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Tourist Attractions in Whitehorse

Aug 17, 2007
Whitehorse is the likeable capital of the Yukon, home to two thirds of its population, around 24,000 people. The centre of its mining and forestry industries, and a bustling, welcoming stop off for thousands of summer visitors. Whilst roads bring in todays business, the town owes its existence to the Yukon River, a 3000 kilometre artery that rises in the Coast Mountains and flows through the heart of the Yukon and Alaska to the Bering Sea.

The rivers flood plain and strange escarpment above the present town were long a resting point for Dene peoples, but the spot burgeoned into a full blown city with the arrival of thousands of stampedes in the spring of 1898. Having braved the Chilkoot Pass to meet the Yukons upper reaches, men and supplies then had to pause on the shores of Lineman or Bennett Lake before navigating the Miles Canyon and White Horse rapids southeast of the present town.

After the first few boats through had been reduced to matchwood, the Mounties laid down rules allowing only experienced boatmen to take craft through. Writer Jack London, one such boatman, made a lot of money in the summer of 1898, when more than seven thousand boats left the lakes. After a period the prospectors constructed an eight kilometre wooden tramway around the rapids, and in time raised a shantytown settlement at the canyon and tramways northern head to catch their breath before the river journey to Dawson City.

The completion of the White Pass and Yukon Railway to Whitehorse, newly named after the rapids put this tentative settlement on a firmer footing. Almost at the same time as the gold rush petered out. In the early years of the twentieth century the towns population dwindled quickly from about 10,000 to about 400, for forty years the place slumbered, barely sustained by copper mining and the paddle wheelers that plied the river carrying freight and the occasional tourist. The towns second boom arrived with the construction of the Alaska Hwy, a kick start that swelled the towns population from 800 to 40,000 almost overnight, and has stood it in good stead ever since.

The airport is 7 miles west of downtown.

Whitehorse has a dry sub arctic climate

Some of the tourist attractions in Whitehorse include Miles Canyon, the S.S. Klondike sternwheeler, the Yukon Transportation Museum, the MacBride Museum, the Old Log Church Museum, the Beringia Centre, Yukon Gardens, Log Skyscrapers, the Whitehorse fish ladder, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and the Takhini Hot Springs, and the Yukon visitor centre.

Whitehorse supports a thriving, vibrant art and music scene, hosting several music festivals every year. In the dead of winter the Frostbite Music festival warms things up with everything from funk to punk and much more.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The
Whitehorse Rental Site
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