We had the whole day today to checkout Whitehorse. It was nice to have a day to slow down, and not worry about going too far. The next couple of days were going to be lighter on the travel, which was good. Dad needed a break after everything he'd done over the past couple of weeks. As Justine had been to Whitehorse before, she made some great suggestions for our day out.
Justine and I were feeling the need to do something active, so we started the day out by heading down to Miles Canyon. I had read about it, and Justine had been here before. Miles Canyon is a hiking trail just outside the Whitehorse downtown that follows the Yukon River for quite a distance. We didn't have a lot of time to explore, but we were able to go for a short hike. The river looked amazing, with that deep blue glacier colour, and fast flowing really fast through the narrow canyon.
We hiked for about an hour in total, following the river. Our timing was about perfect as it started to rain pretty heavily just as we were getting back to the cool bridge near the parking lot. That convinced us to head back to town.
After getting out of the rain, we drove back into town and headed over to the dam to checkout the world's longest fish ladder. Sadly, we had missed most of the Chinook run, but there were still a few fish around that we could see at the base of the ladder, as well as on the live feed they had in the visitor centre. I would really have liked to see more of the fish as they were coming up, but that was not to be. I guess we'd have to be there a few weeks earlier. Fall colour or salmon runs - tough choice.
Even at the base of the fish ladder, you could see some of the bigger chinooks, as the waited to head up the ladder. They were bright pink, and showed at the surface of the fast-flowing river. The girl in the visitor center mentioned that they hang out, until they get that call that tells them it's time to head upstream. It was pretty cool to see.
After spending a bit of time at the salmon centre, we headed into town proper and had some lunch. Whitehorse is a pretty cool little town, with all the options that you could want. It made a pretty easy base, and I'd consider coming back to tour the Yukon in more detail, using Whitehorse as a fly-in base. After lunch we drove about 30 minutes out of town, to check out the Yukon Wildlife Centre.
The Yukon Wildlife Centre is a small game preserve and rehabilitation centre that is home to local wildlife. They offer guided tours, and we got a close up look at all the wildlife that has eluded us so far on the trip.
It was well setup and looked well run, and our guide had lots of info on the animals at the park. We started with the elk, spent some time with a pair of bald eagles, then saw the herd of wood bison. From there it was on to the moose and mule deer. We also saw three different type of sheep, musk ox, mountain goats and caribou. The last section had red and Arctic foxes and lynx. It was a really great little tour.
After the Yukon Wildlife Centre we headed back into town. There were two micro breweries that I wanted to check out. We went to Winterlong first, and sampled their very nice products. I was really impressed with their beer, and filled most of my now-empty growlers for the upcoming trip. If you happen to be in Whitehorse, you need to go check them out. Then we stopped at the liquor store, did some grocery shopping, then stopped at the Yukon Brewing company.
It was getting towards dinner time, so we headed back to the campsite and enjoyed another social, relaxing evening.