An endless loop of picturesque exploration
It’s impossible to miss the beauty, but you don’t have to look far to find more than just the breathtaking views.
The Carcross Desert’s sandy dunes are a chance to sink your feet into what’s left of an ancient glacial lake. Visit nearby Carcross to dive into history, culture and—if you’re up for an invigorating dip—the clear waters of Bennett Lake. Or opt for an ice cream cone on the beach for a drier way to cool down.
Top-notch hiking and some of the best mountain bike trails in the world are just across the lake. The historic Chilkoot Pass that was so formidable during the gold rush also ends at the shore of Bennett Lake. Today, hikers leap at the chance to walk in the steps of the gold seekers that took this epic trail—fortunately, now you can complete it carrying a lot less stuff on your back.
For a much shorter but equally beautiful excursion, take the short drive down the South Klondike Highway for a panoramic photo of Bove Island and the gorgeous landscape that surrounds it. From here, the historic, charming coastal town of Skagway, Alaska, is less than 100 kilometres away.
From Carcross, wind along Tagish Road past a tiny cottage community brimming with friendly artisans and along lakes that are locals’ favourites. Dip down to the picturesque community of Atlin, which is just across the British Columbia border but affectionately considered part of the territory by many Yukoners.
With the interconnected group of lakes, endless outdoor recreation and deep pockets of history and culture, the Southern Lakes Loop is easy to drive but hard to leave.
- In 2013, Outside Magazine named the Whitehorse area, including Carcross’ historic Montana Mountain, some of the best mountain bike trails in the world.
- The Southern Lakes region has 600 kilometres of lakes.
- Scientists studying the Carcross dunes have found at least 10 species of insects that exist in only a few other places on Earth.