Yukon vacations: This is Canada’s true north where you can stand on a mountaintop and look over the splendor of creation. This unspoiled territory welcomes you with the spirit of the gold rush pioneers still surging through the land. Poet Robert Service once wrote: “The Arctic trails have their secret tales.” The Yukon welcomes you to discover its secrets.
North of Canada’s 60th parallel, the light changes, washing an already stunning landscape in a glaze of rare beauty.
Winter visitors to the Yukon are often treated to the magical sight of undulating ribbons in the night sky – the Aurora Borealis. Swaying streamers of pale green, pink and blue light arch and dance, fade in and out, and – according to some – even make a crackling noise.
You’ll also see the Yukon’s beauty in its wildlife. You might spot a mother grizzly with two playful cubs by the river’s edge or a valley overflowing with caribou. Off the northern coast, the hulking masses of beluga and bowhead whales rise and fall in the icy waters.
The rare splendour of the Yukon reaches higher, too. Kluane Park’s Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada, a majestic peak set in a sea of ice.
Yukon is Authentic -Â Canada’s True North is rugged and beautiful, pristine and larger than life. The immensity of the Yukon wilderness means unparalleled choice. More than 80 percent of the Yukon is wild, compared to a North and Central American average of 40 percent. Much of the Yukon’s most spectacular wilderness is preserved within comprehensive national and territorial parks and other protected areas. And we’re going to leave it this way.
Remarkable Wildlife -The 120,000-strong Porcupine caribou herd winters in the central Yukon. Two national parks – Vuntut and Ivvavik – protect much of the herd’s calving habitat.
Across the territory, visitors regularly spot Dall sheep, black and grizzly bears, moose and smaller mammals such as foxes, coyotes and marmots. Wolves, muskoxen and mountain goats are somewhat more elusive but can also be seen. Off the Yukon’s Beaufort Sea coast, travelers can see beluga and bowhead whales and seals.
In early summer and fall, the Yukon flyway comes alive as millions of migrating birds journey between the North Yukon and their nesting grounds in the high Arctic. Birders from around the world come to spot species such as Harlequin Duck, Northern Hawk Owl, Wandering Tattler, Gyrfalcon and three types of ptarmigan.
Enriching Cultures -Wherever you go in the Yukon, stories will be told. Oldtimers tell tales of bears as big as houses, gold nuggets the size of potatoes and days so cold their moonshine froze.
Yukoners share a remarkable spirit and unique connection with the land. More than 20 percent of the population is of aboriginal origin, while many others come from Canada and overseas.
The multicultural flavor of the Yukon is evident at our many festivals and special events. Visitors might hear Celtic harmonies, French lyrics, First Nations drums and Himalayan chants during a single performance.
Formidable History – Descendants of today’s Yukon First Nations people arrived in Beringia (now Yukon) 20,000 years ago. Ice age hunters, they followed their prey, including woolly mammoths and scimitar cats, across the Bering Land Strait.
Millennia unfolded and the First Nations people remained. They hunted caribou, lived off the land and developed complex cultures. In the 19th century, European explorers and traders became interested in this region. They established trading posts and explored Yukon’s vast network of waterways.
The Klondike Gold Rush caught the world’s attention in 1897-’98. People from around the world set off on epic journeys to the Yukon, seeking their fortunes. Most never made it to the gold fields and many died en route. Thirty thousand arrived in Dawson City and only a handful got rich. It was the world’s last great gold rush.
A wonderful legacy of museums, historic sites and interpretive centers awaits visitors. Find out about First Nations cultures and languages or the harsh lives of the Klondike “sourdoughs”, and view the impressive photo collections that document the lives of Yukon people.