Carcross desert is located in the southwest corner of the Yukon Territory, close to the British Columbia border. It is the world’s smallest desert measuring approximately 2.6 sq km. Even though it’s the smallest desert, technically it isn’t a desert as it is very humid and surrounded by lakes.
Sand dunes in this desert are the remains of the large glacial lakes. They are formed by the deposits left behind after drying up of the glacial lakes.
The Yukon Government is making great efforts to protect the desert. But, it is still being used by the locals as a natural playground for recreation and sport activities like riding ATVs and dirt biking.
Even if you don’t have a toy to roll down the dunes, there are spectacular views from the top of the hill, a short 1.5 km hike, which makes the walk worth it. During spring and early summer, a backdrop of snow capped mountains behind Nares Lake, makes for an amazing photographic opportunity. There are very few places in the world where you would get to see sand dunes, lake, hills, forest & snow capped mountains all in one frame!
Carcross desert is 70 km from Whitehorse.
Get onto the Alaska Hwy and drive south for about 14 km then turn right on Klondike Hwy. Continue on Klondike Hwy for another 40 km and you will pass Emerald Lake on your right. There is a look out point to take pictures of the emerald blue color lake. After driving for another 10 mins, you will reach Carcross Desert.
For more things to do in Carcross, click on the following link for more information on hiking the Sam McGee Trail.