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Yukon Hotels

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2: Searching for hotels in Yukon, a state of Canada. To find your hotel, click on the blue link below.

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Haines Junction
Dawson City

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Although much of Canada still has the flavor of the "last frontier", it's only when you embark on the mainland push north to the Yukon that you know for certain you're leaving the mainstream of North American life behind. In the popular imagination, the north figures as a perpetually frozen wasteland blasted by ferocious gloomy winters, inhabited – if at all – by hardened characters beyond the reach of civilization. In truth, it's a region where months of summer sunshine offer almost limitless opportunities for outdoor activities and an incredible profusion of flora and fauna; a country within a country, the character of whose settlements has often been forged by the mingling of white settlers and aboriginal peoples. The indigenous hunters of the north are as varied as in the south, but two groups predominate: the Dene, people of the northern forests who traditionally occupied the Mackenzie River region from the Albertan border to the river's delta at the Beaufort Sea; and the Arctic Inuit (literally "the people"), once known as the Eskimos or "fish eaters", a Dene term picked up by early European settlers and now discouraged.

The north is as much a state of mind as a place. People "north of 60" – the 60th Parallel – claim the right to be called northerners, and maintain a kinship with Alaskans, but those north of the Arctic Circle – the 66th Parallel – look with light-hearted disdain on these "southerners". All mock the inhabitants of the northernmost corners of Alberta and such areas of the so-called Northwest, who, after all, live with the luxury of being able to get around their backcountry by road. To any outsider, however, in terms of landscape and overall spirit the north begins well south of the 60th Parallel. Accordingly, this section includes not just the provinces of the "true north" – Yukon and parts of the western Arctic and Northwest Territories – but also northern British Columbia, a region more stark and extreme than BC's southern reaches.

The Cassiar and Alaska highways converge at Watson Lake, a weather-beaten junction that straddles the 60th Parallel and marks the entrance to the Yukon Territory (YT), perhaps the most exhilarating and varied destination in this part of the world. Taking its name from a Dene word meaning "great", it boasts the highest mountains in Canada, wild sweeps of forest and tundra, and the fascinating nineteenth-century relic, Dawson City. The focus of the Klondike gold rush, Dawson was also the territory's capital until that role shifted south to Whitehorse, a town booming on tourism and the ever-increasing exploitation of the Yukon's vast mineral resources.

Road access is easier than you might think. In addition to the Alaska Highway, which runs through the Yukon's southern reaches, the Klondike Highway strikes north to link Whitehorse with Dawson City. North of Dawson the Dempster Highway is the only road in Canada to cross the Arctic Circle, offering an unparalleled direct approach to the northern tundra and to several remote communities in the Northwest Territories. The Yukon's other major road is the short spur linking the Alaskan port of Skagway to Whitehorse, which shadows the Chilkoot Trail, a treacherous track taken by the poorest of the 1898 prospectors that is now a popular long-distance footpath.

Combining coastal ferries with the Chilkoot Trail makes an especially fine itinerary. Following the old gold-rush trail, the route begins at Skagway – reached by ferry from Prince Rupert – then follows the Chilkoot to Whitehorse, before heading north to Dawson City. From there you could continue up the Dempster Highway, or travel on the equally majestic Top of the World road into the heart of Alaska. However, many people coming up from Skagway or plying the mainland routes from British Columbia head to Alaska directly on the Alaska Highway, to enjoy views of the extraordinary and largely inaccessible mountain vastness of Kluane National Park, which contains Canada's highest peaks and most extensive glacial wilderness. Click here to go to Yukon web site.



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