A Look at Whitehorse from the Airport Trail

Arguably the most scenic walking trail in Whitehorse is the one along the airport property overlooking the city. It’s also one of the least-used, and those two things together make it one of my favourite places for long walks. On Wednesday I took advantage of a sunny and reasonably warm day to put on about 6 miles with Monty and add many photos to my city and aviation collections in particular.

The first mile or so of the trail is wide and paved, and as a result is the most heavily-used, but even then I only saw 3 people in the 3 hours I was walking, the first being this jogger.
The walking trail at the Whitehorse, Yukon airport
A few hundred yards after leaving the parking area beside the Alaska Highway, the trail passes closes to the threshold of Runway 13R (the main north-south runway), and offers good viewing of aircraft landing when there’s a south wind. This is C-FCPV, Alkan Air’s 1973 De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter.
C-FCPV, Alkan Air's 1973 De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter landing at Whitehorse, Yukon
A student pilot and instructor were doing circuits with Whitehorse Air Service’s 1976 Cessna 172M Skyhawk, C-GFGS.
Whitehorse Air Service's 1976 Cessna 172M Skyhawk, C-GFGS landing at Whitehorse, Yukon
From the north end of the airport, the trail has a few options – you can head northeast into the forest and then onto the edge of the “clay cliffs”, you can continue on the paved path, or you can walk along the edge as I was doing in this photo.
Whitehorse, Yukon from the airport walking trail
The paved path ends at the Black Street Stairs which take you downtown, to the west end of Black Street. The stairs, seen here in the summer, are commonly used as part of a training regimen – tough to beat for building up your hamstrings. The stairs are very tough on dog feet because of the ice grips, though, so I can only go there when Monty isn’t with me.
Black Street Stairs in Whitehorse, Yukon
This is a great walk to keep an eye on the city’s development. Among other things, this shot looking north down the Yukon River shows some of the condos that have been built along the river in recent years.
Whitehorse, Yukon
“The View” on Main Street is one of the newer condos in town. I see that there’s a 1-bedroom unit in that building currently available to rent for $1650/month. This is the new Whitehorse, the land of expensive housing.
Condo in Whitehorse, Yukon
Towards the south end of the airport there are some great views of our restored sternwheeler S.S. Klondike. I was pleased to see a Parks Canada van backed up to it, getting ready for summer tours – budget cutbacks had made it look like there would be no tours this year, and I still haven’t seen confirmation that there will be, but this looks positive.
S.S. Klondike - Whitehorse, Yukon
The power dam, Schwatka Lake and Mount Lorne, looking south from the south end of the runway.
The power dam, Schwatka Lake and Mount Lorne at Whitehorse, Yukon
Historically this part of the Yukon River was known as Big Bend, but I haven’t seen the term used in many years.
Big Bend on the Yukon River - Whitehorse, Yukon
C-FANB, Air North’s 1992 Boeing 737-400, arrives from Vancouver. That’s the Mount Sima ski hill below the plane.
Whitehorse, Yukon
Three miles down, heading back to the car on a slightly different path. Shortly after taking this photo, I surprised a bald eagle who had been sitting on a treetop about 30 feet from me – I didn’t see him until he flew off and wasn’t nearly quick enough to get a photo.
Walking along the clay cliffs at Whitehorse, Yukon
Spring is barely starting, but the river should start opening up more fairly soon now.
The Yukon River at Whitehorse, Yukon
The condo market in Whitehorse is already saturated, but these buildings being finished at the south end of Second Avenue are government-funded housing for a couple of non-profits. The last condo development completed seems to have given up trying to sell more units and is now trying to rent them, and yet the largest development yet is nearing completion and units have sold fairly well, even with a 943 square feet suite on the top floor priced at $376,000.
New condos under construction in Whitehorse, Yukon
Looking down Main Street, with the historic White Pass & Yukon Route railway station still the anchor building, though the last train to Whitehorse arrived almost 40 years ago.
Whitehorse, Yukon

That was a great start to my exercise program for the Spring – 6 miles in 3 hours, getting home with a very happy dog 🙂


A Look at Whitehorse from the Airport Trail — 8 Comments

  1. Thank you Murray for your great “walking“post.I was impressed from the fact how much expensive are the homes rentals in Whitehorse.One bedroom studio for 1650/month!So the normal houses for families with 3 or 4 bedrooms how much do they cost?And also :the trains from Skagway doesn`t terminate in Whitehorse?

  2. Hi Miltos. The average Whitehorse house sale price in the 4th quarter of 2012 was $402,700, a decrease of $34,400 from the previous quarter. Prices have dropped a little further since then, but $400,000 is still a good figure to start with for a 3-4 bedroom house, and homes on about 3 acres in our rural area average about $550,000. The Skagway trains only go as far as Carcross now (Mile 67 from Skagway), and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Carcross service ends in the near future, making Fraser, or possible Bennett, the final stop.

  3. Nice pictures Murray, surprised to see how little snow is left on the ground ! How is Monty reacting without Kayla for these long walks ?

  4. Now that is a nice trail. I would enjoy walking that trail. A beautiful scene makes exercise enjoyable rather than a chore. 🙂 I wished I lived where I could hike in the woods or have a trail like that to walk on. We went to a state park yesterday and walked about 4-5 miles …. my body told me I hadn’t done enough this winter. 🙂

  5. Thanks, Maureen. It doesn’t really show in the photos, but on level, undisturbed areas there’s probably 10-12 inches of snow left. Windblown and/or south-facing slopes are bare and dry 🙂 My feeling is that Monty misses Kayla deeply at times – I’m probably over-compensating by spoiling him rotten. Molly clearly misses her, and is trying unsuccessfully to get Monty to take over Kayla’s position as her Mom.

    Yes, Neal, the view and interesting stuff does make exercising MUCH easier 🙂 I didn’t get out as much as I should have this past winter – there was just too much crap going on in my life. I’m going to make up for it now, though – I’m determined to be in the best shape of my life this year, and I’ve got a long list of high-country hikes in mind as soon as conditions allow.

  6. Thank you Murray.As concerns the house rental prices?For instance how much is the cost per month for a 3-4 bedroom house downtown Whitehorse?And to the other matter what was the reason of the interrupted train rides to Whitehorse?Limited number of passengers?And it`s the same reason that the rail company will “cut“the Carcross too?

  7. A 3-4 bedroom house near downtown will rent for about $2,000 per month.

    The trains quit running to Whitehorse when the highway to Skagway opened. Most of the rail business was ore, and it can be trucked cheaper. It’s low passenger numbers that will kill Carcross service – other than Holland America cruise passengers, only 20-30 people a day use it, and Holland America’s numbers keep getting lower and lower.