20 Photos that will make you want to visit the Yukon

The main reason I wanted to visit the Yukon was for a chance to see the Northern Lights. I have always dreamed of seeing this natural wonder. I truly cried when I saw the lights dancing in front of me. The pictures don’t do it justice but it was beyond magical.

My first glimpse of Kluane National Park came at my dad’s house. He is a professional photographer and has the most magnificent photo above his fireplace. Every time I see it I say I want to go there. Well I went there on an small 4 seater airplane. Seeing Mt. Logan and eight other tallest mountains in Canada from the sky was incredible.

 

What you might not know is the Yukon is home to 14 different First Nations groups. I was lucky enough to visit two of them. When I went to visit the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation I had the chance to meet with one of their former chiefs, James Allen, who taught us all about living off of the land in the dead of winter. We did everything from ice fishing to setting trap lines.

One of my favourite parts of the Yukon was heading up to the small town of Carcoss and learning about the First Nations culture. We had the chance to try an authentic meal and learn from Keith Wolfe Smarch, the towns carver. His designs were beautiful and really added colour and beauty to the town.

 

The main reason that I was in the Yukon was for the Yukon Quest. It is a dog mushing race from Whitehorse to Fairbanks, Alaska. It is considered to be the toughest race of its kind. Mushing is a big part of the history in the Yukon and I had the chase to give it a try and meet some amazing dogs.

Sure, Whitehorse was freezing. In fact, one day it got to around -4o, but there was something beautiful about experiencing this magical place in the winter, even when everything freezes in minutes.

The Yukon was one of the most magical places I have ever been. I had a chance to cross off so many bucket list experiences. From seeing the Northern Lights to flying over Kluane to witnessing the Yukon Quest and to making life long friends.

I cannot wait to return to the Yukon because it truly stole my heart, and I promise it will steal yours too.

Happy traveling my friends,

xo,

Mia

Mia Goes M.I.A.: Ontario’s Hidden Gem, Bruce Peninsula

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I had always heard of how beautiful Bruce Peninsula National Park is, so when it was announced that all national parks would be free for Canada 150, I jumped on the opportunity to visit Bruce Peninsula.

Bruce Peninsula National Park is a true oasis just a four-hour drive from Toronto, making it an easy weekend trip from the city. The park itself straddles the Niagara Escarpment meaning there is plenty of forested area to hike. The park is also quite famous for its Grotto, a limestone cave overlooking Georgian Bay’s clear waters.

I had originally planned to go camping in the park, but it seems everyone else had the same idea as me. By the time I called to book a site, there were none left for the entire summer. Instead I ended up renting an Airbnb in Tobermory for the weekend. Valuable lesson learned, if you want to camp, you need to book way in advance.

The town of Tobermory in itself is an attraction, and where I was staying was just a short 10-minute drive from the entrance to the park and a 15-minute bike ride from Singing Sands Beach. It proved to be the perfect location to really experience all the area has to offer, and on top of that I had a chance to sleep in a comfy bed away from mosquitos.

It is hard for me to describe just how beautiful Bruce Peninsula truly was. Someone had told me that it looked similar to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Turquoise clear waters, beautiful rock formations, greenery all around you. It was the most magical place that I have ever experienced in Ontario, and one of the most beautiful places I have seen in all of Canada. It is a must experience spot with plenty to see and do. I wanted to share with you some of my highlights from the weekend in case you decided to plan a trip to Bruce Peninsula.

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The Grotto

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I made my way to the Grotto around 10 am Saturday morning thinking I was early enough. To my dismay, when I arrived I was told the Grotto was already full for the entire day and to come back earlier the following day if I wanted to see it.

I came back on Sunday at 8 am and got in without any trouble. Lesson learned, if you want to see the Grotto you have to go early because the time slots for the day fill up quickly.

The view of the Grotto was definitely worth the early morning wake up call. The waters inside were a combination of turquoise and deep blue, and there were plenty of cliffs in the area that allowed for stunning views. While some were swimming down below, the water was freezing, so I decided to stay on top and just take in the fresh air and stunning sights.

The Bruce Trail

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I discovered the Bruce Trail by pure luck. I didn’t really have hiking in my itinerary, but when the Grotto was full on the first day a park worker recommended I check out the Bruce Trail. I was told the best entrance to the trail would be off Emmett Lake Road.

The hike was honestly the highlight of my trip. It wasn’t the easiest, but if you follow the white markings you will be fine. There were plenty of look out points that made for the perfect views of the crystal clear waters down below. Every stop we made, the sights got more and more beautiful. There was also a beach below the trail (be warned, this is no sand beach, but instead covered in rocks so shoes are a good idea). While the water was freezing cold, it was too beautiful not to take a swim. Go in head first, I promise it will feel great!

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 The Town of Tobermory

The Town of Tobermory is about a 10-minute drive from the park and it is a must during a weekend stay in the area. The town is so quaint with so much to see and do.

Food: I was told that Tobermory is quite famous for their local fish and chips and so for lunch I stopped at Shipwreck Lee’s Pirate Bistro. Their fish and chips lived up to the expectations.

Dessert: After the delicious lunch I stopped by the Sweet Shop to satisfy my sweet tooth. This was heaven on earth. I decided to stick to my weekend theme and ended up trying their Bruce Trail and S’mores ice creams.

Drinks: After eating, I highly recommend a stop at the Tobermory Brewing Company and Grill to try some local brews. My personal favourite was the Sailor’s Delight.

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These were a few of the highlights from my getaway to Bruce Peninsula National Park but honestly no matter what I tell you, I am not going to do the park justice. It is truly breathtaking and the views are worth a trip. It was just one of those reminders that there is so much beauty right in our backyard.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first national park visit and cannot wait to cross another one off my list this summer? Any recommendations? Maybe I will even camp out this time!

Until I go M.I.A. again,

xo,

Mia