The Yukon

Flag of Yukon. It is divided into three panels: green at the mast (symbolizing forests), white in the center (representing snow), and blue at the fly (signifying water). The territorial coat of arms appears above a wreath of fireweed on the white panel (which is 50 percent wider than the other two panels).

Formation: 1898.
The name’s origin: Yukon was first used by the Hudson’s Bay Company trader John Bell in 1846. He called it “Yucon,” derived from the Loucheux Indian word Yuchoo, meaning “the greatest river.”

The Yukon Territory is a territory of Canada, and it is the second-largest one in the country. The capital is Whitehorse. It has an area of 1,567,874 square kilometers. The population is just over 38,000 people. When British Columbia was merged with Canada, it became the only Canadian territory left in North America that wasn’t on the coast or next to a province. The Yukon Territory has an area of 1,567,874 square km and just over 38,000 people. In addition to being the second-largest territory in Canada, it is also the only Canadian territory not on the coast or next to another province.

Yukon Territory is a region in Canada most famous for its natural beauty. One of the most popular tourist attractions is Lake Laberge. The lake covers around 36 square miles, and it’s known for its gorgeous turquoise water. Many enjoy renting boats or jet skis to explore the lake and its surrounding area. Yukon also has many other wildlife preserves and parks where bears, moose, and mountain goats can be seen.

You may also want to visit Dawson City to glimpse the Klondike Gold Rush. In Dawson, you can visit one of the many museums devoted to exploring the history of this area and see artifacts from that period. If you venture out into the wilderness, pack enough food, water, clothing, and gear for your stay!

Map of the Yukon

Yukon's map
Map of Yukon

The climate of the Yukon

The Yukon has a subarctic climate and a high altitude of much of the territory. The semiarid climate provides relatively warm summers, with temperatures reaching 77ºf (25ºc) or more during the long summer days. In winter, temperature ranges between 39ºf and 58ºf (4ºc and -50°c) in the south, while it’s colder farther north. The Yukon’s hottest temperature was 97°f (36.1°c on 14 June 1969 at Mayo; the coldest was -81°f (-63°c) on 3 February 1947 in Snag. Above the Arctic Circle (latitude 66 north), the Yukon is known as “the land of the midnight sun” because daytime sunlight is almost continuous for three months in summer. In winter, however, it becomes dark, and light isn’t seen for a quarter of the year.

Facts about the Yukon

  • The Yukon (formerly Yukon Territory) is an area of rugged mountains and high plateaus where it is Canadian.
  • Yukon is an isolated, mountainous district in western North America. The area is characterized by a central plateau with some spectacular mountain ranges, such as the Selwyn and Mackenzie ranges of the Rockies, which are on the east side of the territory; the Logan, Pelly, and St. Elias range to the south; and on the west side of Yukon, the Ogilvie and Richardson range. The district’s mountains are generally high, especially those like Logan Mountain, which is high at 19,551 ft (5,959 m), and Mount St. Elias, which stands 18,008 ft (5,489 m) tall at Canada’s border.
  • It is located in the northwestern hemisphere and borders the Canadian territory of British Columbia to the south. It also borders the American state of Alaska to its west and extends northward above the Arctic Circle. The capital is Whitehorse.
  • The economic exploitation of Yukon’s abundant mineral resources has been limited due to the harsh Arctic climate and the remoteness of markets.
  • In the 18th century, the Yukon’s natural surroundings were significantly impacted by humans. Settlements relied on wood for fuel, destroying nearby forests, and fires were often uncontrolled in remote places. Surface mining also scarred the territory’s landscape near Dawson and Whitehorse.
  • Much of the Yukon Territory is drained by the Yukon River, which flows northwestward into Alaska. The Pelly, Macmillan, Stewart, White, Klondike, and Porcupine waterways are all river tributaries.
  • Summers in Yukon last 2 months but have long days. Sometimes, the weather can reach high mid-90s F/35C and lows below the low −60s F/-50C, but monthly average readings are not unlike in other Canadian cities. Precipitation is typically only about 10 inches/250mm a year.
  • Vegetation is sparse in regions due to the dry and cool climate. However, some valleys are forested thanks to fertile soils, and wetland areas provide the perfect habitat for orchids.
  • Many large mammal species are in Yukon, including the grizzly bear and the Dall sheep. Animals in wetlands include muskrats, North American waterfowl, and standard North American birds. There’s also Arctic grayling, northern pike, and lake trout.
  • There are a large number of First Nations people in the territory. Most of them speak Athabaskan languages, but the Gwich’in (Kutchin) group is the largest of these tribes. Registered First Nations people are a federal responsibility; others descend from European immigrants or have mixed ancestry.
  • The government plays a vital role in Yukon’s economy by providing infrastructure and incentives to private companies.
  • There are limited forest resources, though they are used in commercial logging. Small sawmills produce some of the lumber needed for local buildings and fuel.
  • Farming is possible, but the climate and soil make it unprofitable.
  • Despite the decline, trapping remains important in some places, as foxes, beavers, wolves, and lynxes are caught for their pelts.
  • Whitehorse is the most crucial airport in Yukon, with flights to Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad also carried freight and passengers until 1982, when it was suspended.
  • Yukon roads are most concentrated in the southern and southwestern areas of the territory. A vital highway link, the Dempster Highway, connects a point on the Klondike Highway near Dawson with Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. The Alaska Highway is Yukon’s connection to the North American road system and is the backbone of a limited territorial network of roads.

Google Maps of the Yukon

Exploring the Yukon through Google Maps reveals a fascinating blend of natural beauty and historical significance. Here are some captivating facts that intertwine the features of Google Maps with the unique attributes of the Yukon:

  1. Vast and Sparse Population: The Yukon Territory, as seen on Google Maps, is Canada’s second-largest territory, covering an area of 1,567,874 square kilometers. Despite its vast size, it has a population of just over 38,000 people, highlighting its sparse population density. This vastness and sparsity are vividly captured in the satellite imagery and mapping data on Google Maps.
  2. Historical Significance: The Yukon is famous for the Klondike Gold Rush, a pivotal event in Canadian history. Google Maps provides an interactive way to explore Dawson City, the heart of the Gold Rush, allowing users to virtually visit museums and historical sites that showcase artifacts from that era.
  3. Subarctic Climate: The Yukon’s subarctic climate is characterized by long, cold winters and short, warm summers. Google Maps’ weather feature can be used to track the extreme temperature variations in the Yukon, which range from 77ºF (25ºC) in summer to as low as -81°F (-63°C) in winter.
  4. Natural Wonders: Lake Laberge, known for its turquoise waters, is one of Yukon’s most popular tourist attractions. Google Maps offers a detailed view of this lake and other natural wonders, including wildlife preserves and parks where bears, moose, and mountain goats roam.
  5. Midnight Sun and Polar Night: Above the Arctic Circle, the Yukon experiences the phenomenon of the midnight sun in summer and polar night in winter. Google Maps’ day and night mode can visually represent these unique natural occurrences.
  6. Diverse Geography: The Yukon’s geography is marked by rugged mountains and high plateaus. Peaks like Logan Mountain and Mount St. Elias are prominently visible on Google Maps, showcasing the territory’s dramatic topography.
  7. Transportation Networks: The Alaska Highway, a critical link in the Yukon’s transportation network, is clearly visible on Google Maps. This highway connects the Yukon to the North American road system and is vital for the region’s connectivity.
  8. Cultural Diversity: The Yukon is home to many First Nations people, with many speaking Athabaskan languages. Google Maps can be used to explore the diverse cultural landscape of the Yukon, including the locations of various First Nations communities.
  9. Economic Activities: The economic exploitation of Yukon’s mineral resources is limited due to its harsh Arctic climate. Google Maps provides insights into the region’s economic activities, including mining areas and the limited but significant agricultural lands.
  10. Wildlife and Vegetation: The Yukon’s sparse vegetation and unique wildlife, including species like the grizzly bear and Dall sheep, can be explored through Google Maps. The platform offers a way to understand the distribution of different ecosystems across the territory.

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