Whitehorse – Gateway To Canada’s Yukon Territory

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Prepared By: Bob Kenyon & Yukon Convention Bureau

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The Yukon, is the furthest west of Canada’s northern territories. It’s situated north of the 60th parallel, which marks the boundary between it and the province of British Columbia. To the east is the Northwest Territories and west is the American state of Alaska.

Whitehorse, is the territory’s largest and capital city. With a spectacular mountain backdrop, Whitehorse is a city rich in culture and history. Other Yukon cities include; Dawson City, the historic gold rush town and Haines Junction, home to Mount Logan and the highest point in Canada. There are a number of wilderness resorts in the region for small groups of all sizes.

Adventure based activities such as whitewater rafting, sea kayaking or heli-hiking will excite adventure tourists and trekkers! The winter season offers its own unique mix of activities sure to put a warm charge into any meeting. Optional activities such as snowmobiling, dog mushing, and igloo building provide the ultimate Yukon winter experience.

For 10 days in February, visitors come to experience the Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race, a northern tradition for 21 years. Spectators can watch the mushers and their teams of up to 14 huskies, race more than 1,600 kilometers of wilderness trail. In odd numbered years, the race starts in Whitehorse, and in even numbered years it starts in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The Sourdough Rendezvous, a winter carnival designed to combat winter cabin fever takes place annually on the last full weekend in February. Antics include chainsaw chucking, tug-a-truck competitions, frozen chicken bowling, Can Can dancers and Yukon’s famous Snowshoe Shufflers.

Come spring, bird watching enthusiasts will want to take in the Celebration Of Swans Festival, where you can see and experience thousands of swans and other waterbirds on their spring migration. Bird viewing, special activities and presentations fill the week. Follow this link, for information, about viewing wildlife in Yukon.

Yukon River Quest PaddlersYukon River Quest Paddlers
Photo: Yukon River Quest

In June The Yukon River Quest is the longest canoe and kayak race in the world, drawing expert and novice paddlers from many countries in tandem canoes and kayaks, solo kayaks and voyager canoes on the history-rich Yukon River. The race starts on Whitehorse’s Main Street with a Le Mans style run to the boats and finishes in Dawson City.

Later on in the summer, during August, is the Yukon River Bathtub Race, the longest and toughest bathtub race in the world. Bathtubs race 486 miles over two days and compete for large cash prizes! Starts in Whitehorse, and completes in Dawson City.

For more information about adventure tourism, locations and events, in the Yukon, visit the Yukon Tourism, or the Yukon First Nations Tourism Association websites.

Here’s an amazing list of tours and things to see in Whitehorse and the Yukon. For information about traveling to and accommodations in Whitehorse, Yukon or other destination in western Canada, click here.

If you enjoyed this Ya’Gotta article about Whitehorse, YK. You may also like these other western Canada adventure travel destinations:

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