Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Tue November 17 2015

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  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | November 17, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    4 Tips For Visiting The Yukon

    4 Tips For Visiting The Yukon

    PHOTO: Dawson City, Yukon. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

    The Yukon is known for wildlife and a wild lifestyle, and I have discovered that the northwestern Canadian territory totally lives up to this reputation. From the otherworldly beauty of glaciers and the Northern Lights, to the local penchant for mud wrestling and moose nose soup, there’s no place quite like it. Here are my well-learned tips for traveling in the Yukon:

    1. Keep an Open Mind

    This is paramount to enjoying the freewheeling experience of Yukon living. Throw out any expectations of how things should be done and you'll be fine.

    I figured that I'd stay in a hotel during my visit to Dawson City. You know, a place with a front desk and rows of rooms with beds. Instead, I found myself in a log cabin with a long porch connected to the other cabins. Called Klondike Kate's, it was rustic and very on trend for Yukon simplicity.

    The next night, I stayed in a former brothel called Bombay Peggy's Victorian Inn. The bright red carpeting required that I take my shoes off at the door, port and chocolates are served in the lobby and my room in the attic boasted a loft bed and vintage bathtub. I hadn't envisioned either of these lodging situations before my visit. So keep an open mind — you never know what to expect in the Yukon.

    2. Leave Behind Any Citified Concerns

    The Yukon is filled with rugged wilderness that demands a connection with nature, not your six different devices. Some areas have only recently received paved roads and electricity. This means that Wi-Fi is not generally a priority. There will be no Starbucks runs to be had. When I asked about the water pressure in my room in Whitehorse, one local explained that she lives in a cabin without running water, so she couldn't advise me.

    One of my traveling companions fretted about her Mac getting stolen because the patio doors to her lodge didn't lock. She was told that the only thing that would try to get into her room would be a bear, and they don't use Macs. So yeah, forget about the cosmopolitan expectations at home.

    3. Forget Trying To Be Stylish

    PHOTO: A local wearing the typical Yukon fashion. (photo by Rosalind Cummings-Yeates)

    A portion of the Yukon is located within the Arctic Circle. Designer wear and finely crafted shoes have no place here. Glaciers and bears are more commonly sighted than stilettos and Prada pants. Yukon locals, called Sourdoughs, usually wear warm, protective gear most days and 19th century Yukon costumes when they're being fancy. From my observations, miner chic — including long beards, (non-groomed, non-hipster) mountaineer hats and shapeless jeans are fashion faves.

    4. Plan on Getting Closer To Nature

    The appeal of the region is in the landscape. I hiked the boreal forest, contemplated the Carcross Desert and rode a Cessna for a glacier flight-seeing trip.  Since the sun didn't set until 11:45 every night, I felt free to roam the empty streets, gazing at the stars. None of these things would have sounded that interesting to me in any other location (except the glaciers because who doesn't want to see glaciers) but that's the magic of the Yukon.

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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