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Yukon: Location and Land


Located in the northwest corner of Canada's continental mainland the Yukon Territory takes its name from the Loucheux (Gwitchin) Indian name Yu-kun-ah for the "great river" which drains most of its area. The perimeters of this mountainous territory form a rough triangle bordered on the south by British Columbia, on the west by the U.S. state of Alaska and on the east by the Northwest Territories. The northern tip of the triangle meets the Beaufort Sea.


The Yukon Territory covers 483 450 km2 of land. The Yukon represents 4.8% of Canada's total land area. Of the ten provinces and three territories, the Yukon is the ninth largest with only the four Atlantic Provinces being smaller.

The Land

The Yukon is a land ranging from snow and tundra to deep forests and mountain meadows and includes a pocket desert. Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak, at 6050 metres, is located in southwestern Yukon. The Yukon can be divided into two broad geographical regions:

  • Taiga, the boreal forest belt that circles the world in the subarctic zone, including most of the Yukon.
  • Tundra, the vast, rocky plain in the Arctic regions, where the extreme climate has stunted vegetation.
  • Rivers; Donjek, Klondike, Liard, MacMillan, McQuesten, Nisutlin, Peel, Pelly, Porcupine, Ross, Snake, White, Wind, and the Yukon.
  • Lakes; Aishihik, Bennett, Dezadeash, Frances, Kluane, Kusawa, Laberge, Little Salmon, Marsh, Mayo, Quiet, Tagish, and Teslin.

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