WHERE IS THE WORLD’S SMALLEST DESERT?
If you guessed anything south of latitude 60, you’re wrong! The answer is the Yukon Territory, Canada and it’s called the Carcross Desert.
Recognized by the Guinness Book of Records, the Carcross covers an area of just 642 acres. Ten thousand years ago it was the bottom of a large glacial lake. As the lake dried, the sand dunes were left behind. Today, the sand comes mainly from nearby Bennett Lake, blown in on the wind.
Although it has been recognized as the world’s smallest desert, technically it isn't a desert. It is simply a series of sand dunes. The area is too humid to be considered an actual desert. But still, the area is much drier than the land around it, receiving less than 28 cm (11 inches) of precipitation annually – including snow!
As a result of the unusual conditions, the Carcross is home to several rare plant species including Baikal Sedge (Carex sabulosa) which is known to exist in only four other sites in North America, and Yukon Lupine. Other species include Spruce, Lodgepole Pine and Kinnikinnick.
Located about 70 km south of Whitehorse, the Carcross Desert is a very photogenic spot we plan to visit during our Yukon Gold!; Whitehorse/Haines Junction/Kluane National Park photo tour. It will be one of many stops on our driving tour on Day Two of that itinerary, when we explore from Whitehorse, to Carcross, to Little Atlin Lake, to Marsh Lake and back to Whitehorse.
Our ‘Learning Module’ for today, led by Barry, will include composition, framing, DoF, metering and, before we head into the sand, how to protect your equipment!
Join us for the Yukon Gold!, 2018 photo tours, August 18 to 24 or August 25 to September 3 or both! Contact us via the contact tab for the full itineraries.
PS: Worried about all the bugs up North? Not too many around anymore by late August!