Category Archives: Canada’s territories

Confusion at the U.S./Canada border

My original plan was to see the Arctic Ocean, visit Tuktoyaktuk, and return through Dawson City to Whitehorse. After that, I wasn’t sure. Only when I reached Skagway, I decided to exit by B.C. ferry through the tail end of the Inside Passage and head south towards home. But first, I had to return the rental car to Whitehorse and get back to Skagway.

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Miles Canyon and further south

I left Whitehorse for Miles Canyon that was not far from the Yukon’s capital. A trail led to the Yukon River, still flowing at a reckless speed past the reddish cliffs. From there, I lazily zigzagged towards Skagway, stopping at scenic spots along the way and crossing into British Columbia and then the U.S. where the three borders were set close together.

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A fight for survival against the Yukon

I had followed the Yukon River for about 500 kilometres of its over 3 000 kilometre length and been surprised by the strength of its current. Klaune’s glaciers were only one of the sources that contributed to the Yukon’s drive.

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The Yukon’s Klaune National Park

I caught a private bus to Whitehorse where I rented a car. The Yukon’s capital lacked the atmosphere of Dawson City, but it still had the Yukon River powering past its door. 

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Other treasures of Dawson City

I toured some of the town’s old buildings, many preserved but locked. A guide led us into one of the empty hotels in immaculate condition and the bank with its high wooden counters, no longer in use, filling us with stories from the gold rush era.

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Dawson City’s Dome

The Midnight Dome was a metamorphic rock that rose almost nine hundred metres above its surroundings. From as far back as the late 1900s, people gathered on The Dome to watch the sunset close to midnight, then rise a couple of hours later. It was a destination I was keen to explore, so I set out from Dawson City hiking by the built-up dyke and passed the swirling Yukon as far as the tailings at the junction with the Klondike River. These piles of stones left by gold seekers remained even close to town. Journeying on foot, I trudged up to The Dome—a hill that overlooked Dawson City, the Klondike Valley, and the Yukon River.

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The casual ambience of Dawson City

Dawson City was once a booming gold rush town. I’d visited other gold rush towns—Ballarat, Bendigo, Hill End, Barkerville, but this one oozed natural friendliness.

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Airline security, or not

After reading experiences of drivers travelling the Yukon’s Demster Highway, I decided it wasn’t for me. The day before I left Inuvik, a tourist had busted his motorbike on the dirt road coming north, so I knew I’d made the right decision to fly in and out of the northern town.

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Heading further north with a glimpse at the tail of Canada’s longest river

I flew over the MacKenzie River delta, awestruck by its size and beauty. Canada’s longest river flowed into the Arctic Ocean, and we followed its course as we headed to Tuktoyaktuk for the day. The island was situated in the Arctic Ocean. In the winter, a highway joined the outpost to the mainland—an ice road, but in summer, the road was part ocean. With global warming, the future of the winter ice highway is uncertain, and it will be a problem for the residents to maintain their supply route.

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Heading true north

I had a desire for a long time to see the Arctic Ocean. So, one summer I booked a one-way flight to Whitehorse and then up to Inuvik in the very north of the North-West Territories. Inuvik felt like the end of the earth and in a way, it was. The streets appeared desolate, and it didn’t take long to walk from one side of town to the other.

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