Located on the Alaska Highway, the city of Whitehorse
has a population of 22,900 people. The city is mostly known for its vast green parks and picturesque landscapes, but it is also the administrative capital of the Yukon Territory
. Being one of the largest cities around which Yukon River meanders, Whitehorse first gained importance with the Klondike Gold Rush, when the city established itself as a big supply center. What actually made Whitehorse a territorial center was the 1953 building of the Klondike Highway.
Climate and Nature
Owing mostly to its specific geographic location
in the boreal cordillera eco-zone, Whitehorse has a typical mountain climate and tundra soil, populated with small arctic vegetation. The city has a typical sub arctic climate with highs seldom exceeding 21 °C in July, with lows plummeting to - 26 °C and below in January. According to a recent report of Canada’s meteorological service, Whitehorse is the driest place in the country, as it's located in the the Coast Mountains’ rain shadow.
Urban organization and infrastructure
In addition to its downtown area, Whitehorse also covers the following neighborhoods: Riverside, Porter Creek, Granger, Cowley Creek, Crestview, Copper Ridge, Marsh Lake, and some others, together with a settlement which is known under the name "The Village". From bird’s eye view, Whitehorse looks like pearls placed on a string, as its administrative and industrial hubs are situated along the railroads and highways with large areas of pristine green hills scattered among the main arteries. The Alaska Highway is Whitehorse’s main road artery, with multiple branch roads that reach the city’s neighborhoods. Tourism and the government service sectors dominate the economy
What’s in the name?
One of the most plausible versions concerning the origin of the city’s name is that it is associated with White Horse Rapids. Others say that Whitehorse, which was actually known as White Horse until 1957, was named after the Chief White Horse, after the poor fellow drowned while trying to cross the abovementioned rapids.
How to reach
First, you can get to Whitehorse by car, taking the Alaska Highway, but if your location makes it impossible to drive to the city, you can also rely on the services of the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport
which has regular flights to Vancouver
, Fort Simpson, Yellowknife
, as well as long-haul flights to Fairbanks, Alaska and Frankfurt in Germany during the summer. Unfortunately, Whitehorse does not have a functioning railway service, although there is a waterfront tram that runs from the Rotary Peace Park, along the Yukon River up to the Spook Creek Station. Once you are in the city, you can rent a car, use the services of one of the several taxi companies or take some of the Whitehorse Transit city buses that run from morning till early evening on weekdays.
The city of Whitehorse offers a wide range of recreation activities from whitewater rafting, fishing, hunting and hiking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter.