Although we are facing limited travel opportunities at the moment, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy museums and sites without leaving the comfort of your home. The Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut offer an amazing array of historic and natural sites that continue to amaze us, either online or in person.
Here are 12 amazing places and experiences you can view at any time online.
Experience the Northern Lights
We are all fascinated by the Aurora Borealis. The Canadian north is famous for the opportunities to view these beautiful dancing lights during fall, winter and spring months. This natural phenomenon is formed when charged particles emitted from the sun during a solar flare penetrate the earth’s magnetic shield and collide with atoms and molecules in our atmosphere. These collisions result in countless little bursts of light, called photons, which make up the aurora. While green is the most common color, you can sometimes see pink, crimson, purple, red, blue and white. To see them online, check out the Canadian Space Agencies live Northern Lights camera in Yellowknife.
Explore the Chilkoot National Historic Site
Google Maps allows us to explore more of the world than we even think possible. It was exciting to find that you can “walk” your way through this historic site in the Yukon. The Chilkoot Trail was historically an important trade route for the Tinglit peoples but was made famous by the Gold Rush prospectors who used the trail to make their way to the gold fields. You can view some of the things left behind in this historic site as well as soak in the surrounding beauty.
Explore Dawson City on a “Walking” Tour
Dawson City was the destination for the gold seekers during the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890’s. At its best, the city was home to about 30,000 people. Now, the small town hosts some interesting historic buildings and sites. You can use Google Maps to get yourself around and follow the guide from the Visitor’s Center to take journey down these historic streets. The Google Street view will start you at the Dawson City Museum and you can follow the guide from there. To get your walking tour map and information.
Enjoy the Exhibits at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center
This museum, located in Yellowknife, houses a collection of both governmental and non-governmental documents related to the history of the Northwest Territories and has a large number of online exhibits interpreting the human and natural history of NWT as well as other topics.
Explore the Discovery Claim National Historic Site
Trek the Canadian Arctic
Along with the incredible views and scenery available through Google Maps for Iqaluit and the surrounding area, this is a great site to learn about how these were created, as along with the team, there was plenty of input from students and community members. Nunavut is one of the most remote places that you can visit, so take the time and explore this fantastic piece of Canadian northern wilderness.
Visit Dredge #4 by Dawson City
Located on Bonanza Creek, by Dawson City, this is the largest wooden hull dredge in the world. A National Historic Site, this is one of the must-see attractions while visiting Dawson City. The Google Maps virtual visit will take you through the site and you may be able to read most of the interpretive displays around the site.
Visit the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site
Located right along the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse you will find the historic S.S. Klondike. This sternwheeler was the largest of a fleet in a time when the river was the main highway of the region. It has been restored to its former splendour for visitor’s enjoyment. You can visit most of both inside and outside areas of the vessel virtually.
View the famous Pingos in the Northwest Territories
The Pingo National Landmark near Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories is a natural area that protects eight pingos along the Arctic Ocean. Pingos are essentially ice-cored hills and have been used as navigational aids for Inuvialuit travelling by land and water and as a convenient height of land for spotting caribou on the tundra or whales offshore for centuries. Take a walk along the Arctic shore and get a view of these unique natural structures.
See the S.S. Keno National Historic Site
Dawson City is chock full of interesting historic sites and this is not one to miss. Another historic sternwheeler that was part of the Yukon history in the early 1900’s. Built in 1922, the S.S. Keno worked mainly on the Stewart River hauling silver lead concentrate from Mayo to Stewart City. It was also used for the early and late season trips to Dawson City. If you would like some information to read while you are making your way through the vessel, other than the informative signs, you can download a PDF information file from Parks Canada here.
Take a “walking” tour of historic Carcross
One of the oldest gold rush towns in the territory, this region has been used by the Tagish and Tlingit First Nations for generations before the rush started. You can enjoy the First Nations exhibits, like the totem poles, woodcarving shed and more that are right in town. You can even check out the beach on the shore of Bennett Lake! For a descriptive walking tour of the town that will give you a chance to see all the historic buildings, download it here.
Check out the wildlife in Ivvavik National Park
Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve
Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve is named after Nááts’įhch’oh mountain – a powerful place for the native people of the Sahtu. Located near the Yukon and Northwest Territories border, the park is in the traditional lands of the Shúhtaot’ine (Mountain Dene), and home to grizzly bear, Dall’s sheep, mountain goats, and woodland caribou.
Explore the Park on 3D Video.
Nahanni National Park
The Cirque of the Unclimbables’ granite spires rise out of the lush alpine meadow and at Virginia Falls the South Nahanni River surges over a drop twice the height of Niagara Falls. These 30,000 square kilometers is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. The Dehcho First Nations welcome adventurers to Nahą Dehé, land of peaks, plateaus and wild rivers.
You can also visit Ivvavik National Park, Aulavik National Park, Auyuittuq National Park, Kluane National Park, Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve, Nahanni National Park, Tuktut Nogait National Park on Google Earth.