Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Yukon... a photographers paradise

When you hear the name “Yukon”, it conjures up thoughts such as: remote adventure, northern frontier, wilderness, and wildlife, specifically moose. Yukon is a territory in Canada and is the approximate shape of a right triangle, bordering the U.S. state of Alaska to the west for 1,210 km (752 mi) mostly along longitude 141° W, the Northwest Territories to the east and British Columbia to the south. Its northern coast is on the Beaufort Sea. Its ragged eastern boundary mostly follows the divide between the Yukon Basin and the Mackenzie River drainage basin to the east in the Mackenzie mountains.

Most of the territory is in the watershed of its namesake, the Yukon River. The southern Yukon is dotted with a large number of large, long and narrow glacier-fed alpine lakes, most of which flow into the Yukon River system. The larger lakes include Teslin Lake, Atlin Lake, Tagish Lake, Marsh Lake, Lake Laberge, Kusawa Lake and Kluane Lake. Bennett Lake on the Klondike Gold Rush trail is a lake flowing into Nares Lake, with the greater part of its area within the Yukon.

Canada's highest point, Mount Logan (5,959 m or 19,551 ft), is in the territory's southwest. Mount Logan and a large part of the Yukon's southwest are in Kluane National Park and Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other national parks include Ivvavik National Park and Vuntut National Park in the north.

Notable widespread tree species within the Yukon are the Black Spruce and White Spruce, which in the fall turn a beautiful yellow and pale orange and paint the landscapes in a way which many describes as a painting. Many trees are stunted because of the short growing season and severe climate.

This area on the north west corner of Canada is a vast and very thinly populated wilderness – most four-legged species far outnumber humans, moose for instance are said to outnumber humans two to one. A trip to Yukon can produce images of elk, caribou, mouse, black bear, grizzly bear, mountain goats, thinhorn sheep, bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey and a host of other animals and birds.

Few places in the world today have been so unchanged over the course of time. Aboriginal people, having eked out survival for thousands of years, hunt and trap as they always have. The Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 was the Yukon’s high point of population, yet even its heritage is honored and can be seen with a visit to the same areas that prospered hundreds of years ago.

Please join me as Itravel to northern Canada alone, and on some tours with my brother, Chris, to photograph the Northern Lights. The following trips still have some availability.

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