Never heard of Yukon, Canada? You definitely should’ve.
It’s got Northern Lights, stunning scenery, a ton of wildlife and a massive range of different activities to try.
Yukon is situated in northwestern Canada, and is an area of rugged mountains and high plateaus, where animals outnumber humans 10 to one. It’s also one of the most timeless places in the world.
The size of Spain, it offers plenty of room to explore, whether that be on foot, bike, car or more extreme methods of transportation like paragliding or helicopter tours.
Home to Canada’s five tallest mountains, the world’s largest ice fields and First Nations legends about the creation of the earth, this region possesses a grandeur only appreciated by being there. Oh, and it’s a four-season destination – meaning it’s worth a visit no matter what time of year it is.
But don’t let that sentiment convince you. Here are five reasons Yukon should be on your bucket list!
This goes without saying – seeing the Northern Lights is bucket list-worthy no matter what location you’re in.
Here, watch them from a hot tub under the stars, from the window of an isolated cabin, or head out into the wilderness by dogsled or snowmobile, and gaze up at the sky next to a crackling campfire.
In the Yukon, you’re also likely to see the shimmering lights before the first snowfall; they can be seen from mid-August through to mid-April. So forget every pre-conceived idea you had about freezing temperatures and northern lights, because in the Yukon, you can see vibrant autumn leaves on the ground during the day, and purple and green flashes lighting up the sky at night. Magical.
The Yukon was made famous for it’s mineral wealth during the Klondike Gold Rush, which started in Dawson City in 1896 and ended in 1899, with an estimated 100,000 prospectors.
Said prospectors had to climb Chilkoot Pass along Chilkoot Trail, which is still in use today for avid hikers and is managed by national park services by both the US and Canada, since it borders with Alaska. You might even find some leftover gold.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve
The Yukon is famed for its plethora of wildlife, and where better to see it than in the territory’s very own Wildlife Preserve?
The Yukon Wildlife Preserve has 13 species species of northern Canadian mammals in their natural environment – over 700 acres to be exact. With multiple natural habitats, this place is perfect for unparalleled wildlife viewing – and one of the best places for photo ops around.
Think elk, bison, mountain goats and deer, just to name a few.
White Pass and Yukon Route
The White Pass and Yukon Route railway is a narrow narrow-gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska with Whitehorse, Yukon. It was constructed during the aforementioned Klondike Gold Rush in 1898, and is now one of the most popular attractions linking Alaska and Yukon.
Just hop on the train and take in the stunning views of mountains, glaciers, gorges, waterfalls, tunnels and trestles – all in a spectacular panoramas in front of your very own eyes. In 20 miles, you’ll also climb over 3,000 feet in elevation. Which, trust us, makes for some pretty damn good views.
The Yukon Quest
The Yukon is home to the toughest dog sled race on Earth, the Yukon Quest, which spans more than a thousand miles (1,600 km) across stunning, snowy landscape.
The Yukon Quest is held in early February, travelling between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Whitehorse, when temperatures are often a chilly -40C. Those who partake in this gruelling wilderness challenge camp out alone on the trail, travelling over four mountain ranges and an area bigger than France. Last year, the winner took just over nine days to complete the quest.