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Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in.
The territory was created from the rump of the Hudson's Bay Company's North-Western Territory in 1898 as "the Yukon". The federal government's most recent update of the Yukon Act in 2003 confirmed "Yukon", rather than "Yukon Territory", as the current usage standard. Though officially bilingual (English and French) the Yukon Government also recognizes First Nations languages.
At 5,959 m (19,551 ft), Yukon's Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park and Reserve, is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest of North America (after Mount McKinley in the U.S. state of Alaska). The territory's climate is Arctic and subarctic, resulting in long cold winters, short summers, and little precipitation.
Yukon's tourism motto is "Larger than life". The Yukon's major appeal is its nearly pristine nature. Tourism relies heavily on this, and there are many organised outfitters and guides available to hunters and anglers and nature lovers of all sorts. Sports enthusiasts can paddle lakes and rivers with canoes and kayaks, ride or walk trails, ski or snowboard in an organised setting or access the backcountry by air or snowmobile, climb the highest peaks in Canada or take a family hike up smaller mountains, or try ice climbing and dog sledding.
Yukon also has a wide array of cultural and sporting events and infrastructures that attract artists, participants and tourists from all parts of the world (Yukon International Storytelling Festival, Frostbite Music Festival, Dawson Music Festival, Yukon Quest, Sourdough Rendezvous, the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, Northern Lights Centre, Klondike Gold Rush memorials and activities, "Takhini Hot Springs", and the Whitehorse fish ladder.
There are many opportunities to experience pre-colonial lifestyles by learning about Yukon's First Nations. Wildlife and nature observation is exceptional and a wide variety of large mammals, birds, and fish are easily accessible, whether or not within Yukon's many territorial parks (Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park, Tombstone Territorial Park, Fishing Branch Ni'iinlii'njik Park, Coal River Springs Territorial Park) and national parks (Kluane National Park and Reserve, Vuntut National Park, Ivvavik National Park) and reserves, or nearby Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park in British Columbia.
On the long, cold, and clear nights of winter, nature provides the ultimate natural spectacle in the form of aurora borealis.
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