Whitehorse is a bustling community located along the Yukon River. It offers a great blend of wilderness, magnificent landscape, and history. Two major highways (the Alaska and Klondike) connect Whitehorse, which makes it a hub for transportation and a popular tourist destination.
Whitehorse is on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.
Long before the Gold Rush era, this area was a First Nations’ campsite. The name Whitehorse comes from the historic rapids of the Yukon River. The rapids resembled the flowing manes of charging white horses. The Whitehorse rapids were the greatest peril on the trail of ’98. During the Klondike Gold Rush, people travelling on the trail of 98′ had to bypass the treacherous water of Miles Canyon and Whitehorse. In 1897, two entrepreneurs built tramways along the river. The tramways assisted in carrying goods and small boats around the rapids. The rapids of the river have now calmed down due to the construction of the hydro-electric dam.
In the early 1900s, with the construction of the railway, Whitehorse played an essential role in linking rail service with riverboat traffic to Dawson. Another boom arrived in 1942, with the construction of Alaska Highway. The boom ceased by the end of the war, but it made Whitehorse an essential centre of communications and transportation.
In 1953, Whitehorse became the capital city of the Yukon. As per the 2016 Census, the population of Whitehorse is 21,732. Whitehorse is home to more than 60% of Yukon’s population. The total population of the Yukon is 35,874, as per the 2016 Census.
How to get there
Whitehorse is approximately 1400 km (870 Miles) from the Mile 0 (Dawson Creek) if you are driving the world-famous Alaska Highway.
However, if you are coming via Stewart-Cassiar Highway, Whitehorse is approximately 438 km from Watson Lake, Yukon.
Some interesting attractions in Whitehorse
Visitor Information Centre
Take a Stroll in the Downtown
Take a stroll through the Downtown of Whitehorse. Enjoy colourful murals, exciting stores, museums, historic buildings, cafes, and restaurants.
Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre
Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is located in downtown beside the sacred waters of the Yukon River. We highly recommend this place if you are interested in learning about the Kwanlin Dün nation’s culture and arts. Moreover, you will be impressed with many artifacts!
S.S. Klondike National Historic Site
S.S. Klondike was the largest sternwheeler of the British Yukon Navigation Company, and it plied the upper Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City. Restored and refurbished to pay tribute to an era when railroad and river linked Yukon to the outside world.
Macbride Museum of Yukon History
Visit the Macbride Museum if you are interested in the history of Yukon and Whitehorse. There are many photographs, stories, and historical artifacts.
Old Log Church Museum
This is one of the oldest buildings in Whitehorse.
Yukon Transportation Museum
The Yukon Transportation Museum is located next to the Airport. We highly recommend this museum if you are interested in trains, airplanes, bush planes, trucks.
Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre
Know more about the ancient story of Yukon’s iconic ice age animals, and how humans survived the ice age world.
Camping: We stayed at Robert Service Campground due to its proximity to the downtown and the River. A nice trail that runs along the Yukon River takes you to downtown. The walking distance from the campground to downtown is approx 2 km. You can also take a local bus because there is a stop near the campground.
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