There’s nowhere more impressive to experience the full force of the seasons in Canada than in Yukon, a picture-perfect territory nestled between British Columbia and the Arctic Ocean. While it’s fabulous in the summer, there’s no denying the allure it holds during the cold, bright and snowy winter months, from November to March. Don’t miss these winter wonders of Yukon.
In the pitch black of a crisp winter night, one of the most magical and rare sights springs to life in the skies above Yukon: the dance and twirl of the colourful and undeniably mesmerising Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. A regular happening from autumn through winter and into spring, this dazzling show amongst the stars is a spectacular phenomenon and is particularly prominent around Whitehorse, Yukon’s capital. By day, delve into the science behind it all at the Northern Lights Space & Science Centre in Watsons Lake.
There’s no fishing quite like ice fishing. Instead of climbing into a boat, throw your leg over a snowmobile for a ride out onto the smooth ice of a frozen lake. Huddle around a freshly cut hole in the ice, which can be anywhere from 30 centimetres to one metre thick, and cast a few lines to see what catches lurk beneath the icy surface. Warm up while you wait by sipping freshly brewed tea around a fire on the ice and if you’re lucky, you might even get to cook your catch too. Ice fishing is sure to take those tales about the ones that got away to whole new depths.
The locals love to celebrate day and night, and some of the most entertaining festivals play out in the most chilling of temperatures, particularly in February. The Yukon Soudough Rendezvouz is their yearly shindig, full of Cancun dancers, air shows, snow sculptures, axe throwing and more colourful events. Also iconic is the Yukon Quest, hailed as “the toughest sled dog race in the world”. There’s also the fabulous Available Light Film Festival, which shows a great reel of award-winning films and documentaries – it’s the largest film festival north of 60 degrees.
Before there were snowmobiles, traversing the extreme snowy terrain of the north came down to pure dog-power. The traditional form of travel and a long-loved local sport, there’s nothing like feeling the wind in your hair with the reigns in your hands as you get whisked along the snow by a pack of gorgeous Yukon huskies. Take a half day, full day or even multi-day dogmushing expedition into the white-capped forests and pristine Canadian wilderness. You’ll become an expert musher with new furry, four-legged friends in no time.
Hands down the best way to warm up during a frosty winter in Yukon is to slip into nature’s hot tub. Soak up the natural waters rich in minerals at a popular hub like the Takhini Hot Pools, which have been in operation for over a century. Ranging in temperature between 36 and 42 degrees, the pools are open year round but are no doubt most enjoyed in the coldest months of the year. Set on 300 acres of beautiful wilderness, it’s also possible to glimpse the Northern Lights while soaking up the warmth – and there are private pools available to rent if you’d rather enjoy it in seclusion.
For more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Yukon, browse our great range of offers online, visit your local Escape Travel or call 1300 556 855.