Yukon Facts


Yukon is a northern territory of Canada, bordered by the state of Alaska, the Northwest Territories and the province of British Columbia. The economy is largely dependent on natural resources, including mining, forestry products, and hydro-electric energy. The Yukon government manages a diverse portfolio of investments in public infrastructure, private enterprise, community development projects and self-funded agencies that deliver key programs to Yukoners throughout the territory.

13 Facts About Yukon

  • 1. The capital city of Yukon is Whitehorse. Located on the Yukon River, it is a transportation and distribution centre for the territory as well as being the seat of government.
  • 2. The largest city in Yukon is Whitehorse, with a population of 20 000 inhabitants.
  • 3. The name "Yukon" was an anglicisation of the Yup'ik word "yuh means literally "great river". It is short for several large rivers in central Alaska whose names all begin with "Yuk." The British had previously named it "the Yukon River District" after the river that leads into it from Alaska, and then called it "the Yukon Territories".
  • 4. Yukon joined Canada in 1898, but the region's history starts much earlier — a natural occurrence of minerals was noted by a Spanish expedition in the mid-17th century. The Yukon was explored and settled by English-speaking miners, beginning with the departure of John Ballenden in 1847.
  • 5. In recent years, mineral exploration and development has spiked, with Yukon becoming one of Canada's fastest-growing economies.
  • 6. Gold was first discovered in 1949 near present-day Faro, Yukon, but mining did not start until 1967. The mine closed in 2003 due to low gold prices and declining ore grades. It has since reopened, and as of 2015 is going strong again.
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  • 7. Official languages are English and French.
  • 8. The Yukon is famous for its northern lights. The spectacular display of dancing lights in the night sky is one of the most photographed natural phenomena in the world.
  • 9. As for World Records, no entry at this time, but we are sure there is something we can claim!
  • 10. Yukon has a friendly population of 40,000 inhabitants (2020).
  • 11. The most famous dishes in the Yukon are salmon, moose, caribou and, for dessert, bannock.
  • 12. Yukon's climate varies widely. The southern coastal areas have a moderate climate with warm summers and cold winters. The north has a subarctic climate with long cold winters and very short summers. It is often cloudy or raining in the North.
  • 13. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the Yukon was 34 °C (93 °F) at Mayo on 29 June 2003.