Yukon Discovery Guide

Overview

For the more rustic and historically minded among us a trip to the Yukon is a fantastic idea for a vacation destination. There is so much to see and do when visiting the Yukon that it is advisable to spend no less than a week in the area, two if time allows. Visiting the Yukon is like visiting another world, existing in a time and space removed from typical modern day life. True, you will find all of the modern trappings available at your disposal, but you will also encounter a sense of rustic charm, where people treat each other with a warmth that is not often seen these days; and as you smile at your neighbor over the pan you are using to search for gold you will see that the Yukon really is a magical place.

There is much to do in the Yukon, with activity filled daytime excursions, and a robust nightlife, it is unlikely that the curious traveler will ever want for excitement. If your traveling tastes tend to run more towards the adventurous, then a hike along the historical Chilkoot trail may be in order. This 33 mile trail has been a milestone for professional backpackers and enthusiasts alike. The grueling Chilkoot trail spans two countries and puts even the most experienced backpackers and hikers through the paces. Maintained jointly by the forestry services of both the U.S. And Canada, the Chilkoot attracts international attention for its rugged conditions, and historical connotations. Originally used by fur traders and gold prospectors looking to make their riches, the Chilkoot trail has a rich history befitting of its golden origins. Hikers the world over find that navigating the grueling terrain and withstanding the hostile weather is well worth the effort to experience some of the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer; although the bragging rights are a nice bonus also.

If hiking is not really your thing, perhaps a journey down one of the Yukon's many “driving trails” is in order. Hitch up the camper, or start the RV, these plotted highways are open for adventure, and the tourism board is there to be your guide. The unique aspect of the many driving trails in the Yukon is their well organized nature, little of your trip needs to be left to guess work, and you can create your own compelling adventure with as few or as many fun filled activities as you choose. Should your interests run towards the more historical, then visiting many of the First Nation villages along the various roots will be immensely rewarding. In many places the indigenous people of Canada have created tourist outposts where local crafts and foods can be purchased. People interested in the arts, and native cooking preparations will definitely find this to be an enjoyable way to spend time. Each First Nation tribe that you meat along the way has their own unique history and rich traditions, do your reading ahead of time to maximize spending time at sites that fit your interest, or throw caution to the wind and make it a real adventure an simply stop and visit whenever the mood strikes.

In addition to the tribal towns along the driving trails, there are many other towns that have their own feel and charm. Be it relaxing river walks, and historical museums, or exciting adventure tours, and cave exploration there is literally something for everyone. Each town has its own lodging and eating options so you will definitely want to plan ahead to maximize your time. This is especially true for the avid RV campers; they will want to scoop out the numerous RV parks ahead of time so the always know where they can hitch their setup.

Traditional campers should not feel left out. The Yukon is not only for backpackers and RV drivers, there are numerous campsites for he more tent oriented among us, each offering its own perks and special charms. Whether you are looking for hiking, biking, or canoeing the campsites of the Yukon have it all, and more for the interested traveler. The vistas are plentiful, and there is a camping adventure awaiting all levels of experience. Whether you plan on backpacking in, or pulling the minivan up to the site there is a campsite waiting for you.

The Yukon is not all wilderness and camping however, every town along the highway has its own special scene, and many campgrounds have special log cabins that can be rented for the weary traveler who appreciates their creature comforts. In fact the Yukon is an incredibly popular honeymoon destination in both the U.S. and Canada. Really, what could be more romantic and relaxing than leaving all of the modern world behind and enjoying the lovely scenic views from the porch of a log cabin built on the shores of a lake, framed by majestic mountains? If a log cabin seems a little too outdoorsy for you, then a relaxing stay in one of the Yukon's many bed and breakfasts is an excellent plan. These quaint outposts offer all the comforts of a fluffy bed and prepared dining, while maintaining the rustic charms of the Yukon.

Naturally a visit to the Yukon would not be complete without a trip to one of the many gold panning tourist spots. Much of the Yukon was built on the back of the gold rush, and as such its influence is everywhere. Granted you will find your fill of gold rush inspired diners, but in addition to this you will also be able to pan for gold in the rivers, just like the original prospectors, or even explore abandoned gold mines. These gold prospecting outfits allow tourists to keep what gold they find, but as this is pretty much picked over territory go for the good times, not with the expectation to get rich.

The Yukon is a fun and exciting place worthy of an extended vacation. Crossing in to two countries the Yukon offers a blend of both Canadian, as well as US customs, all tempered by an atmosphere that is distinctly Yukon.
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