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24 August 2022

A Landsby Spotlight on Whitehorse

Photo by Fritz Mueller/Gov’t of Yukon

Known as the ‘Wilderness City’, Yukon’s capital is a small city with a big backyard. Set along the banks of the impressive Yukon River (the Chu Nínkwän), Whitehorse has a bustling downtown that offers an eclectic mix of gold rush history, Indigenous culture and quirky local character.

The scenery is stunning any time of the year and there’s always something fun happening in the city, making Whitehorse a truly year-round destination. Come in the summer for balmy temperatures and long days that equal outdoor fun, from free music concerts to kayaking in the river. Or visit in the colder months for a taste of northern winter and a chance to catch the stunning Aurora Borealis.

Photo by Fritz Mueller/Gov’t of Yukon

Where is Whitehorse?

Yukon is situated in the northwest corner of Canada, bordered by British Columbia in the south, the Northwest Territories in the east and Alaska in the west. Whitehorse is in the southern part of the territory and represents a major transportation hub for the region. There are daily flights connecting Whitehorse to other Canadian cities and once you arrive, you can connect to the region’s major highways.

The rebuilt Miles Canyon Suspension Bridge. Photo by Government of Yukon

Things to do in Whitehorse

Explore Miles Canyon

With gorgeous turquoise water running through a valley of rocky cliffs and an 85-foot suspension bridge crossing over it, Miles Canyon is a dramatic stop on your Whitehorse itinerary. The story of the canyon began nine million years ago when a rush of basaltic lava spread over the landscape to created volcanic rocks that now make up the canyon’s walls. You can hike to the canyon right from Whitehorse by starting on the Millennium Trail (a 15-kilometre loop) or you can drive a short distance out of town for much quicker access.

If you choose to do the loop, it will take you over the Whitehorse Rapids Fishladder, the world’s longest fish ladder used to help fish pass safely around the dam.

Photo by Government of Yukon

Learn about local art, history and culture

The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is an award-winning building that celebrates the culture and heritage of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. There are engaging workshops and interpretive programs available at the centre, as well as displays of historic and contemporary art and artifacts.

Delve deep into Yukon’s history at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, where you can learn about the region during the ice age — spoiler, there was no ice! Discover how the unique northern landscape became home to a vast array of animals, including the Wooly Mammoth, and hear about the first people that arrived in the area at the end of the ice age.

Explore even more history at the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site and the MacBride Museum.

McIntyre Creek near Whitehorse. Photo by Peter Mather.

Watch the Aurora Borealis

Depending on the time of year you visit, Whitehorse is an excellent location from which to see the Northern Lights. Take a tour that whisks you away from the city lights, there are many available.

Related: Read about Landsby’s trip to the Yukon, including a stay in Whitehorse. 

Our 2022 Summer Spotlight series has short introductions to Canada’s 14 capital cities (10 provincial, 3 territorial and 1 national) and was created to inspire us Canadians to explore more of our own country. For more details on each province or territory, visit our Experiences page or search our Journal by location. Better yet, reach out to us! We’d love to tell you more about these great places and create travel itineraries for you to explore them. 

Category: Yukon
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