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Yukon hiking takes a special kind of mindset.
Big wild country like this begs for exploration.
But Yukon hiking also begs for preparation, fortitude, and a good sense of humor when the weather is foul and the mosquitoes descend.
Yes, descend in clouds of tiny vampires.
Do you have what it takes to hike in the Yukon?
The Yukon is wedged between the state of Alaska (United States) on the west, and the Northwest Territories (Canda) on the east.
Its southern border run almost all the way along the northern portion of British Columbia.
Its much thinner northern border faces the Beaufort Sea, in the Arctic Ocean.
Are you getting a feel for how immense the Yukon is?
Whitehorse is the biggest town you'll find in the Yukon, with many outfitters available to take you hiking through bear country and mind blowing scenery.
To plan your own hiking trip, you'll need to do a lot of background research and show up ready to roll.
But hey! Don't let any of that discourage you! Hiking here is well worth the time, money and effort investments.
The 33 mile long Chilkoot Trail is probably the most heavily visited because of its historical context: ancient native routes and access to the fabled gold of the Yukon.
The Kluane National Park and Reserve is also a good choice.
There is also a segment of the Trans-Canada Trail running through the Yukon.
As long as you're this far north, you might want to consider hiking next door in the Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, a spectacular destination.
Hiking here is hampered by difficult access (usually a chartered plane or canoe) and lack of trails.
Regardless of where you plan to hike in the Yukon, be sure you understand the fees and permits required to hike in these areas. The links above will get you started.
If you want to do your research by reading books and studying maps of the Yukon, here's a good selection.
For a specific guide to hiking the Yukon, you'll need this. It's a bit dated, but there's nothing else like it.
Dip into these recent trip reports to get a feel for weather conditions and how other hikers handle the challenge of hiking in the Yukon.
Note that a lot of the Yukon gets explored via canoes and rafts. It makes sense to use the huge wild rivers to access this vast country. You can always hop out of the canoe to check out the scenery, right?
But regardless of how you get to the Yukon, you'll be thrilled at your first glimpse of mammals you don't see often, like this caribou.
And a word to the wise: You need this bug net.
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