My Yukon Life podcast radio host Jennifer Hawks visits Sky High Wilderness Ranch on the shores of Fish Lake. It’s only about 30 minutes from Whitehorse, but it’s a world away from civilization. They offer dog sled and horseback adventures as well as cabin and lodge stay packages. They have a kennel of 150 dogs and 24 horses, so it’s truly a place for animal lovers. The ranch is also neighbors with quite a few wild animals, including lynx, moose, fox, and wolves.
In 1960, a woman named Sylvia left British Columbia in a covered wagon with a few horses, three of her own children and two others she adopted along the way. She headed for the Yukon Territory with a dream of starting her own trail riding outfit and pack horse business. Sylvia taught her children how to live off the land by farming, gardening, trapping, horseback riding, dog mushing and a whole lot of other survival skills. Then she met Ian McDougall. It was instant love and the two started Sky High Wilderness Ranch. That was over 30 years ago.
We hear from Ian and a few of the other present day owners, including Jocelyn LeBlanc. When she’s not helping run the ranch, Jocelyn is a professional dog musher and a veteran of the Yukon Quest.