Sparsely populated Canada is a paradise for people who like breathtaking landscapes and exploring quirky small towns. One of the most interesting places to explore is Yukon, a northwestern province that is one of the world's largest unspoiled territories. The rivers flow in summer and freeze in winter, and the snowcapped mountains provide magnificent backdrops. An epicentre of the gold rush a century ago, this part of Canada is where visitors can recapture that dramatic part of the country's history by hand-panning for gold in the Klondike. Yukon is home to one of the largest Native American populations. Many First Nations, organisations that represent indigenous people, are established in towns and villages. If time is limited, the most convenient way to appreciate Native American and Inuit art is by taking a domestic flight from Whitehorse, Yukon's capital, or Edmonton to the town of Inuvik, where the Great North Arts Festival is held in July. In Yukon, 25 per cent of the population is Inuit, while 15 per cent is Dene or Metis (people of Native American-French parentage). While English is the primary language, do not be surprised to hear conversations you do not understand as Native American languages such as Inuvialuktun and Gwich'in are widely spoken. Two degrees north of the Arctic circle, Inuvik is the air travel hub for the western Arctic region, with flights for other distant places such as Old Crow, Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk and Fort MacPherson. Hunting and fishing trips can be organised from Yukon, with each organiser specialising in a designated geographical area. A trip to Tuktoyaktuk, for example, takes about 25 minutes by air. For wildlife enthusiasts Yukon is not to be missed. It is the natural habitat of many wild animals, including grizzly bears, bison, moose, deer and caribou. Many species of birds also migrate there in summer. Drive from Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway to Beaver Creek, a border town of about 100 inhabitants, where most drivers cross the border into Alaska. It takes about six hours, passing many interesting small towns such as Destruction Bay and Burswick Land along the shore of Kluane Lake. Here, you can fish for trout which can weigh up to 18kg. The nearby Kluane National Park offers great hikes and out-of-this-world scenery. Another way to cross the border is on the Klondike Highway, which takes you to Dawson City, the former capital of the province and the base for gold rush panhandlers. This is a good base for a journey to Klondike River to try your hand at panning for gold. While summer, when the famous midnight sun is visible, is the busiest season for Yukon, winter can be a good time to visit as it is when the northern lights, or aurora borealis, can be seen.