With only 25,000 residents, Whitehorse is still the largest city in the Yukon. The city serves as a jumping off point for people looking to explore the Yukon's wilderness and a welcome respite for those traveling the Alaska Highway. It is also a great place to explore in its own right. If you happen to be in Whitehorse, here are five places you should explore!
1. The Yukon River & S.S. Klondike
Whitehorse originally grew up along a set of rapids on the Yukon River during the Klondike Gold Rush. In this era, prospectors looking to get to the gold fields near present-day Dawson City faced a bottleneck as hundreds of people attempted to get around the rapids. A city eventually grew up at the rapids and became known as Whitehorse. The construction of a dam in the 1950s destroyed the rapids, but the river remains the heart of the city. Today, visitors can walk along a river walk through downtown Whitehorse and enjoy this beautiful river. Those who are interested in history can stop at the S.S. Klondike, a replica of the sternwheelers that once plied the river and provided the main method of transportation until the mid-1900s and the completion of the roads between the Yukon's few population centers.
2. MacBride Museum of Yukon History
Those who are interested in history should definitely stop at the MacBride Museum of Yukon History. Located in downtown Yukon, the museum features permanent exhibits on topics like the history of mining in the Yukon and the animals you might see in the wilderness that makes up much of the territory. The museum also houses numerous historical buildings and signs that have been preserved on the grounds and has regular special exhibitions.
3. Miles Canyon
A popular destination for hikers and dog walkers, the Yukon River runs through the high walls of Miles Canyon just outside of Whitehorse. The canyon was, along with the rapids at Whitehorse, one of to major impediments to traveling the Yukon River to the gold fields during the Klondike Gold Rush. Today, Miles Canyon is known for its beauty and views of the Yukon River. If you're planning to
visit Miles Canyon, be aware that its small parking lot can fill up quickly - the beautiful location is popular with tourists and locals alike.
4. Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center
Located along the Alaska Highway, the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center provides visitors with a wealth of information on the area known as Beringia. Stretching from the Yukon to Siberia, this part of North America remained glacier-free during the last major ice age. The interpretive center tells of this period in the Yukon's history, when woolly mammoths and giant predators roamed the earth and humans first arrived in North America.
5. Yukon Brewing
If you're looking to get a drink in Whitehorse, there are many places you can do so. One of the best places to grab some beer to go is Yukon Brewing, a working brewery in Whitehorse. Their Yukon Gold is the best-selling draft beer in the territory, so you will likely see it on tap if you go out to eat while in Whitehorse. For those who want to learn more about the brewery or their beers, Yukon Brewing offers multiple tours per day during the summer and one tour per day in the off-season.
Want to learn more about Whitehorse and the Yukon? Check out 101 Travel Bits: The Alaska Highway for lots more great information on Whitehorse and the surrounding area.