Jun 17, 2012
Whitehorse City is the capital and the largest city of the province of Yukon, Canada. It is situated on the shores of the Yukon River with one part of its downtown area on the west shore and another part on the southeast shore.
In spite of being one of many northern communities in the Yukon area, Whitehorse experiences a milder climate than the others. Also, due to the city’s latitudinal location, winter days are shorter while summer days are long with about 20 hours of daylight every day.
History of Whitehorse
The city of Whitehorse got its name from the White Horse Rapids, located in the Miles Canyon, which gave the semblance of white horse’s mane prior to being dammed up.
During 1897 it was originally an encampment site, known as “White Horse”, for gold prospectors who were drawn there due to the discovery of gold in the Klondike. By 1900, a railway was established to White Horse which led the way to further developments in the area leading to its growth.
From 1920 to the early 1940’s further improvements would be made which would allow people to get to White Horse through air, sea and land transportation such as the construction of the Alaska Highway.
During the period 1950-1958, White Horse would then be incorporated into a city, designated as the capital of the Yukon Territory and renamed from White Horse to Whitehorse.
Tourism in Whitehorse
Even though Whitehorse is located in the northern part of Canada, tourists still go there to witness the historical landmarks of the city and the different attractions that have made the city known.
The following is a short list of some of the major attractions you can find in Whitehorse City:
- M.V. Schwatka – Yukon River Cruise – Tourists get to go on a two-hour cruise through the legendary Miles Canyon and will even pass the site of the Klondike Gold Rush town: Canyon City. The cruise operates on a daily basis from the Schwatka Lak.
- Yukon Wildlife Preserve – For nature-loving tourists, this place offers the opportunity to witness the fauna of the Northern Hemisphere through a unique viewing facility. Some of the species which can be found in the reserve include Mountain Goats, Wood Bison and Mountain Bighorn Sheep which are natives to the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and Alberta.
- The World’s Largest Weather Vane – Tourists who come to Whitehorse by air will definitely be in for a very unique welcome at the Whitehorse International Airport with this attraction. It’s basically a Canadian Pacific Airlines DC-3 passenger plane mounted on a pedestal in such a way that slight breezes cause it to swing and point to the wind.
- Beringia Interpretive Center – Another main attraction within the city that provides tourists with the opportunity to see the animals who dominated the sub-continent of Beringia during the Ice Age. Interactive exhibits, animal remains and well made documentaries can also be found there to further improve tourist experiences.
How to Get to Whitehorse
Getting to Whitehorse can actually be done either through water, air and land transportation. The following is a list of the time it takes to travel to Whitehorse by land from any of the nearby major cities:
- Anchorage, AK, United States – 14-18 hours
- Edmonton, AB, Canada – 1 day 4-8 hours
- Calgary, AB, Canada – 1 day 6 hours