.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory

04 Kluane NP (8)

One of the more remote regions on the North American continent is Kluane National Park, located in southwestern Yukon, 160 kilometres west of Whitehorse.  It’s minimally accessible by car and has few hiking trails, most of which are near the outskirts of the park.  The park’s backcountry is largely inaccessible except to rugged individuals who like to blaze their own trail.  The best way to see Kluane’s backcountry is by plane (on a clear day).  It’s a very beautiful but rough landscape, filled with tall peaks, roaring rivers and glaciers. 

Alaska Highway and Kluane National Park

Alaska Highway and Kluane National Park

The town of Haines Junction is at the convergence point of the two highways that skirt Kluane National Park and Reserve, namely the Haines Highway heading north from Haines in the …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 15, 2019: A Drive along the Alaska Highway to Kluane National Park

04 Trip to Kluane – Alaska Highway (12)

One of the greatest construction achievements of the 20th century was the building of the Alaska Highway (a.k.a. the Alaska-Canadian or ALCAN highway).

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and showed growing interest in the Alaskan coast, the US government made construction of a road leading from the lower 48 states into Alaska a top priority.  Up to that point in time, the most common route of entry to Alaska was by boat, which was considered threatened by Japanese submarines (a threat which in reality did not materialize).  

The Alaska Highway begins in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and ends in Delta Junction, Alaska, passing through Whitehorse in the Yukon territory.  The route, when constructed, was 1700 miles (2700 km …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 11, 2019: Robert W Service, the Bard of the North

01 Whitehorse Street Art (32)

While I love reading whenever I find the time, I’ve never been much of a fan of poetry, with two exceptions — the writing of Rudyard Kipling and (the man featured in today’s Pic of the Day) Robert W. Service.

Robert Service was born in England and began writing poems as a child, dreaming of a life of exploration and adventure, and of one day being a cowboy in Western Canada.  He emigrated to Canada in 1895, although he never became a cowboy.

Service is well know to Canadians because of his writing about life in Canada’s Yukon territory during the Klondike Goldrush.  He moved to the Yukon during this colorful period in history and loved the characters he met and heard …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Historic Miles Canyon, Whitehorse

00 Miles Canyon (3)

Miles Canyon is well known to students of the Klondike Goldrush.  It was here that the Yukon River began a stretch of rough and dangerous water, the Miles Canyon Rapids and shortly thereafter the Whitehorse Rapids.  Many of the home made boats and rafts constructed by the would-be gold prospectors were destroyed or over-turned in these rapids, and many people lost their lives here.  The presence of these rapids catalyzed the formation of the city of Whitehorse as a access point to the Yukon River (down-river from these rapids) and Dawson City.

A hydroelectric plant and dam have since been built near the site of the Whitehorse Rapids, which resulted in flooding and effacement of the Whitehorse Rapids and to a …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 5, 2019: ‘Ice and Flowers’, Kluane National Park

00 Ice and Flowers

When I visited Kluane National Park headquarters, situated in the small and remote town of Haines Junction, Yukon, I was immediately drawn to this magnificent artwork.  It was hanging near a large window, the framed backdrop being wonderful views of Kluane.

The work is called “Ice and Flowers” and was created by Yukon artist, Doug Smarch Jr.  The work was inspired by the water drops reflecting the faces of those studying them up close.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

 

 

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

The Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, Whitehorse

02 Yukon Beringia Center (1)

Canada’s Yukon territory is well know for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor recreation.  It’s a very sparsely populated region (one human for every 2 moose), but there are a few interesting indoor sites to visit including this one, which I think is the best in the territory.  

Why was Beringia not covered with ice?  Because while it was cold, it was too dry.  The coastal mountains of Alaska so sheltered the interior of Alaska and the Yukon from moisture that there was not enough precipitation here to create a glacier.  Because of thick ice sheets on the continents, the ocean levels were lowered and a land bridge appeared which allowed migration of people and animals between Asia and North …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Signs of Whitehorse

14 Signs of Whitehorse (7)

As many of you know, I like to collect photos of signage during my travels.  Looking for signs helps me study the destination I’m visiting more carefully than I otherwise might have, and often tells me a lot about the nature of the city I’m visiting.

Whitehorse is the Yukon’s only city and the center of the territory’s commerce, tourism and government.  And while it is a relatively young city, it dates to the Klondike Gold Rush, a most colorful and interesting period in history.

Here are some of the signs I encountered during my recent trip to northern Canada.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, May 3, 2019: Whitehorse’s Horse

01 Whitehorse Stallion (1)

Erected near the public safety building on Two-Mile hill in Whitehorse is a horse crafted by Yukon artist Daphne Mennel.  You’ll see it as you drive into the city from the airport.  The piece is made of what appears to be scrap metal, which it is, but the community prides itself that all of the horse’s components were donated by Yukon residents.  For example, the magnificent tail is made from electrical cable donated by Yukon Electric , with many other interesting building blocks ranging from a frying pan, an anvil, a radiater, garden utensils and more. 

The horse statue has a great view of the city and surrounding hills.   To me it symbolizes the spirit of the people of the …

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