Welcome to Watson Lake! This small town of less than 800 residents is located in southeastern Yukon, the first community north of the 60th parallel. Situated within the Boreal Forest, Watson Lake enjoys more than 18 hours of sunlight during the longest summer days and is home to plenty of recreational opportunities all year round.
During the snowy months, Mt. Maichen Ski Hill and Chalet features nine groomed runs and a ski school to help new skiers master the sport, as well as cross-country skiing and hiking trails. Wye Lake Park features a 2.5km hiking trail around the lakeshore, plus picnic areas and a playground, making it a great spot for visitors of all ages.
To experience some of Watson Lake’s unique character, don’t miss the Sign Post Forest. During the 1940s when the Alaska Highway was being built, the US Army of Engineers would put up directional posts at their camps, indicating the direction and distance to places all over the world. Over the years, visitors from all over the globe started posting signs from their hometowns. It’s estimated that there are now more than 88,000 signs on display.
If you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of the northern lights–and at the Northern Lights Centre, you can learn all about the phenomenon. This museum also features a neat gift shop where you can pick out a Watson Lake memento.
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Watson Lake at a Glance
Wind NW at 16 km/h, 71% Humidity
Keep your eyes peeled for wood bison–they can sometimes be spotted grazing near the highway approaching Watson Lake.
The original BC-Yukon Air Service hangar is still standing at the Watson Lake Airport. Built in 1941, it was used by the U.S. Army during World War II as well as during the construction of the Alaska Highway.
Watson Lake is named for an American prospector named Frank Watson, who left his home in California in 1897 in search of Klondike gold.
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