A few weeks ago, I was invited to the Yukon by Tourism Yukon and Air North. As part of the #twohourtradein campaign, Air North wanted to demonstrate the accessibility of the Yukon to Canadians. Only a two hour flight from Vancouver, this getaway is much closer than you’d think! I was honored to be brought along to experience everything the Yukon has to offer. It was my first overnight trip away from Ezra, which of course wasn’t easy, but the moment I hopped on the plane, I was more than excited to explore on my own again!
When I landed in Whitehorse, I was eager to explore before the sun set. I drove off to Kluane National Park with my friend Ashley and her two dogs, Sitka and Aspen (the sweetest and most loving dogs EVER). We explored a frozen and quiet Kathleen Lake and were lucky to be there on a wind-free day.
After we left Kluane, we headed to Haines Junction to watch the fleeting final moments of sunset. The sky lit up in mesmerizing shades of pink and purple. It was an incredible ending to my first day in the Yukon.
Finally, the activity I was probably most excited for: hunting the northern lights! I was lucky enough to join Arctic Range Adventure on one of their Aurora Tours at their property just outside of Whitehorse. In between moments of watching the incredible star-filled sky light up with the aurora, we could pop into the heated yurt for warm beverages, or head in to the teepee with a roaring campfire. I barely spent much time in either, I was so captivated by the changing sky. Every few seconds, the aurora would shift and morph into new shapes and colours. I couldn’t risk missing a single moment. I barely even realized how tired I was (the tours go until 2am!), but I collapsed into bed with a huge smile on my face.
The next day I spent some time exploring the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. This place is quite spread out, with over 5km of trails. I braved the wind and walked the trails, hoping to glimpse the various wildlife enclosures. Because these enclosures are quite large, seeing the animals is not guaranteed, and if you’re lucky, some are quite close! I lucked out with some close encounters with a mountain goat, lynx, and foxes!
After touring the wildlife preserve, I headed to my second most anticipated activity: dog sledding with Sky High Wilderness Ranch. If you don’t live under a rock, you know I have an unhealthy obsession with canines, so being pulled around in a sled by a pack of them is probably the most wonderful form of transportation I could ever dream of! These dogs LOVE to run, which was evidenced whenever we stopped to take photos or change places. After a quick romp in the snow, they were barking and begging to get running again. Patience is not a virtue among sled dogs.
Sky High boasts 150 of these incredible creatures, and I spent over an hour walking through the dog yard and meeting every. single. one. They each have a cozy dog house and an area to walk around in, and they’re not exercised on more than 4 runs a day. When I was visiting, it was dinner time, so I was able to watch the employees gather the dogs and line them up for their meals. The dogs were all very excited and very chatty. As I was leaving, I was lucky enough to meet the newest sled pups- only 2 weeks old.
I also enjoyed tobogganing and snowmobiling at the ranch, and got to explore Fish Lake and check out some of the locals ice fishing (which seems like it requires too much patience for my liking!).
On my drive back to my cabin, I managed to spot a moose crossing the road. It was my goal to spot a moose in the Yukon, and after having the moose at the wildlife preserve evade me, it was a serendipitous encounter on the road.
The next morning, it was sadly time to head home. I watched the sunrise while I checked in for my flight, and then was treated to the most incredible views the whole way home.
I’m already eagerly planning my next visit to the Yukon, and I have a mile-long list of hikes I’d like to accomplish when I do. I can’t wait to visit this place once again. Thanks for having me, Whitehorse!