A day in Carcross

People often ask me how I manage living without a car in Yukon.

It’s honestly not so bad if you live in Whitehorse. City buses run six days a week and I can also ride my bike. But I will admit it is difficult to get out of town without a vehicle.

The obvious solution to this problem is to rent a car. That’s exactly what my fellow twenty-something-carless-coworkers and I did last weekend. Our goal? Go out for a day-long drive.

Emerald Lake

First stop: Emerald Lake (not to be confused with the one in the Rockies in BC!). It was a pretty photo spot.

As you can see, there is some haze on the photos due to wildfire smoke. That’s the sad reality of living in western and northern Canada. Our climate is very dry in the summer and dozens of wildfires are declared each year. Don’t worry, we are 100% safe. The wind carries the smoke across huge distances.

Carcross and its desert

Second stop: Carcross Desert!

I’m not even kidding! I bet you didn’t think there could be a desert in Yukon. This one is the remnant of an old glacial lake, which the local climate keeps nice and dry. At 1 square mile, it’s often referred to as the world’s smallest desert.

What a funny place this is. The flora is 100% boreal. Hello spruce trees, bye bye cacti!

We had a lot of fun just walking on the dunes and jumping in mid-air (Rosalie and I have not yet been able to improve our jumping performance since our trip to Kluane, unlike the guys, who seem to be naturals).

It was then time to have lunch in the village of Carcross (it was surprisingly delicious!). Afterwards, we walked around the village and shopped at tourists stores.

Bennet Lake

It was quite hot that day, so we went to Bennet Lake to enjoy the beach. While we all had a good time soaking in the sun, I was the only one brave enough to swim in the water. I was as happy as an otter could be (as demonstrated on the photo below). I assure you the water was not nearly as cold as my travel companions pretended it to be (and after swimming in an ice-cold lake in the dead of winter in Finland, I certainly wasn’t afraid of a Yukon glacial lake in the summertime!).

After this refreshing swim, we hopped back in the car and drove to Tagish and Marsh Lake.

We got back to Whitehorse in the afternoon. Before driving my friends back to their homes, we made one last stop at Miles Canyons. Another pretty spot right next to where we live!

And that’s it for this adventure!