Image: Niels Van Kampenhout/Alamy Stock Photo (Main Street), PR services/Yukoninfo.com (s.s. Klondike), GBP (The Collective Good)
How to spend three days in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Known as the Wilderness City, the Yukon’s gold nugget of a capital is picturesque, pristine and steeped in history.
Welcome to the land of the midnight sun! After you arrive, pick up a rental car and drive downtown to check in at the , where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stayed during their 2016 visit. Walk to the nearby , a super-cozy eatery, for freshly baked sourdough bread and fruit juice. Once sated, drive from the city core to Grey Mountain. Inch up to the top, park and then hike along the ridge, taking in the views of forest and blue-green lakes.
When you’ve had your fill of cool mountain air, drive about 30 minutes outside the city to ., a quaint café that has a cabin-in-the-woods feel. The Caprese sandwich is delicious with a cardamom latte. Take your beverage to go and head back down the road to the , home to northern mammals like mountain goats, foxes, muskox, lynx and caribou. After strolling the wide paths and watching the animals frolic, have a relaxing soak at the , which are two minutes away.
Return to town for dinner at the , a hipster-chic pub on Main Street. The wood-fired pizza is particularly tasty; try it with a pint of Whitehorse’s own . (This local is partial to Yukon Gold, an English pale ale).
Start the day with a confection and an espresso from , which brews beans from Whitehorse-based . Walk around the corner to the , where you’ll see a taxidermied seven-foot- tall grizzly bear and albino moose, as well as a fascinating exhibit on the Klondike gold rush of 1898.
Next, drive 40 minutes to the picturesque community of Carcross. Be sure to stop at the tiny “desert,” often called the world’s smallest, though the sand is actually the remains of an ancient glacial lake. , a plaza of shops and boutiques, is a good spot for lunch. Feast on the bison burger at and stop for a treat at before heading back to Whitehorse.
Hop aboard the S.S. Klondike, a sternwheeler that once transported food and supplies to the region; now a National Historic Site, the vessel is free to explore. Next, walk 10 minutes to . The intimate restaurant offers delicacies like Alaskan king crab, honey-ginger calamari and spanakopita, as well as an impressive list of cocktails. Take advantage of the long hours of daylight by capping the day off with a stroll along Main Street. Peruse fragrant skin-care products made with Yukon botanicals at , and check out local handicrafts at .
is another must-visit. I’m biased – I happen to work in this Scandi-chic shop – but there’s no denying it’s the coolest in town, offering covetable Canadian-made goodies, from soaps by to pottery by .
Grab a bagel downtown at the , where bakes its addictive bready goodness. Devour it during the 15-minute drive to Miles Canyon, where the emerald-toned Yukon River runs between two steep rock walls. Follow the marked three-and-a-half-kilometre walking trail to Canyon City, a stopping point for prospectors on their way to the gold fields. The scenic route ducks in and out of the forest as it traces the river. After your walk, fuel up with lunch back in town at , where everything is delicious (the hearty Humble Salad is a favourite). Pay a visit to the Kanoe People, who will hook you up with all you need for a leisurely paddle down the calm river, including gear and transport back downtown.
Walk 10 minutes to for delicious Mexican food and sangria. If it’s sunny, get a table on the patio – it’s one of the few in the city! Finish your trip by soaking up Whitehorse’s strong music scene: Hit up a live show at .
What to pack
Summer is balmy in this scenic northern town, so bring layers of practical .
1 Lara Sports hoodie, $85, .
2 Moab 2 hiking boots, $180, .
3 LaSpa SPF 20 daily sun protector mineral sunscreen, $44, .
4 Trail 16 backpack, $35, .