Why make a pilgrimage to the Yukon specifically to see the Northern Lights?
Here are seven points why you will be more than grateful that you watch the lights in Canada.
1. Lighting the way
While there is no guarantee of seeing them, it’s a worthwhile experience to get up-close-and-personal with the Yukon night sky. Staring at the eerie, flowing, almost kaleidoscopic movements in the sky is such an amazing experience. The dancing formations appeared to be white in color but those who take time exposures with their cameras will be able to capture the surreal green colors of the Aurora.
2. Pristine Paddles
Whether novice or expert, whether it’s a three-hour canoe paddle from Whitehorse to the Takhini River or a 13-day journey all the way to Dawson City, the Yukon River is something to behold. On sunny, calm days, the mountains, trees and that big, blue Yukon sky full of billowy, white clouds is perfectly reflected in the mirror-like surface of the water.
In Dawson City, you can ride on the Klondike Spirit, a paddlewheeler that passes Moosehide Settlement, visits the Paddlewheel Graveyard, and travels on to the point where the Klondike River flows into the Yukon River. You will be amazed at how easy you can get into nature, around every corner and bend of the river.
4. Up in the sky
A sky view of the Yukon can be incredible. In Dawson City, if you take a helicopter to the Tombstone Mountains, the view is nothing short of breathtaking. You will then be amazed at what nature has created.
5. Down on the trails
Walking or hiking in the Yukon can be customized to the preference of the visitor. Experiences can range from strolling the Millennium Trail in Whitehorse, to exploring picturesque Miles Canyon, hiking in Kluane National Park, or trekking up one of the mountains that surround the city. Outside of Dawson City, the arduous climb up the Chilkoot Trail was once the only travel option during the Gold Rush in 1898. Today, hikers challenge the trail for the adventure, a sense of accomplishment and for the incredible vistas.
6. Literary walks
In Dawson City, you can easily walk to Jack London’s house (author of "The Call of the Wild," "White Fang" and more). Nearby is the cabin where Robert Service, known as "The Bard of the Yukon,” lived. His poems include "The Spell of the Yukon" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee."
In Dawson City, after you drink your Yukon Jack Whisky with a preserved human toe in the glass, you become a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club! You can stay at Bombay Peggie’s, a former brothel, and then enjoy the musical show and casino at Diamond Tooth Gerties. If you like to drink early, you can head to the Snake Pit at 9 a.m.; or if in Whitehorse, the “breakfast club” is at the 98 Hotel. On Discovery Days (celebrating the discovery of gold on August 16, 1896), you can watch the annual parade and then cheer on one of the souped-up cars racing in the Mud Bog. You can pan for gold; enjoy a humorous walking tour of Dawson; ride the famous White Pass and Yukon Route Railway from Skagway or Fraser to Carcross; and then lose yourself in the Carcross Desert, the smallest desert in the world.