The Yukon Territory is sparsely populated and conjures up thoughts of open land and the freedom to explore. From backpacking in Kluane National Park and Reserve to fishing on Kusawa Lake, there is an abundance of beauty to see.
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1. Dawson City
There are so many things to do in Dawson City! It’s the economic hub of the Yukon and home to historical sites past and present. You can visit the Jack London Cabin, where the famous bard of the Yukon wrote some of his most famous works, or the Dänojà Zho Cultural Center, where you can learn more about the indigenous people of the Yukon. You can even try panning for gold like the prospectors of yore at Free Claim 6!
2. Caribou Crossing Trading Post
This little spot in Carcross, Yukon, has tons of amazing activities that celebrate the culture of the Yukon. You can take a ride on a cart pulled by a team of huskies, pan for gold, or enjoy one of their lavish daily lunches of barbequed meat. The highlight of Caribou Crossing is the natural history museum, with an impressive collection of taxidermized animals. This is probably the closest you’ll ever get to predators like the cougar, grizzly, or wolf!
3. Emerald Lake
The name says it all. This is the most beautiful lake in the Yukon, and that’s really saying something! Emerald Lake is famous for its bright aquamarine color, and it’s truly a sight to behold. There is a high concentration of calcium carbonate here from thousands of years of eroded limestone, which gives it its blue-green hue. But you don’t need to understand the science to appreciate the serenity.
4. Dawson Paddlewheel Graveyard
Do you love old, crumbling buildings, or abandoned wreckage? You’ll love the Paddlewheel Graveyard! On the west bank of the Yukon River, you can find the remnants of 6 old paddlewheel boats, which were moored here and forgotten when travel by land became more popular. Their skeletons remain, but explore these sagging hulls at your own risk!
5. Yukon Wildlife Preserve
The Yukon Wildlife Preserve is the best destination in the Yukon for viewing wildlife. A pathway runs in a loop beside the various free-roaming animal enclosures which you travel by foot, bike, or shuttle. Most visitors can see more wildlife here than anywhere else in Alaska! If you’re worried about Alaskan wildlife being kept in partial captivity, don’t fear—most of the animals living here are rescues or being rehabilitated. There are 13 species of wildlife here, as well as hundreds of species of birds. You can see caribou, lynx, elk, mountain goats, moose, mule deer, muskoxen, wood bison, two varieties of thinhorn sheep, red foxes and arctic foxes.
There might not be any skyscrapers or sprawling cities, but there is so much to see, learn, and explore in the Yukon. If you’re hoping for an adventure off the beaten path, this Canadian province is the northern destination for you.