Lovely people, so nice to see you again on my blog! Thanks for coming by!
If you’re addicted to sunny places and beaches, please don’t shy away just yet. There is something you need to know: I live on sunshine just like you do and whenever I pick a new travel destination, it has to be near the sea with hot temperatures. But the fact is: my other half is on the other end of the spectrum. The wildest it gets (bears, glaciers, northern lights, snow fall and camping), the happier he is!
As our couple is a democracy (of only two people for now, I know that it gets hard when it comes to voting), we try to take turns deciding where we go and be curious about the other’s travel aspirations! That’s how my other half dragged me to Iceland, the Rocky Mountains and the Yukon. But let’s take one thing at a time and start with the Yukon. Just so you know, I had the time of my life and I enjoyed every minute of my stay there. We “roughed it” for two weeks but they’ll probably be one of my best memories of our 3-month tour of Canada.
So as you might have guessed, I’m not going to talk about five-star hotels nor fancy restaurants because we slept under our beloved Hubba Hubba tent and cooked with our camping stove. However, we tested some nice coffee shops to reward ourselves for our physical prowess (more on that in a minute).
We arrived in Whitehorse by plane from Vancouver, it’s only 2 hours flight away and you can get really affordable plane tickets if you plan your trip in advance. As they say: early birds catches the warm…
Whitehorse: is a small town of 28’000 inhabitants with all the amenities, exactly what we needed to go grocery shopping before heading north. If you plan on staying outside of Whitehorse, I really recommend stocking up a lot of food as there are almost no supermarkets outside of the city or if so, the prices are crazy. Also, the interpretation center in down-town Whitehorse has plenty of helpful resources if you don’t know yet how to organize your trip. For our first night, we camped near the Takhini hot springs. We cooked in the hot pools for an hour or so – the temperature of the water was pure heaven – before heading back to our small home to get a good night’s sleep. Visiting Whitehorse takes a day or two, depending if you want to have a look at the museums…or not. The city reminds me of the cow-boy movies and the little houses have something from the “Far West”. Fan or not fan of museums, there is this beautiful boat you can visit and that has been restored as it was in the decade of the “Gold Rush”….amazing.
Kluane National Park: From Whitehorse, we took the Alaska Highway to get to Kluane National Park which is – without a doubt – a paradise for hikers. We started to explore the southern section of Kluane National Park and picked the following trails: King’s Throne (from which you can see the highest summit of Canada – Mount Logan), Auriol and St Elias Lake.
The northern section of the park is even wilder. We decided to go on a 3-day back-country hiking trip but before that, we thought it might be wiser to see how we managed a 20km hike two days in a row. So we hiked the beautiful trails of Bullion Plateau and Sheep Creek. As we were doing well and we were a little fearless, we prepared our backpacks for the 3-day expedition, “Slim’s River”. When I glimpsed at the three enormous tongues of the Kaskawulsh Glacier from atop Observation Mountain, the view was simply breathtaking! This 3-day backcountry hiking roundtrip in grizzly-country, walking 67km with over 1,000m elevation is one of the most demanding efforts I’ve ever made. But it was worth every step of the way!
Carcross and surroundings: formerly known as “Caribou Crossing”, Carcross is this tiny village situated on the White Pass and Yukon Route railway. At the end of the 19th century, the Klondike Gold Rush was in full swing. People were trying to reach Dawson City starting their trip from the US, hiked through the Chillkoot Pass and then took a boat down the Yukon river. Today, the steam train is still in operation and takes the courageous hikers and the tourists to the White Pass. Unfortunately, we were too tired to do the Chillkoot Trail but we enjoyed beautiful hikes in the area of Carcross. I really enjoyed the Sam McGee Trail, which zigzags across the remains of an abandoned aerial tramway. Quite disorienting!
The best time to visit the Yukon is during the summer (July and August). Don’t forget to bring warm clothes though (after all, the Yukon is between the same lines of latitude as Alaska), a lot of books because the summer days are very long in this part of the world and pepper-spray. It’s nice to cuddle with bears but only with stuffed ones.
Thanks for reading and see you very soon in the next blogpost. If you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to give it a thumbs up!