Yukon Territory, a territory of Canada in the extreme northwest. The Yukon is bordered by the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alaska, and the Arctic Ocean. The territory's area is 186,661 square miles (483,450 km 2), about one-third that of Alaska. Landforms in the Yukon are mainly plateaus bordered—and, in places—crossed by mountains. The highest range is the glacier-covered St. Elias Mountains, in the southwest. Here, Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada, rises 19,524 feet (5,951 m) above sea level. The Yukon and Peel rivers drain virtually all the territory. In the far north, tundra stretches nearly 100 miles (160 km) southward from the Arctic Ocean. Winters in the Yukon are generally long and bitterly cold; summers, short and cool.Yukon's provincial flower is the fireweed.
Mining is the Yukon's chief industry. Gold, found abundantly in the Klondike region in west-central Yukon, was the first mineral to attract attention. Gold is still mined, along with zinc, lead, and silver. Fur trapping, fishing, agriculture, and lumbering are far less important economic activities. Hydroelectric developments on the Yukon and other rivers provide power for mines and settlements.
The airplane is widely used for transportation. There is regular service at the larger communities, including Whitehorse, the capital; Dawson; Mayo; and Watson Lake. Charter service is available to the more remote settlements. The Alaska Highway is the most heavily used road.
In 2001 the Yukon's population was 28,674. About 80 per cent are whites, 19 per cent Indians, and 1 per cent Inuit (Eskimos). There is a public school system that runs through 12th grade. Yukon College, a public institution, has several branches; its main campus is at Whitehorse.
A commissioner appointed by the Canadian government is the official head of the Yukon government, but most power is exercised by a locally elected legislature and executive council. The territory is represented in the Canadian parliament by one senator and one member of the House of Commons.