Discover the Yukon’s best attractions

photo by CC user Dawsonesque on wikimedia

For many seniors with ample time on their hands and a craving for the open road, driving the length of the Alaska Highway is a bucket list achievement is one that many check off each and every year.

Along the way, you’ll pass through Canada’s Yukon Territory, which is a stunning route that passes through some of the world’s most remote wilderness areas.

However, there are several highlights that pay tribute to hardy inhabitants of this hauntingly beautiful land.

In this article, we will help you discover the Yukon’s best attractions…

1) Signpost Forest

Entering the Yukon from the south, the first settlement of significant size is Watson Lake, which is a village of about 1,500 souls.

Settled by a prospector in the 19th century, this tiny hamlet first sprang to prominence in the Second World War, when the Alaska Highway was hastily being slashed through the wilderness to provide a vital supply route for American forces looking to secure their expansive northern territory against a potential Japanese attack.

A homesick American GI put up a signpost denoting the direction and distance to his hometown in Illinois.

Shortly after, he had other joining him in this act, and from that moment on, travelers in the region have added license plates and signs of varying constructions to a growing series of signposts.

Over 100,000 have been posted over the 70+ years of its existence, making for a diversion that could have you spending hours exploring the various contributions to this peculiar tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere.

2) SS Klondike

After what will seem like forever, you’ll eventually arrive in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon. Those looking to take advantage of services taken for granted in urban areas should do so here, as there isn’t another similarly well-provisioned settlement along the Alaska Highway until you arrive in Fairbanks.

One tourist attraction you should check out before heading back out into the wild is the S.S. Klondike, which is a restored sternwheeler that used to ply the Yukon River between here and Dawson City, the epicentre of the Klondike gold rush.

3) Dawson City

While the days of quick and easy riches have flowed past much like the silt in the frigid waters of the Yukon River, one can still witness the splendor of those days by walking through the streets of Dawson City.

Partially restored to the gritty charm it once held, one can snap pictures of the clapboard homes, or join the sourtoe cocktail club at the Downtown Hotel. This involves taking a shot of hard liquor … that contains the preserved remains of a severed toe.

Ick.

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