Whitehorse, the Hub for Our Yukon Travels

We spent several days in Whitehorse on our way to and from Dawson City and again when we returned from the Kluane (pronounced ‘Kloo-wah-nee’) Lake area. Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon Territory and is home to much of the population of the Yukon.  It was a good spot for us to take care of some household chores, grocery shopping and, of course, visit some tourist spots.

On our way to Dawson City, we stayed at Caribou RV Park, south of town.  The owners are a Belgian couple who purchased the campground a few years ago.  They are working on improvements, including making the pull-thru sites larger.  A unique service they offer is delivery from a local bakery.    Like most RV parks we’ve been to in the west, they offer a pressure washer area for washing RVs and other vehicles.  Next door to the park is a log cabin restaurant called The Wolf’s Den, which has excellent food and a friendly owner.

On our way from Dawson City and Kluane Lake, we stayed at Pioneer RV Park & Campground, which is just a bit closer to town than Caribou.  The pull-thru sites here are more accommodating for big rigs like ours.  The park’s lower level is primarily pull-thru sites, and the upper level has back-in treed sites.

My favourite spot to visit was Miles Canyon. It’s close to downtown and has dramatic views.  It is also the location of an 85-foot suspension bridge.  It can be accessed by car or by hiking trails.

You can drive up Grey Mountain Road to the communication towers for a panoramic view of Whitehorse and the surrounding area for a more exhilarating time.  Grey Mountain is known for its hiking trails, but we heard about it from a couple who did their wedding pictures at the top.  There is a parking area about 6 km up the road for hikers.  The remaining 4 km is unmaintained, rough, and narrow at spots with drop-offs.  I would suggest you drive to the top only if you’re a confident driver and are good at backing up.  The backing up may be necessary if you meet another vehicle.  You will need a vehicle with good ground clearance.

 My favourite museum was the Yukon Transportation Museum, located at the airport.  We both have a fondness for old vehicles, so we really enjoyed our time there.  The museum has displays both inside and outdoors.  Outside there was a massive vehicle that we had never seen before; we learned from one of the staff that it was used to patrol the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line during the cold war.  The museum is also home to the world’s largest weathervane – a Canadian Pacific Airlines DC-3.

Next door to the Transportation Museum is the Yukon Beringia Interpretative Centre. I’d never heard the term “Beringia” until we came to the Yukon.  It is synonymous with the Bering Land Bridge in my old brain, but I could be wrong.  Displays covered Beringia, Ice Age animals and the First People.

We were also able to visit two craft breweries.  Yukon Brewing is in town but unfortunately was not doing tastings the day we were there.  Al did buy some beer to try.  We learned that canned beer must be sold in packages in the Yukon, but beer in bottles can be sold individually.  Winterlong Brewing, which was just a short drive from our campsites, was doing flights, and Al’s favourite was their “Weekend Warrior”.  They could even fill his growlers from his favourite Ontario brewery; in Ontario, craft breweries cannot fill growlers from other breweries.

There are also a few Little Free Library locations in town, so I was able to exchange a few books.  If you have never used these libraries, they are a great way to pass your used books along and find some new ones – all free!

There are lots of outdoor activities to participate in and attractions to view in Whitehorse.  You will not be disappointed when you visit.

Safe travels.

Vanessa

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