MILES CANYON IN CANADA, Still, you may have been fortunate enough to have seen the Yukon River from above, If you flew intoWhitehorse.However, you ’d have noticed that important of the swash forms a braided, maundering look as it wends its way through glacial ground, If so. still, Miles Canyon offers a different view of Earth’s geology, for over time the water has sculpted its way through an ancient lava inflow. Then, five- and- six- sided basaltic columns rise like fritters – and it’s the checks forming the columns that the swash is eroding.

Along with going on a Northern Lights stint, exploring Miles Canyon is one of the effects to do in Whitehorse that everyone loves.


miles canyon
Miles Canyon is a great spot to go hiking and biking.
miles canyon hike
Hiking along the river at Miles Canyon is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
robert lowe suspension bridge in Miles Canyon
Robert Lowe Suspension Bridge in Miles Canyon

You can get a great look at the chasm on the 1922 Robert Lowe suspension bridge.

A sign here explains that Lowe came to the Yukon in 1899, worked in the Whitehorse Copper Belt and operated a successful cartage business.

He was both a local and Yukon Territory politician.

The suspension bridge sways as you walk, echoing the movement of the river below.


It’s useful to cast our mind’s eyes back to 1896.

That’s when Skookum Jim, Tagish Charlie and George Washington Carmack found gold in the Klondike, a discovery that started the Klondike Gold Rush.

Throughout the world, adventurers and fortune-seekers travelled often by poorly constructed boats and shank’s mare (walking), seeking their fortunes.

Many would die en route.

Indeed, many would perish here at Miles Canyon because they knew nothing about boat building, navigation, or swimming.

Soon it became imperative to follow First Nations’ wisdom and create a land-based portage: but how?

miles canyon cruise
Miles Canyon cruise

Enter Norman Macaulay.

During the winter of 1897-98, he constructed a tramway which extended about 8 km along the east bank of the river, where he charged three cents per pound and $25.00 per boat to transport goods along log rails.

Not only did he build a wooden tramway, but he also operated a roadhouse in what became known as Canyon City.

Not to be outdone, along came competitor John Hepburn. He built a second tramway along the western embankment.

Eventually, after the Gold Rush, Hepburn sold his venture to Macaulay, who sold to the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad in 1899.

This railway still extends from Skagway, Alaska, to Carcross – being one of the world’s great train trips.

Take it and, like me, be wowed.

bridge across Miles Canyon
Bridge across Miles Canyon

Incidentally, Miles Canyon extends longer than a mile so… why the name?

US Army Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka named the canyon in 1883 for his commanding officer, Gen Nelson A. Miles.

Truly, whether you walk, bike or drive these trails, the Yukon River introduces us to many natural wonders and colourful characters.


Meet the people and join in the fun. Join the Sourtoe Cocktail club in Dawson City and check out these fun things to do in Yukon.

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