Miles Canyon is a recreation destination located in the community of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The canyon was created over 8.5 million years ago as a result of lava flows in the valley. It is part of a protected Greenbelt Park Reserve. The Greenbelt Reserve is a top destination for many summer and winter activities when in the Whitehorse region.
The reserve includes and protects Chadburn, Schwatka, Chadden, Ear, the Hidden Lakes, Miles Canyon and Grey Mountain, as well as, a portion of the Yukon River. The Yukon River and the many lakes in the reserve are connected by a series of wagon roads and recreation trails. Throughout the reserve are day use sites, picnic shelters, warming huts, recreation trails, historic sites, viewpoints and interpretive signs.
Today, the highlights at Miles Canyon include a suspension bridge, the Yukon River, a comprehensive trail system, a historic gold mining town and basalt cliffs colored in a strange orange lichen. There are opportunities to view riverboat cruises , Yukon rapids, and wildlife. Wildlife sightings may include bears, otters, beavers, cliff swallows and Bald Eagles.
The bridge crossing Miles Canyon was named after Robert E. Lowe. It is located near the spot where the Yukon River meets Schwatka Lake. Once a spot of treacherous rapids and lost lives during the Klondike Gold Rush.
There are few sightseeing destinations to consider when visiting the suspension bridge. For example a short walk will lead visitors to some rapids called The Devil's Punchbowl (across the bridge and down the trail to your left). Here there are same rapids which once caused havoc to rafters during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Via the suspension footbridge one can connect with the 15 kilometre Yukon River Loop Trail and the 1.5 kilometre Canyon City Trail. Many of the trails near Miles Canyon are year round trails. In the summer months the trails are both hiking and mountain biking trails. In the winter months the area trails become cross country ski routes.
The Canyon City Trail is a short hike following the banks of the Yukon River while exploring through a forest of lodgepole pine trees. Along the way there are a couple of steep hills and many great views of the Yukon River. There are sections of the trail running close to the cliff's edge so be careful and keep children close.
Canyon City was once a gold rush town and the northern port for riverboat travel for miners when arriving via the chain of lakes starting from Carcross, Yukon. Canyon City once operated an 8 kilometre tramway for transporting minerals from the mines to Whitehorse. All that is left now are a few pieces of glass and some rusty building materials and allot of stories. Today, Canyon City is better known for the hiking trail leading to views overlooking the Yukon River.
The region around Miles Canyon is rich in trails including the Chadburn Cross Country Ski Trails. It is best to stay on the main trails close to the banks of the river so not to get distracted and wander down the wrong trail and get lost. However.. locals with a good knowledge of the trail system or visitors with a good trail map can connect to other recreation trails in the area which lead to destinations like Chadburn Lake, the Hidden lakes and Chadden Lake.