Denali AKA Mt. McKinley


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"The Yukon River winds through Whitehorse, an urban enclave nestled in a   
broad, forested valley with mountains flanking either side. Steeped in culture and
history, Whitehorse is a contemporary place with a vibrant arts community,
world-class attractions, and top-notch tourist services . . ."
~ 2015 Vacation Planner brochure, TravelYukon.com
Although Jim and I drove, cycled, and walked through the downtown area along the riverfront, we were more interested this time in the scenery and recreational opportunities in the Whitehorse area than museums, restaurants, or historical attractions.

Maybe we'll do more of those things on another visit to the city.

Welcome sign along the Millennium Trail

In addition to the tourist amenities listed in the quote above, the Whitehorse area also attracts cyclists and hikers like us with more than 400 miles of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails along the river and in the surrounding mountains.

The trails showcase the region's diverse ecosystems, history, and numerous scenic viewpoints.

We saw and did quite a bit in three-plus days in the Whitehorse area, especially considering half of yesterday I was hiking on Grey Mountain (see previous entry) and on Monday we drove down to Skagway, Alaska on a day trip. We still had time for a lot of sight-seeing, bike riding, and other hiking.

Colorful banners downtown

The photos in this entry illustrate some of the things we did and saw in Whitehorse this week.


Many towns and cities in North America were originally built on rivers that were the lifeblood of the area. They provided transportation and all kinds of economic opportunities.

The Yukon River has played a big part in the history of the region, from early First Nations People who lived here . . . Klondike Gold Rush stampeders passing through . . . Alaska Highway construction workers headquartered here . . . to modern-day residents and visitors.

This map from a sign along the Millennium Trail shows the mighty Yukon River as it flows from the south (right side) through Miles Canyon and Schwatka Lake (center) toward the city (left side):

One of the first things we usually do when we stay a day or more in a new area is to check out the visitor center.

The one in Whitehorse is very attractive and full of useful information. On our first afternoon in town we picked up detailed maps of city streets and nearby roads and trails, then began exploring on our own.



Nice plaza between the visitor center and walkway along the river

In addition to driving around we also walked along the scenic Waterfront Walkway, a paved path that follows the river and connects several city parks an major attractions:

Trolley barn by the river and walkway

Visitors can tour the waterfront on a trolley.

Trolley tracks along the river walkway

Above and below:  Jim and Casey along the river


Pretty shrub along the river walk

Colorful totem

Detail of the top of the totem

MacBride Museum of Yukon History, located along the river walk (not our bike)

One of the main attractions along the river in downtown Whitehorse is the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site.

The ship, built in 1929, was the largest vessel on the Yukon River. It carried passengers, mail, general supplies, and silver lead ore on a 400-mile route between Whitehorse and Dawson City until being retired in 1955.

Although we didn't board the ship we did pass by it several times and I took some photos of it. It is moored along the river at Rotary Peace Park.


Another way to enjoy the Yukon River between Lewes Blvd. on the edge of town and out toward the dam is to hike or bike the three mile-long Millennium Trail, part of the Trans-Canada Trail from British Columbia to Nova Scotia.

The Millennium Trail is paved and mostly flat, with great views along both sides of the river. It's the red dotted trail on the map section below:


Benches are placed periodically along the shady, paved trail.

View of Rotary Centennial foot bridge across the Yukon River

The blue foot (and bike) bridge reminds me of the vehicle bridge across the
Yukon River on the Alaska Highway several miles east of Whitehorse.

View from the bridge upstream to the dam and fishway

Jim enjoyed the trail on two long bike rides while we were here (25 miles one day, 32 the next). During those rides he included this loop on both sides of the river. I walked with Cody on the path just once, mostly on the Whitehorse side. I crossed to the Riverdale side on the Rotary Centennial Bridge didn't do the entire loop.

There is also a narrow single-track dirt trail around Bert Law Park, an island in the river, that can be accessed by a footbridge across from the Robert Service Campground:

Footbridge to the island

Above and below: There are also good views of the river and surrounding mountains from the island.


Wild roses

Cody enjoyed running loose over there when no one else was around.

Continued on the next page -- scenes from the Whitehorse Rapids fish ladder and dam, Schwatka Lake, Miles Canyon, and Chadburn Lake

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil