Whitehorse is all about history and adventure.
Our adventure in the Yukon finally led us to Whitehorse. Yahoo.. we were due for some quality time in a bigger community with a Tim Hortons. Researching the region for our www.YukonEH.com Travel Website creates urges. It was the first sign of big city life we had seen in a long time as we had been spending most of our time in the back country exploring from base camps set up in smaller communities like Watson Lake and Haines Junction. It was the first time in a long time we were able to indulge in some of our guilty pleasures like many servings of Tim Horton’s coffee. There was a need to please our cravings.
Whitehorse offers allot for tourists. For the family there are museums, wildlife parks, easy going trails, historic sites, heritage buildings, playgrounds and recreation facilities. Take a trip back in time and take the family to the Beringia Museum and learn about the Ice Age and wildlife like mammoths. We visited the museum and yes we were child like and gitty as we rode mammoths bareback. (photo above). Sometimes acting your age limits the fun in life.
Plan accordingly and you can board the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railway from Whitehorse. This is a sightseeing gem of a trip through the Yukon Pass leading to Skagway, Alaska, USA. We did not plan accordingly as there was much to research and time is money on the road. However we did get a train fix while in Whitehorse as we boarded the Whitehorse Trolley Train that putts around the community of Whitehorse. Kids would love this ride, we did.
No trip to Whitehorse is complete for any adventurer or family without exploring along the Millennium Walkway. It is a 5 kilometre paved path following the west and east shores of the mighty Yukon River (Schwatka Lake) connected by a footbridge. The path was so busy on our visit. People were walking, jogging, mountain biking and rollerblading the path. The path begins at the SS Klondike Canada Historic Site. The Klondike is a giant sternwheeler (riverboat) that once carried passengers and supplies up and down the Yukon River.
An advantage of the Millennium Walkway route is that it connects to the 15 kilometre Yukon River Loop Trail which then connects to Miles Canyon, a Suspension Bridge, Schwatka Lake, Chadburn Lake Trail and a historic gold mining town named Canyon City. (no worries, if hiking is not your thing, as you can drive to the footbridge at Miles Canyon).
For the outdoor adventurer there are long day hikes, paddle routes and overnight backpacking adventures throughout the region. Whitehorse is an opportunity to travel the same historic trails, rivers and lakes once explored by the Southern Tutcheone First Nation people and the Klondike Gold Rush miners. It is an opportunity to follow history. One most notable historic route is the Yukon River. The river is a popular canoe route and was the main transportation route when exploring the Yukon Territory during the early 1900s.
My highlights of the trip.. hmm.. if you guessed that it would have to be in the wilderness on some lake, river or trail – you are right! My favorite day was hiking in the forest near the Hidden Lakes, Chadden Lake and Chadburn Lake area… and the alpine hike on Grey Mountain. For the lakes I was only planning on hiking to Chadden Lake.. but hey.. blood gets pumping, scenery takes over and I just kept going another 7 kilometres to the Hidden Lakes. The whole adventure was amazing. Did not meet a soul along the whole 11 kilometres or so.
Enjoyed my day visiting the lakes. I took some time and had some grub while watching a loon on Chadden Lake. Found a canoe with no paddles.. believe me I thought about heading out on the water with some MacGyver like paddles. I remember a smile on my face that hurt.. cracking my cheeks even. I like that type of pain.
Grey Mountain was exploring a high sub alpine ridge. The hike explores the same mountain ridges that are home to some Dall Sheep. My adventure to the lookout provided some amazing views of the valley and lakes below. I felt like I was on top of the world. And in my world I was king for a few seconds (photo below)