Whitehorse is a speck of urban life amidst the great sea of the wild Yukon Territory. It’s a town built and grown by the transportation routes of Canada’s east, a hub for highways and rail tracks on the way through to Alaska. Today the town is famed for its clean and pure air, dramatic surroundings, and collection of low-key cultural heritage sites that champion the largely untold stories of the Yukon pioneers. Many visitors come here for a spot of respite during an adventure holiday in the Canadian Coast Mountains, looking for a dose of modernity to temper the mind. In reality, Whitehorse is much more than just a stopover point with hot showers and cable TV, and tourists should allow at least a couple of days to soak up its remote and secluded charm.
For the first few decades of the 20th century the S.S. Klondike was Yukon’s lifeblood. It offered one of the most efficient and safe transport connections to the world away from the wilds, and in the time before the great Klondike Highway, was one of the few reliable ways in and out of northern Canada. Today, visitors are invited to explore this iconic queen of the seas, and wonder at the ship’s magnificent, restored 1930s veneer.
The astounding collections at this museum offer a glimpse of the Yukon Territory two million years past. Visitors are invited to explore a time when the first human settlers were braving the harsh climatic conditions of Beringia (a region of land that bridged the gap between Alaska and Russia during the great ice ages), when woolly mammals still roamed the land, and when gargantuan glaciers caked the horizon.
The trail along Miles Canyon is the best-loved walking route for hikers in Whitehorse. Offering unparalleled views of the Yukon River Valley and winding its way through the dense fir forests around Schwatka Lake, the path here really is visually stunning, and ramblers should always have a camera at the ready. In town, there’s a real variety of tour providers offering different excursion packages to Miles Canyon, but it’s also possible to head here without a guide and follow the marked trail signs.
This traditional, family friendly restaurant enjoys a place in one of the oldest buildings in all of Whitehorse. Originally set up as a makeshift dining room for traveling pioneers and prospectors, the establishment has stayed true to its roots, offering locals and tourists alike an array of classic Yukon fare. Expect great seafood, a range of fully Canadian meat options like Elk Stroganoff, Reindeer Stew and North American Bison, and plenty of vegetarian dinner options.
Photo via their official FB page.
Stylish simplicity meets boutique hospitality at the Skky Hotel that’s located just five minutes from downtown Whitehorse. Guests enjoy plush furnishings and modern amenities, while the in-house Volare Restaurant is one of the town’s best tapas joints. For the luxury-seeker, the executive suites here come complete with Jacuzzi baths, widescreen televisions, underfloor heating and roaring fireplaces.