THE WILD NORTH
Silence is golden in the Yukon
The “smallest” of Canada’s three territories is one of the least densely populated places on the planet. Just under 36,000 souls are scattered across the 186,000 square miles of the Yukon, including 25,000 in the capital Whitehorse. The result is an area of rivers, mountains, and quiet trails where you can walk, fish, camp, and kayak, away from the crowds.
Canada as you like it (020 8742 8299; canadaasyoulikeit.com) offers “Yukon Explored: Touring and Hiking”, a 14-night trip to Kluane National Park (where Canada’s highest peak, Mt Logan, rises to 19,551 feet / 5,959 m) and Tombstone Territorial Park , where grizzly bears scurry in sight of the Alaskan border. From £ 2,485 pp including flights.
Lights in the sky over Yellowknife
Canada is really starting to wear its mantle of unfathomable vastness in the Northwest Territories – a region which, if it declared its independence, would instantly join the list of the 20 largest countries in the world (in 19th place – smallest than Mongolia, bigger than Peru). Here is a realm of winter darkness, free from light pollution (the capital city of Yellowknife is the only true point on the map) – which offers incredible chances to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Discover the world (01 737 214 250; discovery-du-monde.com) offers a five-day “Aurora at Blachford Lake” trip – available between January and April – that sleeps in a rustic lodge accessible only by airboat. From £ 2,260 pp including flights.
Rennes in the North
The Northwest Territories were even larger until 1999, when their northernmost ends were divided into a new territory. Nunavut immediately became the largest piece of the Canadian puzzle – a piece of land so gargantuan it is about the same size as Mexico. It pushes its barren, frozen soul high into the Arctic Circle and the Arctic Ocean, almost bumping elbows with Greenland, and because of that, is home to wildlife in abundance.
Best Served Scandinavia (020 8125 3192; best served.co.uk) dives in Canada with “Caribou Migration at Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge”. Spend nine days observing these hardy beasts as they traverse the landscape in September. From £ 7,745 pp including flights.