The Canadian North – The Yukon

My face is slowly thawing as I sit in the Whitehorse airport after a quick weekend trip to the Yukon.

Some of you may know that one of my travel goals is to visit every province and territory in our beautiful country of Canada. Prior to this weekend I had the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunuvat and Manitoba left on the list.

I decided a few months ago that I wanted to check out the Yukon in the winter and Classic Canadian Tours offered a quick little getaway during Family day weekend. Before I knew it it was February 13th and I was running to the ski store to pick up more feet and hand warmers. These were a god send and worked amazing!

I packed so many layers. I was ready to brave the -25 temperatures. After living in Vancouver for a while, the coldest I’ve seen is -5.

The most popular airline that services the Yukon is Air North. It was a quick 2 hour flight from Vancouver with great services and FOOD. Not just pretzels, but a full focaccia sandwich and a warm chocolate chip cookie.

A quick 10 minute drive to the hotel and I could already tell I wasn’t in Vancouver anymore. The city of Whitehorse prides itself with 3 starbucks and 2 Tim Hortons.

It wouldn’t be a trip to a new town without me checking out the town’s best places for food. I checked out: Woodcutter’s Blanket and Wayfarer Oyster house. Both restaurants were amazing. I had the best fish chowder of my life at Wayfarer. I highly recommend.

One important think to mention is that many businesses include cafes observe weekend hours, and many are closed on the weekend especially during the winter. One local favourite that had extended hours — open til 7pm on Friday night is the Baked Cafe.

Our tour utilized a guide company called Northern Tales but there are so many tour companies to choose from. A short drive north from Whitehorse is the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and the Takhini Hot Springs. The hot springs are a beautiful way to relax in the cold. In february they even have a contest for who has the craziest frozen hair do!

The northern lights are one of the main attractions to the north, but just like any natural phenomenon they are not guaranteed. Unfortunately my two attempts at sitting out in the dark in the middle of nowhere did not bring success, all we caught a glimpse of were the “Northern Headlights” – but even more reason to come back.

They say that when people visit they feel the magic of the Yukon. I can definitely say I felt a bit of that magic walking along the frozen Yukon River. Countless times I heard stories of people who intended to only come for a short while, and then they never bought a return ticket home. That was 7, 9, 13 years ago depending on who I talked to.

The Yukon is definitely a special place and this little taste definitely makes me want to come back. Next time with less layers and more hours of sunlight.