Geography and Climate
The Village of Haines Junction lies in the St. Elias Mountains Ecoregion, in the Shakwak Valley in southwestern Yukon and on the doorstep of one of the most dynamic and spectacular landscapes on earth. The landscape has been, and continues to be, the most geologically dynamic in the Yukon.
Less than 15 million years ago it consisted of low rolling hills partly flooded by lava; now there are steep-sided mountains and valleys choked by glaciers and fast-flowing rivers.
The St. Elias Mountains Ecoregion consists of the Icefield Ranges — high, rugged, glaciated peaks surrounded by glaciers; the Duke Depression, with the broad smooth slopes of a network of river valleys; and the northern part of the Kluane Ranges, a narrow front ridge to the St. Elias Mountains.
The Kluane Ranges form a wall rising from the Shakwak Valley, marking a major geological boundary, a fault line scarp, and the eastern boundary of the ecoregion.
"Yukon’s highest densities of Dall sheep and mountain goat are found in this region."
The weather conditions in Haines Junction are similar to those in Kluane National Park and Reserve; it is distinguished by relatively high precipitation, almost all of which falls as snow at higher elevations.
Summers are generally warm, with long hours of daylight (up to 20 hours). Because of its location north of the 60th parallel, winters in Haines Junction can be long and dark (as few as four hours of light each day).
The mean temperature is 11° Celsius in June and minus 21°Celsius in January. At higher elevations the temperature is generally colder and weather is less predictable.
Frost may occur at any time of year, and by the end of October there is ice on many of the lakes.
- Yukon Geological Survey
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