travel / travel magazine / summer 2007

GateWay

Museum watch  |   Touring  |   Camping  |   Learning  |   Nature  |   Festivals
Road trip  |   It's a great time of year to ...



NATURE
Pseudo-desert

IF YOU FIND yourself travelling along the Alaska Highway south of Whitehorse this summer, take a half-hour detour to Carcross, Yukon, to wiggle your toes in the sand of what locals call the world's smallest desert.



Advertisement


The dry climate and strong winds in the 260-hectare area make it feel like a real desert, but the Carcross Desert is actually a series of sand dunes (which technically have too much moisture to be classified as a desert). The "desert" stretches from Bennett Lake to Caribou Mountain, an area roughly three kilometres long. Every year, sand is carried from Watson River to Bennett Lake, where it settles. When the water level of the lake drops or surface ice melts, winds blow the exposed sand, creating the dunes.

They are host to a number of unique and at-risk plants, including the Baikal sedge, and the Yukon lupine.

In 1992, the territorial government sought environmental protection for the dunes but encountered some opposition from community members who use the area for recreation. In the summer, people ride all-terrain vehicles, sandboard and hike on the dunes and in the winter, they snowmobile and cross-country ski on them.

— A.N.

top


Search our sites: , , ,


Digital Edition available now!
Sign up for our newsletters

CG POLL

What gets you outdoors in the winter?

Snow fort building
Photographing wintry scenes
Sports like skiing
I prefer to stay indoors

Comments (optional):






Meet our client partners
CG Contests
Featured Destinations
ADventures
Classifieds
Advertiser Directory

Canadian Geographic Magazine | Canadian Geographic Travel Magazine
Canadian Atlas Online | Canadian Travel | CG Education | Mapping & Cartography | Canadian Geographic Photo Club | Kids | Canadian Contests | Canadian Lesson Plans | Blog

Royal Canadian Geographical Society | Canadian Geographic Education | Canadian Geographic Challenge | Canadian Award for Environmental Innovation

Jobs | Internships | Submission Guidelines

© 2014 Canadian Geographic Enterprises