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Whitehorse, Yukon Photo Album

All photos were shot by Murray Lundberg, and the captions written by him.


A Guide to Whitehorse

This album is currently under re-construction (January 2016).
It will have about 100 photos in the next few weeks.

Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it. In the captions there are many links to further information - clicking on them opens a new window.

Whitehorse, Yukon from Google Earth
This satellite image from Google Earth makes it clear why the City uses the tagline "The Wilderness City". With a population of 28,872 as of June 2015, the city's impact on the vast Yukon wilderness is very small, and a true wilderness experience is not far away. Click on the photo to enlarge it, or click here to open an interactive map.

The sternwheeler logo of Whitehorse, Yukon
The City of Whitehorse logo is a sternwheeler and is seen everywhere. An attempt by the City to change the logo to a horse head in 2011 met with strong opposition from residents and was eventually dropped. The one seen in this photo is on the large wooden sign at the entrance to Mary Lake, a "Country Residential" subdivision of acreage lots.

Welcome to Whitehorse sign
The "Welcome to Whitehorse" sign on the south access to the downtown area, Robert Service Way, has the Yukon River and the restored sternwheeler S.S. Klondike in the background.

Welcome to Whitehorse sign
The "Welcome to Whitehorse" sign on the north access to the downtown area, Two Mile Hill, has a floral foreground in the summer.

Aerial view of downtown Whitehorse, Yukon
An aerial look at downtown Whitehorse and the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport from the north on September 22, 2008. The Yukon River is on the left, the Alaska Highway is to the right of the airport, and the mountain known as Golden Horn is above the airport.

Dam on the Yukon River at Whitehorse
The Whitehorse dam, built in 1957-58, changed the city in some rather significant ways. Most important, power rates went down, and the rapids which gave the city its name were buried under a lake which became a popular recreation resource as well a safer float plane base. The people to the left are looking down at salmon preparing to go up the fish ladder that was built to allow them to get to their spawning creeks upriver.

Robert Lowe suspension bridge - Miles Canyon, Whitehorse, Yukon
The most dramatic natural feature near Whitehorse is Miles Canyon, where the Yukon River has cut its way down through a flow of basaltic lava. The lava flowed from a vent approximately 8 km (5 mi) to the south, between Golden Horn and what is now the Mount Sima ski hill, about 8.5 million years ago. The 85-foot-long Robert Lowe Suspension Bridge was built across the narrowest and most dramatic part of the canyon in 1922 to help people enjoy more of the canyon. We've posted a separate Miles Canyon photo album.

The SS Klondike in an icy fog
The historic sternwheeler SS Klondike in an icy fog rising off the Yukon River in mid December. The restored sternwheeler is one of the main attractions in Whitehorse, and the most-photographed one even by residents, so we have a separate S.S. Klondike photo album.

A trail along the top of the clay cliffs at Whitehorse, Yukon
Informal trails along the top of the "clay cliffs" above downtown Whitehorse provide good locations to keep an eye on the city's progress. A paved trail around part of the airport's perimeter provides access to them. The peninsula seen in this photo looks over the northern end of the commercial area, with the Yukon River and Marwell industrial area in the distance.

Scimitar cat (Homotherium serum) at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre
A very impressive Scimitar cat (Homotherium serum), one of Beringia's most ferocious predators, greets visitors to the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre.

Approaching to land a Beaver float plane on Schwatka Lake at Whitehorse, Yukon
Yukon Wings' De Havilland DHC-2 Mk. I Beaver CF-FHZ approaching to land on Schwatka Lake, the Whitehorse float plane base. We have posted several Northern Aviation photo albums.

Canada Day parade at Whitehorse, Yukon
Canada Day celebrations on July 1st always bring good crowds out. Here, Canadian Rangers and cadets in the parade on Main Street.

The Big Bend of the Yukon River at Whitehorse, Yukon
From the top of the clay cliffs, a look at the south approach to downtown Whitehorse, along the Yukon River, in early April.

Arctic fox in the winter at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve near Whitehorse
During the summer, the Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve have brown or greyish coats which allow them to blend in with tundra rocks and plants. This photo shot in mid-February shows one of them with its beautiful winter coat.

Yukon River sternwheeler Canadian
The sternwheeler Canadian was renowned for her longevity, working on the upper Yukon River from 1898 until being scuttled to serve as as a breakwater to protect the White Pass railway at Whitehorse in 1931. During a major road reconstruction project in April 1997, however, she was buried under hundreds of tons of rock, although the boiler, pistons and sternwheel frame were recovered first. A memorial to the ship was later built just downriver, along the very popular Millennium Trail.

The World's Largest Weather Vane at Whitehorse, Yukon
Located in front of the Yukon Transportation Museum (YTM), this historic Douglas DC-3 (originally a C-47) is mounted on a pedestal that allows it to swing in even a light breeze. This has made CF-CPY world-famous as "The World's Largest Weather Vane". Getting the opportunity to shoot with the aurora borealis behind her on March 1, 2015, was an aviation photographer's dream. This image was donated to YTM, and notecards are available in their gift shop.

Memorial to the Yukon River sternwheeler Columbian
In the Pioneer Cemetery downtown is this memorial to the sternwheeler Columbian tragedy, the worst accident in the Yukon River's history. On September 25, 1906, the boat was destroyed and 6 people were killed in an explosion at Eagle Rock near Carmacks when a crewman accidentally fired a gun into a load of explosives carried on the bow.

Stained glass mural in the Yukon Government Administration Building in Whitehorse
Whitehorse has some excellent public art, including paintings of all sizes, murals, tapestries, sculptures, and stained glass. The most notable of the latter is a massive stained glass mural by British Columbia artist David Maclagan, located in the lobby of the Yukon Government Administration Building on Second Avenue (the YTG building).

Whitehorse Copper Mine
To the west and south of Whitehorse lies a broad band about 30 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide, known as the Whitehorse Copper Belt. Prospectors headed for the gold fields of the Klondike copper here in 1897, and the following summer, Jack McIntyre staked the first claim, the Copper King. See a map of the Whitehorse Copper Belt (pdf, 9MB). The main mining period was 1898-1918, but new technology and exploration techniques led to another period of activity between 1967 and 1982. This photo shows the Whitehorse Copper Mine's mill area from that second period, in about 1993.

Whitehorse Copper Belt
Near the southern end of the Whitehorse Copper Belt, several old mine sites are easily accessible through the Mary Lake country residential subdivision, with some of the pits such as this one, the Black Cub South, providing decent swimming in the summer.

Haul Road in the Whitehorse Copper Belt
The "Copper Haul Road" through the Whitehorse Copper Belt can be driven for several kilometers. Most of it began as a spur line of the White Pass & Yukon Route railway.

Copperbelt Railway & Mining Museum
The Copperbelt Railway & Mining Museum is a fun place to learn about Whitehorse and Yukon mining and rail history. Riding behind the little mining "loki" (built in Austria by Jenbacher Werke) on the 2-kilometer line through the boreal forest takes you past several interpretive displays, and there's a small museum inn the depot.

Ear Lake at Whitehorse, Yukon
Ear Lake was a popular destination in Whitehorse' early years - even poet Robert W. Service used to go there, and in a 1905 poem about the future of Whitehorse, he envisioned it as a park. By 1990 it was a quiet place, and was known as the community's nude beach. It's no longer a nude beach, and gets busy on hot weekends now, but is usually a peaceful place to at least go for a walk.

Water bombers in thick smoke at Whitehorse, Yukon
Very dry summers can cause severe forest fire conditions. This photo was shot at the Whitehorse water bomber base on August 3, 2009.

Frantic Follies vaudeville show at Whitehorse, Yukon
One of the funniest parts of the Frantic Follies vaudeville show is a skit based on Robert Service's poem "The Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail". In 2011, I posted 17 photos from one of their performances on my blog.

Millennium Trail at Whitehorse, Yukon
The Millennium Trail is a very popular 5 km (3.1 mi) non-motorized multi-use paved trail that loops around the Yukon River from the Robert Campbell Bridge to the Whitehorse dam (see map - pdf, 1.4 MB). This photo of my dogs Bella and Monty was taken during a guide dog charity walk.

Rotary Centennial Bridge on the Millennium Trail at Whitehorse
The Millennium Trail crosses the Yukon River on the Robert Campbell Bridge at the north end, and the pedestrian-only Rotary Centennial Bridge, seen in this photo, at the south end. In 2014, the City reported that 315,000 people - walkers, runners, parents with children in strollers, people with disabilities, dog walkers, cyclists etc. - crossed this bridge.

Whitewater kayaking at Whitehorse, Yukon
Although the famous White Horse Rapids on the Yukon River got buried when the Whitehorse dam was built, smaller rapids below the dam still offer very good whitewater kayaking.

The suspension bridge to Kishwoot Island in the Yukon River at Whitehorse

Kishwoot Island in the Yukon River at Whitehorse

Kishwoot Island is part of Whitehorse's colourful past. Located in the Yukon River at the bottom of Shipyards Park, it used to be accessible on the 190-foot-long suspension bridge seen in these photos, but the bridge was damaged by ice in 2005, then by fire.

The 7-hectare island was a fairly popular place for birders in particular, but had also become an unofficial campground, and people regularly crossed the closed bridge. A crew of inmates from the Whitehorse Correctional Centre cleaned the island up in 2009 before the Ta'an Kwach'an Council assumed ownership of it as part of its final land claim, and then the bridge was demolished.

Klondike Rib & Salmon at Whitehorse, Yukon
Whitehorse is well stocked with places to eat, with a broad range of cuisine. At TripAdvisor, the #1 restaurant of 81 in Whitehorse has for some time now been Klondike Rib & Salmon - my favourite meal there, halibut and chips, is seen in this photo. The number of food trucks, mostly summer-only operations. has been rapidly expanding in recent years.

Flags and Fall colours at Whitehorse, Yukon
Flags and Fall leaves brighten up the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre in mid-September.

Old Log Church Museum at Whitehorse, Yukon

Old Log Church Museum at Whitehorse, Yukon

The mission of the little Old Log Church Museum is to "foster the appreciation and understanding of the pivotal role played by the church in the Yukon since 1861." The permanent collection of the OLCM has over 4,500 objects ranging from documents to ecclesiastical vestments and artifacts, though only a few are on display in the oldest building in Whitehorse. The displays give visitors a good look at the hardships and challenges faced by the early missionaries.

The log church, which is still on its original site, was built by the by Reverend Richard J. Bowen in 1900, and the rectory behind was built the following year. Rev. Bowen had been ministering to the prospectors and Natives in the region around Forty Mile and Dawson City, but was asked by Anglican Bishop William Carpenter Bompas to go to the new community of White Horse to build the first church there.

1950s neon sign from the Whitehorse Inn
The Whitehorse Inn is one of the legendary hotels from the community's past. By the 1940s, it was the centre of much of the town's activity, housing a restaurant (the Blue Owl Cafe), the Blue Room ballroom, the Yellow Cab dispatch office, a beer parlour often called The Bucket of Blood, a laundry and a small room known as The Snake Pit where men played poker through the night. During one of those nights in the late 1940s, T. C. Richards won the hotel in a game! Now, only the large neon sign remains, restored and on display beside City Hall at the MacBride Museum of Yukon History.

Main Street in Whitehorse, Yukon
Looking down Main Street towards the Yukon River in early April, from the top of the "clay cliffs".

Spring at the Mount Sima ski hill
Early Spring (the first week of April) at the Mount Sima ski hill, which has 10 runs and a vertical drop of 318 meters (1043 feet).

The view over Fish Lake from the road up Mt. McIntyre at Whitehorse

The view from the summit ridge of Mt. McIntyre at Whitehorse

Mount McIntyre (usually "Mount Mac" to locals), 1,544 meters high (5,064 feet), is one of three peaks accessible by road within a few minutes of downtown Whitehorse. It does require a 4x4 with good clearance to reach the summit and continue beyond, but it offers a vast area for walking or mountain biking. It's also very popular in the winter for snowmobilers in particular.

The top photo shows the view over Fish Lake from the road up the mountain on a very warm day in mid-September, the lower one looks over the old Whitehorse Copper Mine to Grey Mountain, one of the other easily-accessible peaks.

Several photos of other views and the road on another September outing can be seen on The ExploreNorth Blog.

Wind turbines at Haekel Hill in Whitehorse, Yukon
Another of the 3 road-accessible peaks at Whitehorse is Haekel Hill, 1,433 meters high (4,701 feet). It is the location of 2 wind turbines operated by Yukon Energy. The first turbine, a 150 kW Bonus unit from Denmark, was installed in 1993, then in 2000, a 660 kW Vestas wind turbine, also from Denmark, was added. A study is currently underway regarding the installation of several more turbines on the ridge. For much more information, see the excellent 28-page guidebook (pdf, 2.9 MB).

Mountain biking on Grey Mountain at Whitehorse, Yukon
Grey Mountain, 1,519 meters high (4,984 feet), is probably the most popular of the 3 road-accessible peaks at Whitehorse. The limestone ridge offers excellent trails for both hiking and mountain biking. It's name is actually Canyon Mountain, as during the Klondike Gold Rush, when people boating down the Yukon River saw it, they knew that the dangerous rapids of Miles Canyon were near.

Military show at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse, Yukon
Operation Nanook is an annual military exercise intended to assert Canada's sovereignty over its northernmost regions, and to enhance the Canadian Armed Forces' ability to operate in Arctic conditions. A display by the various military branches including the Canadian Rangers, and the RCMP, brings many residents out to Shipyards Park.

RCMP Musical Ride at Whitehorse, Yukon
Being far from any other cities, Whitehorse doesn't get on the itinerary of many major events or shows, but the world-famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride has visited a couple of times.

98 Hotel at Whitehorse, Yukon
Whitehorse used to be famous for its bars - most of them colourful, some of them rough. The bar at the long-gone Whitehorse Inn was known by many as "The Bucket of Blood" saloon. In 2015, the "Breakfast Club" bar at the 98 Hotel is the last of the genuine old-time bars left.

Construction of the Hamilton Boulevard extension begins - Whitehorse, Yukon, 2007
Construction of the Hamilton Boulevard extension begins - this provided a second access to the rapidly growing residential area that includes Granger and Copper Ridge. October 2, 2007.

Spectacular winter sunrise along the Alaska Highway at Whitehorse
Winter brings some spectacular sunrises. This was shot in late December along the Alaska Highway at Macrae - Mount Lorne can be seen in the distance. It was a spectacular sunrise, but this photo has actually been enhanced, shooting 3 photos and processing them as a single HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image).

Ice climbing tower in Whitehorse
Each winter, EquinoxYukon builds 30-60 foot high ice towers for people to climb. By about Christmas, the highest tower is generally the highest structure in the city, and offers great views as well as the thrill of getting to the top.

Collecting mail at a country residential subdivision in Whitehorse in the winter
Whitehorse has several "Country Residential" subdivisions of acreage lots, mostly about 3 acres. Being able to live a rural lifestyle within a few minutes of downtown Whitehorse is a very attractive option for many people. Approximately 10% of the Whitehorse population lives within a country residential neighbourhood, which includes Cowley Creek, Mary Lake, Spruce Hill, Wolf Creek, Wolf Creek North, Pineridge and Canyon Crescent to the south, and MacPherson, Mile 2 Mayo Road, and Hidden Valley to the north. This is my pickup truck at the mailboxes for the Mary Lake subdivision.

Main Street in Whitehorse, Yukon, in mid-November
Main Street in mid-November.

Ice fog on Main Street in Whitehorse, Yukon, at noon in mid-January
Ice fog on Main Street at noon in mid-January.

Wooly mammoths and aurora borealis at Whitehorse
The life-size woolly mammoths in front of the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre look very much at home under the aurora borealis.

Mascots Party at the 2007 Canada Winter Games
The 2007 Canada Winter Games, the first Canada Games held North of 60, were held in Whitehorse from February 23 - March 10, 2007. This photo shows some of the fun at the "Mascots Party" at Shipyards Park.

The dog yard at Muktuk Guest Ranch
It's probably no surprise that in a region where winters are very long, winter recreation of all types is very popular. Running a dog team ("mushing") as a hobby is both challenging and expensive, but for both residents and visitors, Muktuk Guest Ranch offers dog-sledding tours from November to April - one of several companies in the Whitehorse area who offer them. In the summer, kennel tours are also available.

This photo was taken on the final day of a 12-day tour that I was driver/guide for, following the Yukon Quest sled dog race.

Whitehorse in an icy fog
Downtown Whitehorse and the Yukon River in late December at -33°C.

Whitehorse in an icy fog
The Yukon River and the Shipyards Park area of Whitehorse in late December at -33°C.

A winter ice fog in Whitehorse, Yukon
Downtown Whitehorse lies in the bottom of the Yukon River valley, and the combination of deep cold and no air movement can result in thick fogs in the winter. While they sometimes clear in a few hours, they can remain for many days.

Winter on Front Street in Whitehorse, Yukon
Front Street at -34°C in early January.

Winter on Elliott Street in Whitehorse, Yukon
Elliott Street in mid November.

Spring cleaning of the Kwanlin Mall parking lot in Whitehorse
"Spring cleaning" is a dirty job. Almost hidden in that dust cloud is a sweeper getting rid of the gravel that had been spread over the snow and ice in the Kwanlin Mall parking lot during the winter.


Unless otherwise noted, photos are ©1997-2016 by Murray Lundberg.

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