Then, in August 1896 three men found gold on Bonanza Creek near Dawson City, launching the legendary Klondike Gold Rush. When word of the discovery reached the rest of the world, thousands of would-be prospectors headed north. By the turn of the century Dawson City was the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Winnipeg.
When the Klondike Gold Rush ended in 1903 more than 95 million dollars had been extracted from the Yukon's rivers… and still today, many mine the rivers and lands for gold that still is being extracted today.
When the ‘railway built of gold’ was completed in 1900, the White Pass and Yukon railway connected Whitehorse, Yukon to Skagway on the Alaskan coast. The $10 million railway project was considered an impossible task, but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in just 26 months by thousands of men and 450 tons of explosives.
The White Pass and Yukon Route climbs almost 3,000 feet (900 m) in just 20 miles (32 km) and features steep grades, cliff-hanging turns, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.
The Alaska Highway forever changed the Yukon. Boats and trains were replaced by the more efficient road system. Whitehorse grew to become the largest town in the Yukon, eventually becoming the capital city in 1953.
Today the Alaska Highway is a scenic paved route that is well-maintained and open year-round. Many of our tours travel this highway and our cameras enjoy the stunning landscapes day and night.
Every August, when the landscapes come alive with reds and gold, we travel the Alaska highway and Dempster Highway to photograph stunning landscapes you will rarely see elsewhere. You can see those tours here. 2015 trip - http://northof49photography.com/fall-colours-in-the-yukon Details for the 2016 trip coming soon. But to see the 2015 trip, please see here, http://northof49photography.com/fall-colours-in-the-Yukon
Today, contemporary Yukon strikes a balance between the conveniences of modern living and the beauty of a pristine nature. Yukon is one of three Canadian territories, Yukon is situated in the northwest corner of Canada's continental mainland.
It sits between the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Arctic Ocean, with Alaska to the west and the Northwest Territories to the east.
The Arctic Circle crosses through the Yukon and the territory has 430 kilometres of shoreline along the Beaufort Sea.
The name “Yukon” originated from the Locheux native word "Yuk-un-ah," meaning "Great River," referring to the Yukon River that flows across the territory into Alaska.
As of September 2012, there were 36,304 people living in the Yukon. Of those, 27,687 were living in the capital city of Whitehorse.
The official bird is the raven and our flower is fireweed. These aren't just symbolic—they're everywhere! You'll see ravens throughout the Yukon any time of the year, and it's the subject of many First Nations stories. In summer our forests, riverbeds and roadsides are ablaze with magenta fireweed.
Yukon is dry, and the continental climate results in a wide variety of weather year-round. Humidity is very low, so summers can be hot and dry while our winter coldness is less harsh than in damper climates, making our winter tours more comfortable than most others in Canada.
Yukon is home to Canada’s highest peak, the world’s largest non-polar ice fields, several Canadian Heritage Rivers and healthy, abundant wildlife. From the crimson carpet of the tundra, to the majestic mountain peaks, the vast pristine wilderness of the Yukon beckons.
Yukon’s jaw-dropping natural features are what set this place apart. This is a land rich with dramatic mountain vistas, wild rivers and crystal clear lakes of stunning blue and emerald green. Close to 80 per cent remains pristine wilderness, untouched by humans and abundant with wildlife that we visit to photograph.
In the fall, take a trip on horseback into the rural landscapes and native animals. Please see that trip here, http://northof49photography.com/northern-lights-and-fall-colors-workshop-in-nwt
At least twenty mountains in the St. Elias Range in southwest Yukon exceed 4,000 metres, and more than a handful exceed 5,000 metres. Towering over them all and surrounded by vast icefields is Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak at 5,959 m.
The southern part of the Yukon is covered by vast coniferous boreal forest, rugged mountains, and a network of rivers and lakes. In the North, rolling arctic tundra stretches to the Arctic Ocean. Yukon’s north coastline includes beaches, cliffs, sea ice, lagoons and coastal plains. But it’s the transitional landscapes north of Whitehorse and in the Tombstone Mountains that photographers dream about.
The Big Salmon, Teslin, and storied Yukon River combine scenery, wildlife viewing, history, fishing and friendly rapids. Exhilarating rivers like the Alsek, Tatshenshini and Firth beckon for rafting. The Snake, Bonnet Plume and Wind rivers flow through one of the most remote regions of North America.
Glacial-fed Tagish, Marsh, Teslin, Bennett and Atlin lakes form the Southern Lakes. Camping and fishing abound along inviting roadside lakes like Kathleen, Fox, Five Mile, Frances, Frenchman and Chapman.