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
Colorful banners downtown
The photos in this entry illustrate some of the things we did and saw
in Whitehorse this week.
YUKON RIVERFRONT IN TOWN
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
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
Visitors can tour the waterfront on a
Trolley tracks along the river
Above and below: Jim and
Casey along the river
Pretty shrub along the river walk
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
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
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.
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.
View from the bridge upstream to
the dam and fishway
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
Footbridge to the island
Above and below: There are also
good views of the river and surrounding mountains from the island.
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
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil