In one day, you can dip your toes in Emerald Lake at the foot of the Rockies, trek through the North’s smallest desert, trace part of the infamous trail to the Klondike, and, thanks to Black Bear Wilderness Adventures’ conscientious owner and guide, break for smoked salmon sandwiches and salted moose sausage in between.
“It’s soul food,” Elisabeth Weigand laughs. Born and raised in Germany, she came to the Yukon just over 20 years ago in search of pristine nature. “I used to have a trapline, and we went out for several months in winter. Coming back to the cabin cold and exhausted, and having it warmed up—it’s way rougher than what my clients experience—but I know the feeling of getting something nice.”
Black Bear Wilderness Adventures offers day trips in and around Whitehorse, and the newly introduced Yukon Quest tour brings visitors to the frontlines of the iconic dogsledding race.
But for those who, like Weigand, crave a full-on wilderness experience, there’s the sparse log cabin at the edge of Kluane National Park. “It’s an authentic trapper cabin made into a comfortable place,” she says. “You can see and feel what the old world was, but you don’t have to rough it to the extent that you have to sleep on the ground or it’s drafty.” It’s still self-contained: guests bring their own water and food, and for entertainment, you’re a short walk away from several trailheads.
“There’s no internet. We can totally forget about that,” she says. “You get there, you look after yourself.”