Where to see roadside wildlife
5 Yukon highways with hundreds of wildlife
In the Yukon, there are endless opportunities to see wildlife, and the highways travelling through the territory are no exception. You’ll easily spot the signs for wildlife crossings, but for the hidden gems of the roadside, take note below.
The Alaska Highway is the longest stretch of asphalt in the Yukon, and there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some wildlife along the way. From downtown Whitehorse, travel south for 4.5 kms and you’ll find Bert Law Park—an island on the Yukon River that’s as popular with beavers as it is with tourists. For the beavers, it’s the michelin star rated aspen colony, and for the tourists, it's the opportunity to watch beavers stuff their face.
The North Klondike Highway follows an old mining route with plenty of golden opportunities to see wildlife, like in the protected Yukon Wildlife Preserve. Although the Yukon is teeming with wildlife, the Preserve is the only place where you’re guaranteed to spot a wide variety of animals. You might spot a 700 kg moose with velvet antlers, a lynx roaming around on snowshoe-like feet, or even a tourist awkwardly taking photos with a giant iPad. The animals here have ancestors older than some dinosaurs, making this Wildlife Preserve a park that features ice age genealogy.
Once a major trading destination along the Tatshenshini River, Dalton Post is now more commonly visited for its ideal viewpoint of migrating salmon close to the highway. During cooler months, the river fills up with fish leaping and swimming upstream faster than Michael Phelps when he broke his own world record for the butterfly.
The Blackstone Uplands is an expansive section off the Dempster Highway renowned for bird watching. Species of all shapes, sizes and colours can be found in the surrounding landscape, making the whole area sound more melodic than N'Sync before Timberlake went solo. And although the willow ptarmigan is no J.T., hearing it chirp angelically in the wild is quite an unforgettable live concert.
White Mountain is only a one-hour drive from Whitehorse, making the journey along Atlin Road a lot easier than spotting the local mountain goats you came to see. They hide in nooks and crannies high above the road, so you’ll likely needs some binoculars to spot them. And for a good photo, consider a camera you can’t send text messages from. If you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a mountain goat from your car, please don’t halt traffic by stopping in the middle of the road—don’t be that guy or girl. And as always, refrain from feeding them. You wouldn’t feed a random stranger’s child on the street, so don’t feed a random animal on the street.