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Yukon

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Yukon
Location
Yukon in Canada.svg
Flag
Flag of Yukon.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Whitehorse
Government Canadian territory
Currency Canadian Dollar ($) (CAD)
Area 482,443 km2
Population 33,897
Language Official:English, French
Religion n/a
Electricity 120V/60Hz (North American plug)
Time Zone UTC -8

For the town in Oklahoma see Yukon (Oklahoma)

The Yukon [1] is one of Canada's three territories, located in the North.

Many of the visitors in the Yukon are travelling to Alaska on the Alaska Highway.

Regions[edit]

Cities[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

The Yukon is very sparsely populated. The whole territory has only about 30,000 people in it. This is less than many small cities in Southern Canada.

Talk[edit]

Canada's two official languages, English and French, are also official at the territorial level in the Yukon and services are available in both languages. However, the language of the overwhelming majority is English, with small French-speaking communities found in Whitehorse and Dawson City.

The Yukon attracts a significant number of German tourists, and German is in fact the third most common language. The popularity of Yukon as a destination for German tourists also means that you can expect to see Germans or German-language services available in some tourist areas or activities.

There are a number of terms that are commonly used in the North:

  • Cheechako - Someone who has spent less than a full year in the North.
  • ice bridge - A road that crosses a river on ice.
  • Outside - Anywhere below the 60th parallel
  • parka - a very bulky jacket, necessary in the winter.
  • Sourdough - Someone who has lived in the North for a number of years.
  • tree line - the northern extent of trees. North of the tree line there are no longer trees. The exact extent varies depending on elevation.
  • winter road - a road that is only usable in the winter. Usually too wet and muddy in the summer to be passable.

Get in[edit]

Map of the Yukon

By plane[edit]

The only "significant" airport in the Yukon is in Whitehorse (YXY). Air Canada offers daily direct flights from Vancouver. Air North [2] offers flights from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Kelowna. WestJet offers flights from Vancouver (summer only). Condor [3] offer two weekly flights from Frankfurt/ Main (FRA), Germany.

By car[edit]

The most common way to arrive in the Yukon is by road. However, travellers must be aware that distances in Yukon are bigger than almost anywhere else in the world. It is not uncommon to go over 200km between very small towns.

The majority of the people travelling through Yukon are driving on their way to Alaska. There are 2 highways into the Yukon from Southern Canada. The Alaska Highway or BC Highway 97 comes from Dawson Creek in the Northeast of British Columbia. The Cassiar Highway (BC Highway 37) Connects with the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) near Terrace between Prince George and Prince Rupert in Central British Columbia. In any case the distance from Vancouver to Whitehorse is about 2417km. That is approximately the same distance as Driving from Vancouver to San Diego.

By boat[edit]

Many travellers also come to the Yukon as part of a tour with an Alaska Cruise. Generally as part of the package it is possible to include a bus tour of parts of the Yukon. In some cases it may be possible to stay over in the Yukon for one or two weeks and return on the next cruise.

Others may arrive into Yukon through the Alaska Marine Highway [4] system which operates a ferry from Bellingham, WA to Skagway in Alaska.

Get around[edit]

If you are not bothered by driving long distances, exploring the Yukon by road can be a great way to see this territory's natural beauty. The distances between service stations can be vast; make sure your vehicle is in good condition, and prepare for the worst. Drive for the conditions and expect to see large animals in the middle of the highway. Obtain a good highway map of the territory as soon as possible. A free map titled "Canada's Yukon Highway Map", found at visitor centres and some service stations, classifies roads into primary (90-100km/h), secondary (70-90km/h), and local (50-80km/h), as well as paved, dust treated, and untreated. This information will be of great use when selecting a route suitable for you and your vehicle.

If you intend to visit during the high season and intend to rent a car, you should do so well in advance. Most major rental companies sell out during the summer months.

Also be aware that gas stations along the Klondike Highway are sparse, and some service stations that are marked with signs along the highway are in fact currently shut down. Most notably this occurs at the junction with the Dempster Highway, and the next fueling station at Eagle Plains is more than 350km north of that. Fueling at Dawson City instead is an option, though this is 40km west.

If the thought of driving such long distances doesn't thrill you, consider crossing some distances in the sky (but note that this can be quite expensive). Air North is the major regional carrier in the Yukon. It services Dawson City and Old Crow in the Yukon and Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.

See[edit][add listing]

Whitehorse, Yukon

Many of the visitors in the winter come to the North specifically to see the Northern Lights. In the summer, the days are very long (up to 24 hours when north of the Arctic Circle).

Do[edit][add listing]

Going for dog sled rides is a popular activity in the winter.

Hunting and fishing are popular in the summer.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Food has to travel a long ways to get to the Yukon, so you will not find quite the variety of fruits and vegetables you would in the south, and the prices are significantly higher. Whitehorse, however, has several supermarket-style grocery stores, whose prices are comparable to similar stores elsewhere in Canada, and selection of produce is also decent.

Historically hunting is a way of life in the North and Yukoners still tend to eat a lot more meat, especially wild game, than Southerners.

Whitehorse is a major supply centre and therefore despite the small size you will find all of your favourite chain restaurants as well as many very nice local restaurants that have diverse menus.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The legal drinking age in the Yukon is 19. The Yukon Liquor Corporation operates 6 liquor stores in the territory. These are located in Whitehorse, Watson Lake, Dawson, Haines Junction, Faro, and Mayo. Alcohol is also available from "off-sales" of bars. There is a 30% premium for purchasing from off-sales. The liquor stores in the rural communities also operate as government agents and provide services such as driver licences, fishing licences, motor vehicle registrations, property taxes, business licences and court fines.

Some communities in the North are officially "Dry" communities. In these communities alcohol will not be available and bringing in excess quantities of alcohol may be illegal.

Stay[edit]

Whitehorse and Dawson City both have a considerable selection of hotels, and Whitehorse even has some from a few major chains. Expect to pay around $100 per night, per room.

If you're traveling by road in the summer, note that there are numerous government-sponsored campsites along the sides of the major highways, such as the Alaska Highway and Klondike Highway. These are simply marked with signage and occur roughly every 50-100km. Campers self-register by depositing $12 in cash per campsite, in a provided envelope. Wood is also provided for campfires, free of charge - though it often needs to be split. These campsites are a great convenience if you have your own trailer, camper, or tent.

Get out[edit]

From the Yukon you can get to Alaska at either the Beaver Creek border crossing on the Alaska Highway, or the Little Gold border crossing on the Top Of The World Highway west of Dawson City. You can also travel to Skagway, Alaska by heading south from Whitehorse and through the north-western tip of British Columbia.

The community of Atlin in the Northwest corner of British Columbia is a very interesting little community that can only be accessed from the Yukon.

The Dempster Highway is the most northern highway in the world. It begins near Dawson City and ends at Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. From Inuvik, you can take a fly to Tuktoyaktuk for a dip in the Arctic Ocean.



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