The Yukon has both a rich historical heritage and valuable wilderness legacy, much of which has been preserved for future generations.
Kluane National Park and Reserve
A UNESCO World Heritage Site half the size of Switzerland, this wilderness area encompasses the largest non-polar icefields in the world, many of Canada’s highest mountains (including the highest – Mt Logan) and one of Canada’s Heritage Rivers, the Alsek.
Ivvavik National Park
The world Ivvavik means “a place for giving birth, a nursery” in the language of the Inuvialuit. The first Canadian national park to be created as a result of an aboriginal land claim agreement, Ivvavik protects part of the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd. Situated in northern Yukon on the Beaufort Sea, the park only allows a few visitors each year.
Vuntut National Park
Vuntut is an unspoiled Arctic wilderness in northern Yukon with a First Nations history dating back millennia. This is true wilderness area with no facilities, services or access roads. Travel to the park is from the Yukon’s most northerly community, Old Crow.
Tombstone Territorial Park
With black granite mountains, sub-arctic tundra and abundant wildlife, Tombstone is one of the Yukon’s wilderness gems. Frequently referred to as the “Patagonia of the North” the park is easily accessed along the Dempster Highway north of Dawson City.
Klondike National Historic Sites of Canada
Strolling down the wooden boardwalks of Dawson City, through the town’s unique architectural gold rush legacy, it’s easy to lose a century and feel the ghosts of another era.
Fort Selkirk Historic Site
Archaeological evidence indicates this area has been in use for at least 8,000 years. In more recent times, around the mid-1800s, it was the site of a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. Many of the buildings have been restored and it is jointly owned and managed by the Selkirk First Nation and Yukon Government.
Herschel Island-Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park
This small island lies 5km (3mi.) off the north coast of the Yukon in the Beaufort Sea. The island is home to unique arctic plants, animals and sea life, including the largest colony of Black Guillemots in the Western Arctic. The site has been used for thousands of years by the Inuvialuit who continue to use it for traditional activities. In the late 1800s a whaling station was built at Pauline Cove and hundreds of whalers and their families lived on the island until the collapse of the whaling industry in the early 1900s.
S.S. Klondike National Historic Site
Sternwheelers were an integral part of the Yukon’s modern history. During the first half of the twentieth century, in an age before roads, they plied the Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The largest of them was the S.S. Klondike. She now sits on the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse and has been meticulously restored to her former splendour.
Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada
After gold was discovered in the Klondike, large dredges began to arrive in the area to increase production. Two thirds the size of a football field and 8 stories high, Dredge No. 4 was the largest wooden hull, bucket-line dredge in North America. It operated between 1913 and 1960.
Discovery Claim National Historic Site of Canada
The spot where it all began. The discovery of gold here on August 17, 1896 sparked one of the biggest gold rushes ever seen.
Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site of Canada
Every step along this trail is a step into history. It was along this mountainous pass that tens of thousands of people struck with gold lust went to seek their fortune in the gold fields of the Klondike. Although they are long gone, evidence of their passing is still apparent. At the end of the trail, the abandoned St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church stands in its silent vigil overlooking Bennett Lake, the last remaining witness to a former gold rush boom town.
Coal River Springs
This unique ecological reserve on the Coal River in southern Yukon features extensive limestone terraces which are the result of cool water springs. The annual temperature of the springs is 130C (550F). A rich diversity of life can be found here due to year-round flowing water. The park is only accessible by experienced whitewater paddlers or helicopter from Watson Lake.