Cleanest air in the world and incredible outdoor adventures
The city of Whitehorse, in Canada’s north-west Yukon Territory, has been lauded by the World Health Organisation for having the cleanest air of any city in the world, ahead of destinations like Santa Fe and Honolulu in the USA, Helsinki in Finland Stockholm in Sweden.
Framed by mountains, with the thriving Yukon River running through it, Whitehorse is located in one of the most untouched and naturally beautiful regions on earth, with Yukon famous for its abundant wildlife, soaring mountains, and immaculate waterways.
What’s better than filling your lungs with the world’s purest air? Doing so while experiencing profound adventures that you’ll never find anywhere else. Read on for five exciting activities you’ll only discover in Whitehorse.
The Yukon Quest
Every February, the famed Yukon Quest trail awakens to the howls of hundreds of sled dogs as they begin their momentous two-week journey across the icy wilderness of north-west Canada. Groups of 14 canines led by one human ‘musher’ race over 1600 kilometres between Whitehorse and Fairbanks, Alaska, battling 40-below-zero temperatures in their pursuit of the champion title. Visitors flock to the city of Whitehorse to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Quest, including live music and outdoor celebrations, as the mushers and their sled dogs gather on the starting line. The 2019 Yukon Quest takes place on 2 February.
Beringia Interpretive Centre
The Beringia Interpretive Centre is truly one-of-a-kind. The centre houses a full-size replica of the largest woolly mammoth ever recovered and a reconstruction of the 24,000-year-old Bluefish cave archaeological site. Discover the beasts that roamed Beringia before the last Ice Age, from mammoths and the giant short-faced bear, to the steppe bison, and the scimitar cat. Immerse yourself in film, original works of art and exhibits of discovered remains that tell the story of the Beringia landscape, flora and fauna.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve
The Yukon Wildlife Preserve embodies 700 acres of lush green hills, marshes, steep cliffs and flat-lands, the perfect ecosystem for 13 species of northern Canadian mammals, including bison, moose, mule, deer, woodland caribou, elk, mountain goats, Canada lynx, and foxes, to name a few. Walk, ski, snowshoe or bike the five-kilometre viewing loop, or jump on a bus tour with a knowledgeable interpreter. However you choose to experience it, be prepared for wildlife encounters you’ll never forget.
Ice fishing under the northern lights
Drop a line through the thick ice of the lake on an angling adventure on the outskirts Whitehorse, and kick back with a hot beverage as you wait for the lake trout, northern pike, arctic grayling, rainbow trout and arctic char to give themselves up. As if that’s not special enough, as the sun retreats, the northern lights come out to play, painting ribbons of shimmering colourful lights across the sky, reflecting on the snow that blankets the ground and surrounding forests. It doesn’t get better than this.
Whitehorse Fish Ladder
For thousands of years, salmon have travelled over 3000 kilometres from Alaska’s west coast, up the Yukon River, to lay their eggs in the gravel. Once hatched, the young salmon spend almost two years in the river before heading out to the ocean, only to return as adults to begin the cycle again. Visit the hatchery, watch the salmon migration first-hand and see these gentle giants up close – some of them up to three feet long!
Yukon River and Miles Canyon – get amongst it!
No trip to Whitehorse is complete without experiencing the Yukon River up close. Rent a canoe or take a guided tour and pay attention as you float by historic relics of steamers, cabins and gold dredges, left over from the gold seekers of the Klondike Gold Rush. Stop for a hike at the spectacular Miles Canyon, created by the powerful river, with its striking basaltic columns caused by water carving its way through lava flow many eons ago. For the best view, stroll across the 1922 Robert Lowe suspension bridge.
Getting to Yukon Territory
Air Canada has direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, with connecting flights to Whitehorse and Dawson City available on Air North.
For more information about Yukon visit www.travelyukon.com.