A Food & Travel Blog

Yukon Territory

22/12/2014 | By

Kathleen lake, Kluane National Park, Yukon

Kathleen Lake, Kluane National Park, Yukon

It’s been a rough week here in Australia with too many bad and sad things happening. As this is my last post for the year, I wanted to leave you on a more inspired note and the timing for my impressions of the Yukon seems just right. When I was invited to Canada’s Yukon Territory I realised my knowledge of the region was practically non-existent.  At best all I could come up with were clichéd  images of gold panning, swinging bar doors and potatoes (Yukon Gold is a Canadian-developed variety of spud). I looked it up on a map and discovered it to be tucked away in the north-west corner of this enormous country, reaching up to the Arctic in the north of the territory – so I figured it was going to be remote and pretty distinctive.

Yukon River, Whitehorse

Yukon River, Whitehorse

Yukon River, Whitehorse

Yukon River, Whitehorse

While I was on the right track with that notion, I was totally unprepared for the reality. Without a doubt, the Yukon is simply the most breathtaking place I have ever visited. I used to think that we did big spaces fairly definitively here in Australia, but it seems we are not alone. The Yukon may be Canada’s smallest federal territory, but it excels when it comes to vast and unforgettable landscapes.

A herd of elk on the side of the road, Yukon.

A (slightly blurry) herd of elk on the side of the road, Yukon Territory.

On the road, Yukon Territory.

On the road, Yukon Territory.

Stunning vistas around each bend on the road to Haines Junction, Yukon Territory.

Stunning vistas around each bend on the road to Haines Junction, Yukon Territory.

Haines Junction welcome, Yukon.

Haines Junction welcome, Yukon.

I spent my first night there in the capital, Whitehorse (more about that later), and was driven to Kathleen Lake, Haines Junction and the Kluane National Park the next day, feeling like I’d landed on another planet – and it wasn’t just the jet-lag causing it. I remember once being told that the Yukon was like Narnia on steroids and I have yet to find a better description. This place is jaw-droppingly arresting. The vistas are endless and uncluttered by almost any signs of civilisation. The few towns are very small – Whitehorse, the only city, has a population of less than 24,000 and the gold-rush town of Dawson is home to around 1,500 souls (according to Wikipedia).

Kathleen Lake, Yukon Territory.

Kathleen Lake, Yukon Territory.

Kathleen Lake, Yukon Territory.

Kathleen Lake, Yukon Territory.

One of the less lethal examples of the local fauna, Kathleen Lake, Yukon Territory.

One of the less lethal examples of the local fauna, Kathleen Lake, Yukon Territory.

Along with Jessica, my escort from  Tourism Yukon, I spent a couple of hours clearing my flight-addled brain on a guided walk around Kathleen Lake with the incredibly informative Brent Liddle of Kluane Ecotours. Brent is a professional naturalist and wilderness guide who has over 30 years experience in this region. Located within Kluane National Park, the lake and surrounds was gloriously dressed in early autumn finery and, with bears particularly active as they get ready for a long nap, I was quite relieved to see nothing more exciting than a bold squirrel in the way of local beasts.

None around today, thank heavens!

None around today, thank heavens!

Yukon gold - and I don't mean the potato variety.

Yukon gold – and I don’t mean the potato variety.

Big skies, big panoramas - no wonder they call the Yukon "larger Than Life".

Big skies, big panoramas – no wonder they call the Yukon “Larger Than Life”.

The Yukon’s catch-phrase is “Larger than life” and it is easy to see why. This is a visually astounding place which filled my senses and left me lost for words. I quite literally run out of superlatives when trying to describe my impressions of the Yukon to friends and family and only wish my photos did it more justice. With Whitehorse just a short 2 hour flight from Vancouver, it is also incredibly accessible and just another reason to spend more time in western Canada.

Yukon Territory

Yukon Territory

While in the Yukon, Lambs Ears and Honey was a guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission and Tourism Yukon.

I wish all of my lovely friends and readers a very happy and safe holiday break. I’ll be taking a break from the blog over Christmas and look forward to sharing more of my food and travel adventures with you all in the new year.

Amanda. xxx

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  1. Gerlinde
    22/12/2014

    I love that part of Canada. Have restful break and enjoy your time off

  2. trudy shearer
    22/12/2014

    We are visiting the Yukon next August Amanda, so it was great to see your wonderful photo’s.

  3. Hotly Spiced
    23/12/2014

    How amazing to be able to experience the Yukon. Your images are stunning and serve as a great tourism endorsement. I do hope to make it to Canada one day. Merry Christmas to you and all your family, Amanda xx

  4. Liz
    23/12/2014

    Oh, my, the scenery is just spectacular!!! How lucky you were to experience the beauty of this province! Merry Christmas!

  5. Graham Whitehead
    10/01/2015

    If the Yukon wasn’t so far from Australia, I’d be there every year. Northwest Canada and Alaska have got to be two of this planet’s best destinations for anyone who loves the wide open spaces.