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Yukon

Bennett Lake, Yukon | Photo: Jakub Fryš

Bennett Lake, Yukon

Introduction to Yukon

The Yukon (YT) was named after the Yukon River. Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich'in (Athapaskan). Its capital, Whitehorse, is also the largest city in the Yukon, home to about two-thirds of the population. The second largest city is Dawson. Mount Logan in Kluane National Park and Reserve is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest in North America.

More than 80 percent of the Yukon is still wild, with rugged mountains, glaciers, rivers and wildlife, including caribou, mountain sheep, grizzly bears and birds.

Historically, Yukon is known for the gold rush, but it also has mines for lead, zinc, silver, asbestos and copper. Other industries in the Yukon include manufacturing (furniture, clothing), handicrafts and hydroelectricity. Traditional activities such as trapping and fishing have declined over recent decades.

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Did you know?

  • Klondike Gold Rush
    Prospectors climb the Chilkoot Trail during the Klondike Gold Rush, September 1898 | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    Prospectors climb the Chilkoot Trail during the Klondike Gold Rush, September 1898.

    The centre of the Klondike Gold Rush was in Dawson City, Yukon. After gold was discovered by local miners on August 16, 1896, about 100,000 prospectors poured into the Klondike. Canadian authorities required everyone to bring a year's supply of food to avoid starvation. Boom towns sprang up with saloons and indulgent gambling.

Yukon Trivia

Flag
Coat of arms
Symbols
Flower is Fireweed
Bird is Raven

Nickname
Land of the Midnight Sun

Provincial slogan
Larger than life

License plate slogans
Land of the Midnight Sun (1953-1970)
Home of the Klondike (1971-1977)
The Klondike (1978)

News
CBC North | Whitehorse Daily Star

Other resources
Books about the Yukon
Best Things to Do in the Yukon video
Canada Cool
Council of Yukon First Nations: History
The ExploreNorth Blog
Get in the Yukon Know
Government of Yukon: History
Relocation to Whitehorse

Interests in YT: Accommodation | Arts & Culture | Eat & Drink | Products & Services | Things to Do

Yukon Facts

Date YT entered confederation

June 13, 1898

Area of YT

482,443 sq km (186,272 sq miles)
(Natural Resources Canada, 2001)

Topography

The Yukon has two main geographical regions: taiga and tundra. Taiga is the boreal forest belt with pine, aspen, poplar, and birch trees. Tundra is the vast, rocky plain in the arctic regions, where the extreme climate stunts the growth of vegetation.

Capital city of YT

Whitehorse

Population of YT

33,897 (Statistics Canada, 2011 Census)

Residents are known as

Yukoners

Indigenous people of YT

About a fifth of Yukoners are of Indigenous descent and belong to one of 14 Yukon First Nations (8 different languages).First Nations culture and history in the Yukon dates back as far as the last Ice Age (50,000 years ago). Cultural and linguistic traditions of the Athapaskans go back more than 1,000 years. Distinct Athapaskan groups are Gwitch'in, Han, Tutchone, Upper Tanana, Kaska, Tlingit and Tagish.

Main YT industries

Mining and tourism

YT statutory holidays (in addition to national holidays)

Discovery Day (third Monday in August)
Heritage Day (the third Friday in February)
 

Yukon 775px

Climate

The Yukon's climate is subarctic. High altitude and semi-arid climate make for relatively warm summers with temperatures around 25C (77F). Winter temperatures can range from -50C to 4C (-58F to 39F) in the south (colder in the north). Above the Arctic Circle (latitude 66N), the Yukon is known as “the land of the midnight sun” because three months of summer has continuous sunlight. In winter, the reverse is true.
 

Time zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Rivers

Bonnet Plume River
Snake River
Tatshenshini River
Yukon River
 

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