Photo essay: Alaska and the Yukon in Springtime
Here our some of the best images from our Yukon Tour, Canada taken in April 2017:
Welcome to Alaska!
Of the 20 highest peaks in the U.S., 17 are in Alaska. We have around 100,000 glaciers, the country’s longest coastline stretching 6,640 miles, and the world’s largest temperate rainforest, the Tongass. Aptly named as “The Last Frontier”, the name Alaska is derived from the Aleut word “Aleyska” meaning “great land.” The land of EPIC! We can’t wait to show you around.
Soul singing scenery
This shot was taken in April 2017 at Tormented Valley, as seen on our Half and Full Day Yukon Tours.
At the White Pass Summit on multiple tours we offer, just on the outskirts of Skagway, we invite you to pass through the Tormented Valley. A marsh filled with thousands of small pristine ponds, which sunk the true Sourdoughs deep into depression as they hauled their one ton of provisions and possessions northward towards the Golden Circle. Amazing by today’s visuals that the soul of this place was so tortured on the Klondike Highway. Surround yourself in glaciated mountains and listen out for the fabled words: “There’s gold in the Yukon!” reverberating through.
Bove Island near Carcross, Canada is a sightseeing sweet spot on our Full Day Yukon Tour, located on a rocky ridge just of the Klondike Highway. Enjoy panoramic mountain views while learning from the interpretative signs overlooking Bove Island. As well, sight of the Windy Arm of Tagish Lake.
Once part of a historic paddle route during the Yukon Gold Rush, miners would eventually arrive in Skagway, Alaska. And then incredibly, hike the Yukon Pass to Bennett Lake. From there, miners would paddle Nares, Tagish and Marsh Lakes to the Yukon River and Dawson City. Now that’s what you call pioneer adventuring!
Having heard about the gold in Nome, Alaska, John Conrad was an American businessman who dreamt big with a wallet to match. Heading that way, he only got as far as the Yukon where he picked up some claims just south of Carcross, in the Yukon, Canada. He developed two mines on a steep slope beside the lake shore known as Venus 1 and 2.
Innovatively, Conrad then built a large tramline so he could get the ore from the mines down to the lake. Once complete, he constructed a small mill beside the lake where he’d take the lake water and gravity to wash out and process the silver ore. Once processed, it was then bagged and sent to the port at Skagway.
From where the word “Yukon” derives
The word Yukon comes from the native word “Yu-kun-ah,” meaning great river. Yukon is the smallest of three territories but is home to 42 National Parks in Canada. Look out for the Yukon’s official territory flower, the fabulous pink fireweed, the territory bird, the common Raven and territory tree, the sub-alpine fir. It’s truly one of the most scenic spots in Canada.
South Klondike Highway
The Klondike Highway pretty much runs parallel to the White Pass and Yukon Railway. And in no time at all, tranquil lakes, old mining structures on a road lined with craggy mountains and rushing waterfalls will all be vying for your attention. After you cross into Canada, the landscape drastically changes into something pretty unique.
As featured, the Tormented Valley comprises wind-battered rocks, a sparse forest of 3,000 year old trees, and in summer months, sparkling blue lakes. As sub-arctic alpine tundra goes, this is one of the most stunning eco-systems in North America. Our tours all afford numerous photo opportunities to capture those memories forever.
Aerial shot from the South Klondike Highway
Our Full Day Yukon Tour takes you on you on the Klondike Highway through three different provinces/states: Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon. Specifically, the South Klondike Highway, which leads from Skagway, passing through The White Pass Summit area. This section stretches from the town of Skagway to the Fraser Canadian Customs and the Southern Lakes region of the Yukon.
Historically, the harsh winter and lengthy journey soon took its toll, with many men suffering from starvation. The prospectors’ horses suffered greatly too. So many died along the trail route that White Pass was nicknamed “Dead Horse Trail.” No wonder the area also became known as Tormented Valley.
Located just outside of Carcross in the Yukon, Canada is Carcross Desert. Often considered the smallest desert in the world: go figure, it measures 1 square mile. Although commonly referred to and signposted as a desert, it’s actually a series of northern sand dunes where the climate is too humid to be considered a true desert. But to-ma-to, to-mato, it’s a sweet spot on our Full Day Yukon Tour!
With a plethora of photo opps we make along the Klondike Highway, you won’t know where to point and shoot first. The road along White Pass alone is lined with craggy sawtooth mountains, tranquil aquamarine lakes and gushing waterfalls (in the summer months). Regardless of season, there is spectacular scenery with the open space for your mind to wander and to simply lose yourself. “Phenomenal” is a weak term for what lies in store on our Half and Full Yukon Tours.
The Yukon at its finest
Prepare to invest in extra camera batteries and memory cards Incredible, jaw-on-the-floor views of the Yukon, just outside of Skagway on our tour will steal your heart. And probably blow your mind.
Much and more to see
When you jump on a Full Day Tour of the Yukon with us, you’ll get the following opportunities. Touch a totem pole, talk with an artisan, snaffle local baked goods, stroll along the sandy desert in Carcross and so much more.
Alaska and Canada in one day
Prepare to indulge the senses in daylong unsurpassable beauty. The South Klondike Highway will take you from picturesque Skagway, Alaska to Carcross, in the Yukon. What’s more, there are very few places in the world, especially that are accessible, where you can see glaciers. In Skagway, you can actually see one from the city’s backyard, not to mention the sweeping mountain views during its climb to Canada!
Bove Island on Tagish Lake
This image captures Bove island on Tagish lake in the Yukon. As well as northern British Columbia, and the surrounding landscape. The area has been the site of mining activity since the turn of the century. You can still see old workings and tram towers. One of the sweet spots for sure!
Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon
The Klondike Highway on which we take on our tours passes through three different provinces/states. Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon, and is divided into two sections. We opt for the South Klondike Highway, which leads from Skagway to Whitehorse.
Pleasingly, those that join us get to pass through the White Pass mountain summit area and the Southern Lakes region of the Yukon. When you find yourself in Skagway, we highly recommend that you don’t miss out. The stunning scenery and rich history are sure to make it a memorable experience!