Yukon is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in the northwestern corner of Canada.
It is bordered by the Northwest Territories to the east, by British Columbia to the south, and by the US state of Alaska to the west, and it extends northward above the Arctic Circle to the Beaufort Sea.
As of May 2019, the population of Yukon was estimated to be about 40,00 people. It is the least populous province in Canada.
Yukon is the 9th largest province in Canada in terms of total area with 482,443 square kilometers (186,272 square miles).
Whitehorse is the territorial capital and Yukon’s only city. Whitehorse’s downtown and Riverdale areas occupy both shores of the Yukon River, which originates in British Columbia and meets the Bering Sea in Alaska. The city was named after the White Horse Rapids for their resemblance to the mane of a white horse, near Miles Canyon, before the river was dammed.
Yukon, one of Canada’s most stunning landscapes, is replete with precipitous snow-capped mountains, volcanoes (active and dormant), glaciers, snowmelt lakes, cold water rivers, coniferous forests and the stark landscape of the Arctic’s frozen tundra.
Most of the territory is in the watershed of its namesake, the Yukon River. The southern Yukon is dotted with a large number of large, long and narrow glacier-fed alpine lakes, most of which flow into the Yukon River system.
The volcanoes in Yukon are part of the circle of volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Yukon includes more than 100 separate volcanic centers that have been active during the Quaternary.
Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest peak in North America, after Denali. It has elevation of 5,959 meters (19,551 feet) above sea level. Mount Logan is located within Kluane National Park Reserve in southwestern Yukon, less than 40 kilometers (25 mi) north of the Yukon–Alaska border.
Yukon has 3 national parks and 8 provincial parks.
Kluane National Park and Reserve is most popular national park in Yukon. It is located near the Alaskan border. Arguably, Yukon’s most striking landforms are located in Kluane National Park. The park’s Saint Elias Mountain Range is home to seven of Canada’s ten highest mountains, including Mount Logan, the country’s highest point. Kluane National Park Reserve was established in 1972, covering 22,013 square kilometers (8,499 square miles). It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 for the spectacular glacier and icefield landscapes as well as for the importance of grizzly bears, caribou and Dall sheep habitat.
Takhini Hot Springs is a natural hot springs located just outside the border of Whitehorse, Yukon. It is a locally run business which incorporates two pools at different temperatures and has a campground with over 80 sites. It is a historic site and a very popular destination for tourists and locals.
The Miles Canyon Basalts represent a package of rocks that include various exposures of basaltic lava flows and cones that erupted and flowed across an ancient pre-glacial landscape in south-central Yukon. The volcanic rocks are best exposed and most easily accessible at the Miles Canyon location where the Yukon River cuts through a succession of flows south of Whitehorse.
Sign Post Forest is a collection of signs at Watson Lake, and is one of the most famous of the landmarks along the Alaska Highway. It was started by a homesick GI in 1942. He was assigned light duty while recovering from an injury and erected the signpost for his hometown: Danville, Ill. 2835 miles. Visitors may add their own signs to the over 80,000 already present.
SS Klondike was the name of two sternwheelers, the second now a national historic site located in Whitehorse. They ran freight between Whitehorse and Dawson City along the Yukon River, the first from 1929-1936 and the second, an almost exact replica of the first, from 1937-1950.
Long before the arrival of Europeans, central and southern Yukon was populated by First Nations people, and the area escaped glaciation.
Sites of archeological significance in Yukon hold some of the earliest evidence of the presence of human habitation in North America.
European incursions into the area began early in the 19th century with the fur trade, followed by missionaries.
By the 1870s and 1880s gold miners began to arrive. This drove a population increase that justified the establishment of a police force, just in time for the start of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897.
The increased population coming with the gold rush led to the separation of the Yukon district from the Northwest Territories and the formation of the separate Yukon Territory in 1898.
The mineral wealth of Yukon has been known since the Klondike gold rush, but the combination of an Arctic climate and remoteness from markets has limited the economic exploitation of such resources and the development of modern settlement.
Much of Yukon remains unspoiled wilderness, but the impact of people on the environment is apparent.