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Overview

Named for rapids that were likened to the flowing manes of Appaloosas, Whitehorse is the capital of Yukon Territory — a friendly oasis in the heart of an unforgiving land. With 25,000 residents, Whitehorse is the largest city in northern Canada and is home to almost 75 percent of the Yukon’s total population. It lies on the western bank of the Yukon River, hemmed in by high bluffs that create something of a wind tunnel along the river. To the east, the bare rounded hulk of Grey Mountain fills the horizon. Whitehorse has its share of gold-rush history and nostalgia, but is not dominated by it; as the territorial capital, this small city has a ...

Named for rapids that were likened to the flowing manes of Appaloosas, Whitehorse is the capital of Yukon Territory — a friendly oasis in the heart of an unforgiving land. With 25,000 residents, Whitehorse is the largest city in northern Canada and is home to almost 75 percent of the Yukon’s total population. It lies on the western bank of the Yukon River, hemmed in by high bluffs that create something of a wind tunnel along the river. To the east, the bare rounded hulk of Grey Mountain fills the horizon. Whitehorse has its share of gold-rush history and nostalgia, but is not dominated by it; as the territorial capital, this small city has a brash, modern frontier energy all its own. It's easy to slip into Whitehorse's strong stream of hustle and bustle, which seems to keep pace with the powerful Yukon itself. Yet the town also has a warm, homespun vitality to it, like huddling around the fire on a cold Northern night. For visitors, Whitehorse is a gateway to surrounding wilderness and an important stop on the route north to Alaska. But in addition to providing big city comforts, the city has enough attractions to keep you busy for at least two full days.

Andrew Hempstead
About the Expert

Over the last 20 years, Andrew Hempstead has authored and updated more than 60 guidebooks for Avalon Travel, Frommer’s, Michelin, Odyssey, Dorling Kindersley, Michelin, and Sasquatch Books, including many books on Canada.

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Andrew Hempstead for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Whitehorse is the capital of Yukon, Canada. It is located at Mile 918 of the Alaska Highway and is framed by three nearby mountains. The city was named after the White Horse Rapids for their resemblance to the mane of a white horse.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, early fall, late spring