Whitehorse, with a population of 25,000 people—more than half the Yukon’s total population—has emerged as a major hub for arts and culture in recent years. The modest but bustling territorial capital, located at the crossroads of the Alaska and Klondike Highways and barely 80 kilometers north of the provincial boundary with British Columbia, is a northern hub. With our list of the top tourist attractions in Whitehorse, you can find the Top Tourist Attractions in Whitehorse.
SS Klondike National Historic Site
For decades following the gold rush, sternwheelers on the Yukon River were the region’s most essential form of transportation. The SS Klondike II, built-in 1936 from the original’s engines, boiler, and other parts after it sank in 1937, didn’t stop transporting ore from Mayo’s silver mines to Whitehorse for onward export by road until 1955. The rebuilt and reconstructed paddle steamer is now a major tourist attraction in town, greeting guests on the Yukon embankment. There are self-guided tour pamphlets available.
Top Tourist Attractions in Whitehorse- Miles Canyon
Before a hydroelectric dam controlled the rapids, Miles Canyon was a dangerous stretch of the Yukon River. The rapids were a choke point for gold prospectors, as the river cut through a portion of basalt rock, and many supplies and lives were lost trying to get through the violent waters, a problem that was only remedied with the construction of a segment of railroad that skirted it.
Hiking trails and a beautiful location make the area a joy to explore today. The site’s 25-meter-long suspension bridge, erected in 1922 and affording wonderful river views, is very fascinating to explore. Best of all, it’s only a few minutes drives from Yellowknife’s downtown.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve
Visitors can take a guided tour of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, which is only 30 minutes from downtown Whitehorse, to see some of the region’s many wonderful creatures, including moose, muskoxen, mountain goats, wood bison, mule deer, woodland caribou, elk, and two species of thinhorn sheep (Dall’s and stone’s sheep).
The park, which spans more than 350 acres and includes a variety of ecosystems ranging from wetlands to cliffs, allows the creatures to dwell and be observed in their natural settings. The preserve has also established a reputation as a wildlife rehabilitation facility.
Those looking for a wonderful hike can make use of the trail network that circles around the preserve as an alternative to the guided bus excursions. It’s especially enjoyable to visit in the winter when many of the same trails are used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Are you taking your children on a trip? Summer programs and wildlife seminars are among the activities offered at the preserve.
The Northern Lights
Top Tourist Attractions in Whitehorse. If you visit Whitehorse between January and early April, you won’t have to leave the city to see the beautiful Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. That said, it’s advisable to attempt to leave the city lights behind and head for the hills if you want to get the finest view of this incredible cosmic spectacle.
An organized nighttime aurora viewing in Whitehorse is one of the greatest ways to achieve this. This exciting four-hour trip begins with hotel pickup as part of a small-group guided tour that takes you to a distant viewing area in the wilderness, away from artificial light, to enhance your viewing pleasure. Snacks and beverages are given.
Take a Town Tour
During the summer, the Yukon Historical & Museums Association offers informative history tours around Whitehorse, as well as self-guided tour information. Many of the top-rated tourist sites are members of the organization, which also offers a variety of workshops and events of interest (check their website below for details). Other ways to see the city include taking the bus, horse-drawn carriage, or the M.V. Schwatka to Miles Canyon and Schwatka Lake.
Whitehorse Fishladder & Hatchery
Chinook salmon rush upstream from the Pacific Ocean to their spawning grounds in the Yukon River once the ice begins to break away in the spring. Some even travel as far as Whitehorse, covering the 3,000-kilometer journey in around 60 days. The Whitehorse Fishladder and Hatchery, which allows these magnificent fish to circumvent the Whitehorse Rapids hydropower dam, is open to the public for viewing. The location also has an interpretive center with plenty of information about the fish and their voyage, as well as an underwater window and viewing platforms for visitors to enjoy the experience.
The fish hatchery, which is only a short distance away, was founded in 1984 and plays a vital role in conserving and restocking the Yukon’s Chinook and other fish stocks, such as arctic char and rainbow trout. Following that, seafood aficionados can sample a wide range of salmon dishes at Yellowknife eateries.