For many people from across the world, imagining Canada means picturing expansive and impressive landscapes, and access to wilderness. For Marco Buch of Life is a Trip (@lifeisatripcom), who is based in Berlin, such expectations were more than fulfilled when he visited Yukon this summer.
Buch was one of the travel bloggers invited to experience The Great Trail at the time of its official connection. The group, comprised of influencers, photographers and writers from around the world, explored some of the most scenic parts of the Trail. “Checking out parts of The Great Trail has been a true pleasure,” Buch says. “Cycling, hiking, horseback-riding and paddling through the pristine nature of Yukon quickly revealed to me what The Great Trail is all about: being outdoors, connecting with nature, enjoying an active lifestyle.”
Yukon, to Buch, is an illustration of how wild and remote Canada can be. A few kilometres from Whitehorse, a city of 28,000, which is aptly referred to as Wilderness City, one encounters vast stretches of land untouched by development.
Buch compares The Great Trail to a spine that supports a system of connections. It builds on existing historical transportation routes, like the Yukon River, one of North America’s longest waterways, and the Alaska Highway, or “Alcan” Highway. Both sections of the Trail bear witness to the idea that accessing and traversing wilderness to connect with communities beyond is not new. The efforts of building the Alaska Highway and its importance in the history of the area can be explored in an exhibition at the MacBride Museum in Whitehorse.
A remote wilderness trail that stretches from the Takhini River north of Whitehorse to Braeburn was a transportation route during the Klondike Gold Rush-era, and is best explored on horseback (offered by Yukon Horsepacking Adventures), a mode of transportation Buch tried for the first time. He also enjoyed kayaking on the Yukon River.
Flightseeing tours, courtesy of Alpine Aviation, offer yet another perspective of the jagged landscape, the twist and turns of the Yukon River and towering mountains, and Buch adds, “[It] would have been a great experience if I had taken my motion sickness pills.”
There is much to see, and Travel Yukon recommends a minimum of four days in the region, but not everyone is keen on just passing through, says Buch. He enjoyed meeting the people from around the world, including Switzerland and Germany, who decided to make Yukon their home.
“I could truly feel the thrill of these 24,000 kilometres connecting all three coasts of Canada, and realized that The Great Trail is not only connecting places, but also people, ideas and cultures within a diverse country,” says Buch. “All of that combined makes The Great Trail something Canada can really be proud of.”