lovers of the outdoors as well. Miles Canyon has famous hiking and biking trails, and there are guided rafting and fishing trips all along the Yukon River. With close to 24 hours of sunlight in the summer, why not go for a midnight hike or swim?

The Takhini Hot Springs are a 20-minute drive out of town, and it is a great way to relax after a long day of outdoor activities. Once a year in the winter they even have a frozen hair competition when the weather drops below -30 and icicles form on everyone’s head!

This city is a rare combination of natives, local workers from farms and oil pipelines, tourists, and outdoor enthusiasts. With plenty of food and drink options, it is a great place to spend a few days on the way to Alaska and to experience a part of North America not many people get to!