19 March 2021 by David Ward
It was 125 years ago that the first grains of gold were discovered glittering in a small stream south of the Klondike River. News of the discovery quickly spread, setting off what would become one of the most famous gold rushes in world history, as thousands upon thousands poured into the Yukon in Canada’s wild northwest, hoping to strike it rich. In 1899, gold strikes in Alaska began luring miners away from the region and boom towns emptied. But, that sudden influx of stampeders and adventurers left an indelible mark on the region’s history, changing the Yukon forever.
All these years on, the Yukon strikes a delicate balance between its past, present and future, attracting today’s adventure seekers and history buffs in place of the gold pioneers of old. Indeed, those who follow in their pioneering footsteps can now explore all corners the territory at ease, taking to the once-impregnable wilderness on what are some of North America’s most spectacular highways. There’s the chance to experience the preserved gold-rush town of Dawson City, and search out that same small stream south of the Klondike River where it all began. Alternatively, take the chance to visit remote gold-rush outposts such as Keno City or Carcross, an important resting point for the early stampeders who had taken the Chilkoot Trail through the Coast Mountains, or later, travelled via the White Pass & Yukon Route railway.
Dawson City, the Yukon
Of course, the Yukon remains a frontier territory, where the winters are long and cold but enhanced by some of the most spectacular Northern Lights displays imaginable. If you do decide to book a winter trip, bear in mind that towns are few and far between, so you’ll have to plan your route and keep well supplied. Our Yukon specialists can help you here.
For the rest of the year, it’s much easier to move about and with a wide range of spectacular driving routes, you’ll be well rewarded with some truly spectacular scenery. Travel at the onset of autumn to witness the endless foliage change from verdant green to a sea of red, yellow, orange and gold.
Tailor-made journeys, full of adventure
No matter the season, the Yukon is a place for experiencing the great outdoors, be it on a summer hike, a sky-gazing adventure or under winter’s auroral swirls. There are adventurous pursuits aplenty, from rafting and canoeing to extreme driving. And, you’ll have ample opportunities to spot native wildlife in sprawling national parks. You might try your hand at gold panning, ride horseback through the wilderness or get to grips with the Yukon’s burgeoning foodie scene.
Canoeing in the Yukon
No matter what takes your fancy, you’re never far from a relic or reminder of the past, whether it’s a weather-worn vintage car at the side of the highway, a trip to a museum or historical attraction, or a stroll past one of the paddle steamers which once navigated the Klondike River
To plan your Yukon experience, contact our specialists who’ll help you plan an adventure to remember.