The Yukon sits like a great upside-down wedge—bordered by Alaska , British Columbia , Northwest Territories , and the Arctic Ocean—at the north corner of western Canada. Wilderness and history enriched by the Klondike gold rush combine to create a unique destination, very different from the rest of the country, but easily accessible by plane or by the Alaska Highway.
The massive St. Elias Mountains pass through the territory’s southwest corner, while the rest of the Yukon is a huge expanse of rolling hills, long narrow lakes, and boreal forests that give way to rolling tundra north of the Arctic Circle. Through the heart of it all flows the Yukon River. Wildlife is present in amazing numbers: 300,000 caribou, 50,000 moose, 22,000 Dall and Stone sheep, 10,000 black bears, 7,000 grizzlies, 4,500 wolves, and 2,000 mountain goats.
The territorial human population is just 31,000, almost 75 percent of them living in the capital, Whitehorse . One of the world’s largest northern cities, this bustling city is filled with gold rush history, but is also a great place to soak up city luxuries before heading into the wilderness. In addition to modern hotels , Whitehorse boasts a couple of golf courses, great biking and canoeing , good food , and an unexpected surprise, simply divine coffee  roasted within city limits.
From the capital, the Alaska Highway draws many road warriors farther west, passing by the magnificent wilderness of Kluane National Park  before jogging north to Alaska. The Klondike Highway runs 536 kilometers (333 miles) from Whitehorse to Dawson City , site of the world’s most frenzied gold rush. The trip north from Whitehorse along the Yukon River follows the same route taken by thousands of stampeders in the late 1890s, except instead of riverboats it’s RVs and rental cars filled with modern-day travelers in search of adventure.
Parks Canada and the Klondike Visitors Association (KVA) have been doing an outstanding job bringing the color of life back to Dawson City. Many ramshackle buildings have been spruced up with brightly painted facades and informative window displays, and most of the accommodations , gift shops , restaurants , beauty parlors, and other businesses have followed suit. Thankfully, much of the semi–ghost town flavor remains.