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Yukon Geography

Yukon, one of Canada's most stunning landscapes, is replete with precipitous snow-capped mountains, volcanoes (active and dormant), glaciers, snowmelt lakes, cold water rivers, coniferous forests and the stark landscape of the Arctic's frozen tundra.
Arguably, Yukon's most striking landforms are located in Kluane National Park. The park's Saint Elias Mountain Range is home to seven of Canada's ten highest mountains, including Mt. Logan, the country's highest point.

Immense non-polar ice fields cover the park, and numerous glaciers (frozen rivers of ice) are found here. In fact, Mt. Logan itself is surrounded by ice nearly one mile deep; Picture here!

The Selwyn Mountains, and fringes of the Mackenzie Mountains along the Yukon-NWT border, contain rugged mountain peaks, high-plateaus and deep river valleys. Other mountains ranges of note include the Ogilvie, Pelly and Richardson.

The Pacific Ring of Fire, a ring of volcanic in origin mountains that loop around the Pacific Ocean, contain Canada's most-significant volcanoes. One of them, active Volcano Mountain, is located in the Fort Selkirk Volcanic Field, just to the west of Pelly Crossing.

Tundra dominates the land above Yukon's coniferous forests and the Arctic Circle. Tundra is a frost-covered (often frozen) treeless plain; temperatures are cold throughout the year, with very little precipitation.

As for rivers, much of Yukon is drained by its namesake river. The Yukon rises in the northern reaches of British Columbia, flowing some 3,700 km (2,300 miles), across Yukon and the U.S. State of Alaska, to empty into the Bering Sea.

Other rivers of note include the Liard, Peel, Porcupine, Stewart and Tatshenshini. There are a number of finger-like alpine lakes in Yukon, mostly in the mountain valleys of the south.

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About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 14, 2016.