The tiny town of Carcross at the northern tip of Bennett Lake, 74 kilometres south of Whitehorse, packs some serious punch. Adorned with totem poles created by the local Tagish First Nation people, this friendly outpost offers the chance to truly live like a local. You’ll be made to feel at home as you get to know the local artisans and their works and feast on locally sourced foods. It might be small, but Carcross has some BIG attractions.
Read on for three unexpected experiences:
1. Carcross Desert
The Carcross Desert, just two kilometres from the historic village, is affectionately known as the world's smallest desert. The dry climate and wind conditions created 540 acres of sand dunes and forced special vegetation to adapt to the surroundings. 10,000 years ago, this was the bottom of a large glacial lake. Today, the sand dunes run to the shore of Bennett Lake, known for its beautiful beach covered in fine, white sand.
2. Haunted Abode
Carcross is home to one of Canada’s most famous haunted abodes. Be warned – staying overnight at the Caribou Hotel is not for the faint-hearted! Dawson Charlie, co-discoverer of the Klondike Gold Rush, purchased the hotel in 1903 and renamed it the Caribou Hotel. Following his death in 1908, Edwin and Bessie Gideon operated the hotel until it burned down and a new building opened in 1910. The hotel has been haunted by Bessie’s ghost since her death in 1933. She is known to slam doors, creak the floorboards, add bubbles to bathtubs, and has allegedly been seen peering out of windows.
Click here to see an episode of Yukon Paranormal – The ghosts of the Caribou Hotel. The hotel is under refurbishment during 2018.
While in Carcross, immerse yourself in the culture of the Tlinglit/Tagish people at the Carving Shed and Parks Canada’s House. Check out the Totem Poles at the Carcross Commons and shop for unique handmade and traditional souvenirs at more than 20 artisan stores!
There’s one gigantic reason Carcross is a global drawcard – Montana Mountain. Towering 2,208 metres above sea level, its extensive network of trails across rock and pine forest terrain make this a mountain biking and hiking Mecca. Even if you’re not into extreme outdoor sports, Montana Mountain, with its lake views, alpine meadows and abundant wildlife, make it a must for every bucket-list.