Yukon – The Next Frontier
The Yukon. Even the name sounds epic. Their slogan – “Larger Than Life” is apt. With big country, big weather and the midnight sun who wouldn’t be daunted by the journey to venture to this Far North.
People come here to visit and never leave. Thus is the draw of the Yukon.
Whitehorse is a mere 2 hour plane flight away north of Vancouver; the same time-wise as the drive on the Sea-to-Sky highway from YVR to Whistler. . For all those who wish to visit Canada and think all there is Whistler and the Rockies, do not discount the Yukon.
Our two hour flight on Air North was effortless. It’s nice coming into the small airports, where you walk off the plane, into the terminal, get your luggage, car and leave within 30 minutes! We picked up our GMC Equinox from Driving Force which would be our transportation for two weeks; one week of riding and another week hiking in the Tombstones near Dawson.
Whitehorse has two riding areas – Grey Mountain and MtMacintyre;- and one an hour away in Carcross at Montana Mountain. The riding is mostly cross country with some free riding trails. The trails include old mining access trails, hiking trails and recently built mountain-bike specific trails. The riding season goes from May to October. The core of the riding season (June – August) has long daylight hours stretching well into the night.
We stayed at Boreale Biking while in Whitehorse. Their Yurts on the top of the hill had a great view, awesome location and great access to Grey Mountain. While some may balk at the cost of a guided trip that includes accommodations and being fed by local professionals, sometimes its nice to be able to focus on the riding, eating and sleeping and let someone else worry about the logistics.
Boreale does it all for you!
We did a quick ride on our first day on Grey Mountain, a rocky hill East of Whitehorse and easily accessed from Boreale. About five years ago this was a small disjointed network.
Since then a combination of grants, assistance from the City of Whitehorse and a dedicated volunteer crew has establised an awesome network of SIGNED trails, a trail map and a ton of mountain bike specific great fast single track.
Our second day we were joined by some locals to ride a Grey Mountain Epic.
We did a 38km ride with 1200m of climbing right from our friends house! Bonus part is we end up back there for cold beer!
Climbing up the access road the views abound.
Top of the road at the Grey Mountain radio/microwave towers, we still have to get a bit higher to the start of our trail.
Not all the uphill is rideable, but sometimes the best things require some effort.
To the single track descent of the Money Shot trail off Grey Mountain.
Once we finished this steep little gem, we rode some more loamy stuff before getting onto the Yukon River Trail; which is a scenic picturesque highlight of local Yukon riding..
Money Shot Videos:
Easy Money To Yukon River Trail
Everytrail of Money Shot, Easy Money, Yukon River Trail.
As everyone knows the best way to end a good ride is with a good meal. That night we went to dinner at Volare Restaurant at the Skyy Hotel near the Airport. If you’re looking for Whitehorse fine dining or other options for accommodations this could be it!
Carcross – Mountain Hero
We started off with Coffee at the Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters. A Whitehorse GO TO coffee place frequented by many locals. Essentially this is a family run business that will satisfy your caffeine fix.
We headed off with the Boreale crew on the one hour drive to Carcross. Obligatory stop to enjoy the views.
Our destination awaits.
Lee had time to check out the town while we dropped off the pick up vehicle for the end of the ride.
Map of the lower trails in Carcross. This is where you will find the free ride trails. These lower trails are funded through the local Carcross Tagish First Nation – Single Track For Success program. Youth were hired to create mountain biking trails for the benefit of the community. Ending at Bennet Lake the trails flow their way down the mountain in some of Canada’s most beautiful scenery. Professionally built and maintained, the structures, flow and quality of the trails makes for an awesome day of riding. A 30 minute shuttle rewards you with a one hour descent.
Then we start climbing. The climb is all on old mining roads in the Alpine, starting from 670 m and climbing to 1700 m, with a final single track descent of 1000m.
The teaser descent in between drops off the false summit and back down to a creekbed amidst some mining ruins!
A bit of refreshements at the end of the climb in the old Mountain Hero Mine Site.
The start of the descent as we prepare for a 1000m run downhill to a lake shore.
Along the climb we look back to see the traverse we did along Montana Mountain.
1000m and 8km later we’re back at the bottom!
What’s better after a big day of riding then LOTS OF FOOD! The High Country Inn has a great open patio called THE DECK that is a great place to replenish the body after a big ride.
Mountain Hero Videos
Lots of riding meant that we need lots of fuel. We started our day with breakfast; and not just any breakfast. The Yukon Inn is known for its BIG breakfasts. It also provides affordable accommodations close to town.
After our breakfast we checked out another local Yukon network. The local Whitehorse cross country ski area is also being developed in the summer with mountain bike trails criss crossing the ski trails. Its always great to ride cross country ski areas being used in the summer for mountain biking. The ski trails make for easy riding and access, the area between is usually great for building sweet single track.
Mount Macintyre Video
More Riding on Grey Mountain – Hilarious and Boogaloos – this is what the beat trails look like!
Whitehorse also has its own Microbrewery! Yukon Brewery. My favorite was the Yukon Red and Ice Fog. Even Lee liked the Discovery and he doesn’t drink! You can go for a tour and sample more then 8 types of beer. They often have new flavours and seasonals to keep things interesting. With no preservatives you can drink this refreshing beverage to your hearts content and not get a nasty hangover the big brews can give you.
Klondike Rib and Salmon is a local restaurant in one of the oldest buildings in Whitehorse. Run by Dona who also works during the busy days, she just doesn’t tire! If you go during the busy dinner time you may have to wait, we went there at 8:00 and were seated right away.
Weather – July and Aug is the warmest time which also boast the longest days.
Fall colours start appearing near the end of August.
See you riding into the Midnight Sun!