I touched down early on the afternoon of the 11th of September in Whitehorse, descending from sunny skies. The capital of Yukon Territory has a population of about 26,000, but don’t let that fool you. The trails here are world class. There are two riding areas on either side of the Yukon river and both are far larger than anything in the greater Victoria area. The bulk of these trails are considered cross country and vary from long climbs to extended descents, there are some skinnies, drops and teeter totters thrown in here or there for good measure and endless corners for digging your tires into. The city has dumped loads of money into the trail network and it is growing with every new season. The trail maps for the Grey Mountain area on the west side of the river are excellent and almost all the trails are signed, many include “you are here” maps.
As you might expect I didn’t come without my Giant Anthem X1 29er, the bike thrives in this terrain. A lot of the trails are still fresh and have lots of undulating woops yet to be smoothed out. There is even a new riding mountain approximately 70kms outside of the city called Montana on the edge of the town of Carcross, which features more vertical and more challenging rocks and structure then the Whitehorse trails. If you’re headed to Carcross be sure to drop in to the visitors center to check in for free and get a free map and don’t forget an ice cream in town.
If downhill is more your speed, there is word that there will be a whole network of downhill on mount Mcintyre on the East side of town with road access available sometime in 2012. The potential for mountain biking tourism is not lost on the people of Whitehorse either. Check out Boreale Mountain Biking for a full vacation package, including accommodation in a yurt just outside of town!
The fun doesn't stop there either, this network of trails turns into a cross country skiing paradise in the winter and as you’d expect the hiking and ski touring options are endless. If you’re thinking about visiting the Yukon I can tell you that you will not be disappointed.