Whitehorse, Yukon

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Northern Canada’s largest city sprang from frontier roots. During the Klondike Gold Rush, prospectors washed up here, past two major river obstacles: Miles Canyon and the Whitehorse Rapids (named for whitecapped waves that resembled stallions’ manes). To prevent mass starvation, the government required every Stampeder to haul along a year’s supply of goods. The recommended list included 10 pounds of coffee, 150 pounds of bacon and 400 pounds of flour—part of a total 1,095 pounds of grub. Sundries like picks, ropes and a dozen heavy wool socks quickly brought the load up to a ton. Whitehorse, the northern terminus of the railway from Skagway, Alaska, boomed because it was as far north as would-be miners and their freight could travel by train; from here, sternwheelers did the rest, 740 kilometers (460 miles) down the upper Yukon River to the mining town of Dawson City.Now the territory’s capital, Whitehorse stands at Historic Mile 918 of the Alaska Highway and has the world’s lowest level of metropolitan air pollution, according to Guinness World Records 2013. It remains a popular tourist stop for attractions like the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and the natural and cultural insights at the MacBride Museum.
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