Five Things You May Not Know About The Yukon

Where Does The Name Whitehorse Come From?

Whitehorse, Yukon’s capital city, is named after the historic rapids on the Yukon River, which were said to resemble the flowing manes of charging white horses.

What Is a “Sourdough”?
Sourdough bread was a crucial means of survival for miners living in the harsh conditions of the Gold Rush. Sourdough bread “starter” was always available. The name “sourdough” evolved from that into a nickname used in the North (Yukon and Alaska) for someone who spent an entire winter north of the Arctic Circle, and kept to the tradition of protecting their sourdough starter during the coldest months by keeping it close to their body. Now you know why it’s called the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival!

Why is the Yukon Called the Land of the Midnight Sun?
Because the Yukon is located north of the Arctic Circle, the sun can remain continuously above or below the horizon for 24 hours. This means that during the June solstice, the sun is in the sky for a full 24 hours in the Yukon. Conversely, during the winter solstice, Yukoners spend 24 hours in complete darkness, with the sun staying below the horizon for a full day.

Could You Stomach a Sourtoe Cocktail?
The Sourtoe Cocktail is exactly what it sounds like: an actual human toe that has been dehydrated and preserved in salt and served in a drink.

Legend has it that Yukon local Captain Dick Stevenson found a severed toe preserved in a jar of alcohol while cleaning a cabin. He plopped the toe in a glass of champagne and knocked it back until the toe touched his lips. He then started serving this beverage, calling it the “Sourtoe Cocktail” at the local Eldorado hotel bar. Some Dawson City bars still serve the Sourtoe Cocktail today.

What is the Name of the Highest Mountain in the Yukon?

At 5,959 m (19,551 ft), Yukon’s Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park and Reserve, is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest on the North American continent (after Denali in the U.S. state of Alaska)