What are the best things to do in Whitehorse Yukon and must-visit attractions? This post will show you all of the needed information. Take some time to read it, and you’ll find it’s necessary for your trip to this city in Canada.
What makes Whitehorse special?
Whitehorse is the Yukon’s capital and is also one of the famous attractions for tourists. It’s home to around 36,000 people, more than two-thirds of Yukon’s inhabitants. The best thing about living here is that you’ll have access to the Yukon Territory of Canada’s neighboring wildlife and outdoor adventure.
The area acquired its name from the Yukon River’s rapids, where the foaming water resembled the manes of white horses. However, the rapids are no longer there after the building of the Whitehorse dam in 1958. This dam submerged the rapids underneath the recently formed Schwatka Lake.
During the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1800s, people built two small settlements of cabins along the Yukon River’s banks. The first one was Closeleigh, located near the current spot of Whitehorse. The second one was Canyon City, which is five miles upriver.
Before truly embarking on your journey here, we recommend paying a visit to Yukon Visitor Reception Centre. This centre lies on Hanson street, between First and Second Ave. Since the staff is nice and well-trained, you’ll be informed of all the needed information.
Other Interesting Facts About Whitehorse You Might Not Know
Though we’ve shown you a brief understanding of Whitehorse, we thought it would be great to add more so you could find other reasons to visit this place and its attractions.
- Whitehorse is the biggest city in northern Canada with 416.54 km2 and is called the Wilderness City
- It was until 1950 that the city was indeed incorporated
- During summer, the length of the day can last for 20 hours. Meanwhile, in the wintertime, it can be as short as 6.5 hours.
- Being a federal region, the Yukon is undoubtedly bilingual in both English and French
- There are only 8.4 % of the residents exceed the age of 65, less than the average number of the whole nation
- And as we mentioned above, Whitehorse is Canada’s driest metropolis
Best Time To Visit Whitehorse Yukon
The perfect periods to see the scenery are summer, early fall, and late spring.
However, in the summer, since the weather is getting warm, attractions in Whitehorse will be in the peak tourist season. The plus point is this is the best time to take part in interesting outdoor activities such as canoeing and hiking. If you don’t mind the crowd, then feel free to pay a visit.
For those seeking a serene environment, the great time to see Whitehorse is at the shoulder months. There will be fewer crowds and enjoyable weather.
The Greatest Things To Do In Whitehorse For Visitors
Here is the list of things to do in Whitehorse we’ve prepared for you.
See Wild Animals At Yukon Wildlife Preserve
Covering more than 350 acres, this Yukon Wildlife Preserve only takes a half-an-hour drive from Whitehorse downtown. You will find it at Kilometer 8, Takhini Hot Springs Road.
It’s home to native animals such as elk, woodland caribou, mule deer, wood bison, mountain goats, muskoxen, moose, etc. Take a guided tour to learn about these creatures as much as you want.
Discover Miles Canyon
Before a hydroelectric dam calmed the rapids, Miles Canyon was a hazardous part of the Yukon River. The problem was eventually handled after building a railroad around the rapids, which were a choke spot for gold prospectors.
These days, hiking courses and picturesque settings make the region a delight to discover. Also, it’s fun to see the 1922 suspension bridge, which offers fantastic river views.
Watch The Spectacular Northern Lights
This must be one of the best things to do in Whitehorse, we ensure.
If you’re planning to visit Whitehorse between January and early April, you might have a chance to witness the famous dazzling Aurora Borealis. So, how could you see such a spectacular scene? Just get away from the city lights and go straight to the hills nearby.
There is a scheduled evening northern lights viewing that provides a four-hour trip to maximize your experience. Consider researching and booking in advance in case you need it.
Visit Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre
People say that Beringia is the course that led the first people from Asia to reach North America. Also, many believe that this region was once home to large open plains and giant animals.
We highly recommend the free 30-minute guided tours so that you can know a thing or two about the culture, history, and geographical events that are on display.
Soak At Takhini Hot Springs
Takhini’s location is at 10 Kilometer/Mile 6 Takhini Hotsprings Road. It’s on the same road as Yukon Wildlife Preserve.
Soaking in hot springs is one of the favored things for tourists and Whitehorse citizens. That’s because of the curative and therapeutic traits the hot springs present to humans.
Takhini relaxing experience in two different kinds of pools. The first one is the hot pool features water at 42 degrees Celsius. The second one is a bit more comfortable, with 36 degrees Celsius.
To take pleasure in your vacation, think about staying at the nearby hostels or campgrounds.
Visit the National Historic Site of the SS Klondike.
For decades following the gold rush, sternwheelers on the Yukon River were the region’s primary source of transportation. The SS Klondike II was the mothership, the largest sternwheeler in the fleet.
The SS Klondike II, built-in 1936 from the original engines, boiler, and other parts after it sank in 1937, did not stop transporting ore from the Mayo silver mines to Whitehorse for onward export by road until 1955.
The restored and refurbished sternwheeler is now a major tourist attraction, greeting visitors on the Yukon embankment in the town center. There are guided tours and self-guided tour booklets for those who prefer to go alone.
Fish ladder and hatchery in Whitehorse
When the ice begins to break away in the spring, Chinook salmon rush upstream from the Pacific Ocean to their breeding grounds in the Yukon River. Some even travel as far as Whitehorse, a 3,000-kilometer expedition that takes roughly 60 days to complete. Visitors may witness these spectacular fish climb the Whitehorse Fishladder and Hatchery, which allows them to bypass the Whitehorse Rapids hydropower dam.
The fish hatchery, which is only a short distance away, was created in 1984 and plays a vital role in conserving and restocking the Yukon’s stocks of Chinook and other fish species, such as arctic char and rainbow trout. Following that, seafood aficionados can savor a broad selection of salmon specialties in Yellowknife’s local eateries.
MacBride Yukon History Museum
The MacBride Museum of Yukon History houses a huge collection of gold-rush relics and photographs, as well as exhibitions of Yukon First Nations. A log cabin belonged to Sam McGee, about whom Robert Service, the “Bard of the Yukon,” composed a famous poem. There are also various pieces of vintage machinery and implements, as well as a fascinating exhibit on Yukon animals.
The Emerald Lake
If you’re driving south towards Carcross or looking for a fun afternoon adventure on a beautiful day, make a stop at Emerald Lake. On a calm day, this gorgeous lake has the most amazing hue of green. Photographers will love capturing the reflections of the neighboring hills in the pristine waters. Make sure to go early in the day to obtain the best shot.
Emerald Lake is around 60 kilometers along Highway 2 and should take approximately 40 minutes. If you’re coming from Whitehorse, the lake will be on your right.
Take a City Tour
Whitehorse has a rich history extending back to the days of the gold rush, and much of it is simply waiting to be uncovered. The Yukon Historical & Museums Association, fortunately, gives information about three self-guided excursions. Choose one or all three, and download the audio program to your mobile phone. If you have a printer, make a copy of the accompanying map.
If you don’t have a printer, stop by the office and they’ll print one for you free of charge. The program will take you on a city tour, delivering intriguing information.
Other ways to see the city include taking the bus, horse-drawn carriage, or the M.V. Schwatka to Miles Canyon and Schwatka Lake.
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