August Featured Travel Destination: The Yukon

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How much do you know about the Yukon? A lot of Americans only know the basics: It’s the part of Canada that borders Alaska, it’s where thousands of people flocked in the 1890s to join the Yukon gold rush, and it’s cold.

I visited the Yukon for a week in July and discovered a bunch of great sights and activities, such as a two-day major music festival, unique attractions like a cabin where The Call of the Wild author Jack London once lived, some cute and remote small towns, plenty of great hiking and wildlife, and lots of character (and characters) that I will never forget.

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On Wednesday, I’ll begin posting content from the trip, but for now, let’s get caught up with a few fun facts about the Yukon:

-Only about 34,000 people live in the Yukon territory. More than 23,000 of those reside in Whitehorse, the capital city, while nearly another 2,000 live in Dawson City. The rest are scattered in smaller communities.

-The Yukon has the second-highest mountain in North America. Mount Logan, part of Kluane National Park, is 19,551 feet tall, trailing only Alaska’s Mt. McKinley among American peaks.

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-At its peak during the gold rush, Dawson City was once home to around 40,000 miners. Interestingly, gold mining remains one of the biggest industries in Dawson, though the current levels of gold production are nowhere near what they once were. Tourism is also a big draw right now.

-First Nations – the Canadian equivalent of Native Americans – are a huge part of Yukon society. About 30% of Dawson City’s population consists of First Nations members, and the various tribes are represented throughout the territory with artwork, festivals, museums and historic sites. Many towns and attractions (such as Kluane National Park) are named after First Nations.

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Stay tuned this month for posts on a variety of Yukon topics, including:

-Trying my hand at gold panning

-Why I’m in love with Dawson City

-Consuming the infamous sourtoe cocktail

-Lessons learned from the wisdom of Yukon First Nations

-The history and power of the Yukon River

Is there anything you’d like to know or read about the Yukon?

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Chicago-based journalist and blogger who seeks out quirky sights and awesome destinations throughout North America and beyond.

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