Whitehorse is the first major town you reach on the Alaska Highway so we knew it would be busy. We called ahead to reserve at an RV park close to town. With a spot secured we went into the Visitor’s Centre for our passport stamp, free wifi, and a 3 day parking pass so you could park anywhere in town. Our first stop was the S.S. Klondike, a National Historic Site. We did the guided tour which was very informative. The first S.S. Klondike sank in 1936 and the second one (using some of the original ships parts) was launched in 1937. It was cargo vessel until 1952 when it became a tourist boat since the Klondike Highway had come through and then it retired in 1955. It was 210’ long and 42’ wide and they moved it from the shipyards, down the main street to it’s current location beside the river. The S.S. Klondike could do the Whitehorse to Dawson run down river in 36 hours but the reverse trip would take 4 to 5 days. They could burn up to two cords of wood per hour!!!
It was now “Happy Hour” so we headed to the Yukon Brewery for Joel to do some beer tasting and he went over to the “Dark Side”. The favourite was the Midnight Sun Espresso Stout. We finally checked into the Hi Country RV Park and called it a day.
Today was a long day of touring around Whitehorse. We parked near the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre so went in to learn about First Nations history (and to get our passport stamp). They had a special exhibit on bead work and a movie on making a dugout canoe. We visited a local artist co-op, chocolate shop (no purchases made believe it or not) before having a great lunch at the Burnt Toast Cafe. Off to the old log church (opened October 1900!), you guessed it another passport stop and by the Log skyscrapers built in 1942, the White Pass Railroad terminal before going to the McBride museum. It was probably a good thing we did the museum at the end of the day since we now had a time limit on our visit😉 We really had to rush through at the end since it was closing time.
That night we went to Klondike Rib and Salmon for dinner. A very popular spot for locals and visitors. It was about a 40 minute wait to get in but well worth it. The portions were huge, so we brought home enough for a subsequent dinner and dessert (Sourdough Bread Pudding). On the way back to the RV Park we took a detour to Miles Canyon road. A beautiful hilly road that takes you to the canyon lookout. We planned to hike the area the next day so this gave us a plan on where we could park the RV.
Even though it started out a bit rainy we decided to go ahead with our planned long hike!! We started at Miles Canyon did the Lower and Upper canyon trail loop followed by the Rim Trail, the Schwatka Lake trail and back on the Tramway Trail. We saw a float plane take off from the lake. We visited the Fish Ladder by the dam, where the summer students were anxious to answer our questions. There were some baby fry feeding and the girl said they just appeared this day, prior to that there were no fish at all. Our feet were happy to see the RV!! All total 17 kms or 28,538 steps. To reward ourselves we went to the Woodcutters Blanket, a bar that was recommended to us. There isn’t a name on the bar, you wouldn’t even know it was a bar, we were told to look for the building with the 2 moose on top, we’d seen the place wondering what it was. They were #10 on the top 100 bars in Canada to have a cocktail and they also make their own beer. Sharon had a Whiskey Sour (delicious) and Joel tried their Porter with an elk sausage appetizer. Even though it was tempting to stay for another, we had to drive back to the RV Park😉
Before leaving Whitehorse we decided we’d better get the chip in our windshield fixed. They did a good job and it was half the price we’d paid for the other two chips that we had fixed on previous trips. I guess up here they have a high volume of chip repairs. We stocked up on groceries, diesel, propane to begin our trip up the Klondike Highway towards Dawson City. We saw this cool saying on one of the display boards that said “Knowing the history enhances the adventure”.