• 2012-Summerhas Canada’s highest mountain, Mt. Logan, rising 5,959 metres
  • has a small desert area
  • record low temperature -62°C (-80°F), record high 36°C (97°F)
  • territorial capital Whitehorse
  • territorial bird Common Raven
  • territorial tree Sub-alpine Fir
  • territorial flower Fireweed
  • in the Pacific Time Zone

coayukThe Yukon is the western most of Canada’s three northern territories, and is located in the northwest corner of the mainland. The territory is the approximate shape of a triangle, bordering the US state of Alaska to the west, the Northwest Territories to the east and British Columbia to the south. Its northern coast is on the Beaufort Sea. The Territory covers 483,450 square kilometres, and represents 4.8% of Canada’s total land area.

Geography – The Yukon can be divided into two broad geographical regions – the boreal forest belt inn the south and the Arctic tundra in the north. The province also contains a pocket desert. The Carcross Desert is 250 hectares of sand dunes edged by the boreal forest. Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak, at 6,050 metres, is located in southwestern Yukon.

Lakes and Rivers – The very sparsely populated territory abounds with snow-melt lakes and white-capped mountains. Most of the territory is in the watershed of the Yukon River. The southern Yukon is dotted with a large number of large, long and narrow glacier-fed alpine lakes, most of which flow into the Yukon River system.

Other watersheds include the Mackenzie River and the Alsek-Tatshenshini, as well as a number of rivers flowing directly into the Beaufort Sea. The two main Yukon rivers flowing into the Mackenzie in the Northwest Territories are the Liard River in the southeast and the Peel River and its tributaries in the northeast.

Climate – Above the Arctic Circle, the Yukon is known as “the land of the midnight sun” because for three months in summer, sunlight is almost continuous. In winter, however, darkness sets in and the light of day is not seen for a quarter of the year.

The Yukon has a subarctic climate.The high altitude of much of the territory and the semi-arid climate provide relatively warm summers with temperatures frequently reaching 25°C (77°F) or more during the long summer days.

In winter the temperature ranges between +4 and -50°C (39 and -58°F) in the south and slightly colder farther north. Temperatures in the Yukon are usually more extreme than those in the southern provinces.

The average temperature in Whitehorse in January is -18°C (-4°F) and the July average is 14°C (57°F). The territorial record low is -62.2°C (-80°F) and the record high is 36.1°C (97°F).

National Parks of The Yukon – There are two national parks in the Yukon Canada. Ivvavik Park protects the calving grounds of the Mackenzie Delta caribou herds. The largest park in the Territory, Kluane National Park also contains Canada’s highest mountain, Mt. Logan.

Territorial Parks of The Yukon

Birds of The Yukon

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