Travel Guides to Canada

2016 Travel Guide to Canada

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TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA I f you dream of mushing a team of sled dogs through a silent forest, pulling a champion-sized fi sh from a sparkling lake, learning the traditional ways of Yukon's First Nations people, or exploring the historical roots of the Gold Rush, then you are ready for the authentic experience that Whitehorse can deliver. The city got its name from the roaring, churning white waters of the Yukon River that resemble the fl owing manes of horses. For many years, Whitehorse has been the transportation and commercial heart of the region. It holds an important place in the history of Canada's North. In the summer months, when the river was navigable, fortune seekers and daring entrepreneurs of the Klondike Gold Rush fl oated their boats downriver toward the goldfi elds. Through the long winter months, mail and supplies were moved by sled dog teams along frozen river and lakes. This activity kept the territory's outposts connected, and it all started in Whitehorse, a place with deep historic roots that still serves as the Yukon's largest and most vibrant settle- ment. Whitehorse is defi nitely the natural starting point to explore the wildlife, history and scenic splendour of the Yukon. ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE Whitehorse is a compact, walkable city where history is easily experienced. In summertime, a good way to get your downtown bearings is aboard the Waterfront Trolley—Whitehorse's bright- yellow restored 1925 vintage trolley that stops along the city's riverfront. For walkers, the scenic fi ve-km paved Millennium Trail loops along both sides of the Yukon River. Nothing shaped the history of Whitehorse like the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800's, when an estimated 100,000 prospectors crossed through town before beginning their trek north to Dawson City, braving the wilderness of an unknown land in their quest for riches. They were a quirky, strong bunch who left their stamp on Whitehorse's history, architecture and frontier mentality. That natural and cultural history is found at the MacBride Museum of Yukon History, a treasure trove of the Yukon's largest collection of artefacts. Exhibits highlight the traditions of the First Nations culture, the history and role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the territory's mining history and the importance of the momentous Klondike Gold Rush—an event which forever changed the land and the communities. MacBride is home to the original cabin of prospector Sam McGee who was immortalized in Robert Service's poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee ( www. The stories of bush pilots, Klondike stampeders and dogsledders are part of the Yukon Transportation Museum. From mushing across a challenging frozen landscape to hiking the Chilkoot Trail, their tales of perseverance and ingenuity are immortalized here ( In the summer months, the dry-docked sternwheeler at the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site is open to the public for self-guided tours. The craft was the largest sternwheeler to travel the upper Yukon River and commemorates the era in which steam-powered riverboats moved cargo and passengers between Whitehorse and Dawson City ( ssklondike). Visitors step back in time at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre's permanent displays and dioramas of the prehistoric landscape of Beringia—the dry, unglaciated land bridge that once linked Alaska and Siberia. Beringia escaped glaciation and was home to animals like the woolly mammoth and giant beaver ( www. In the heart of downtown, the Old Log Church Museum is one of the oldest build- ings in Whitehorse. The exhibits tell the stories of the city's early missionaries and pioneers ( Underwater viewing windows are an up-close way to see the annual salmon migration at the Whitehorse Fish Ladder, the longest and oldest wooden fi sh ladder in the world. HAS A STORY TO TELL BY JOSEPHINE MATYAS HAS A STORY WHiteHorSe QUiLL CreeK, KLUane nationaL ParK • CtC/PaDDY PaLLin YUKON TERRITORY

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