Canyon City is a Klondike Gold Rush ghost town and a Yukon Government Heritage Site. It is located about 7 km from downtown Whitehorse, Yukon at the upstream end of Miles Canyon on the Yukon River. Summer tours are encouraged.
Archaeological work shows evidence that First Nations people have used this area for many thousands of years. There were seasonal fish camps above and below Miles Canyon and the Whitehorse Rapids. Early explorers had little contact with the indigenous population, although Frederick Schwatka, in 1883, made note of a First Nations portage trail bypassing Miles Canyon, and, in 1887, George Mercer Dawson, noted the large number of salmon above the canyon — salmon were one of the fish that were important to the aboriginal population.
During the Klondike Gold Rush, the thousands of stampeders travelling down the Yukon River to Dawson, Miles Canyon and the Whitehorse Rapids were the most treacherous obstacles on the entire route. Canyon City, at the upstream end of the canyon, was the place where people stopped to plan their next move. Many unloaded their boats and laboriously portaged their goods.
By June 1898 a huge bottleneck had developed at Canyon City. Nearly 300 boats had been wrecked in the rapids, and five people had drowned; North-West Mounted Police Inspector Samuel Steele confessed: "why more casualties have not occurred is a mystery to me." Steele issued an order that skilled pilots had to be hired to take the boats through.
By then, a tramway had been built on the east bank of the river. It was eight km long and ran from Canyon City to the foot of the rapids, just across from the present site of downtown Whitehorse, hauling goods on horse-drawn cars for 3 cents per pound. A rival tram was also built on the west bank of the river. A small settlement developed at Canyon City, and a townsite was even surveyed there. Although it thrived for a short time, by 1900 the White Pass railway was completed to Whitehorse, and Canyon City had lost its reason for existence. Of the many modes of transportation developed during the gold rush, the most practical was the White Pass & Yukon Route, a narrow-gauge railway connecting Skagway, Alaska, at tidewater, with Whitehorse, at the head of navigation on the Yukon River.
But the life of both before and after the gold rush are still being investigated at this interactive archaeological site.
Coordinates: 60°39′29″N135°00′06″W / 60.65806°N 135.00167°W
Whitehorse is the capital of Yukon, and the largest city in Northern Canada. It was incorporated in 1950 and is located at kilometre 1426 on the Alaska Highway in southern Yukon. Whitehorse's downtown and Riverdale areas occupy both shores of the Yukon River, which rises in British Columbia and meets the Bering Sea in Alaska. The city was named after the White Horse Rapids for their resemblance to the mane of a white horse, near Miles Canyon, before the river was dammed.
The Yukon River is a major watercourse of northwestern North America. From its source in British Columbia, Canada, it flows through Canada's territory of Yukon. The lower half of the river continues westwards through the U.S. state of Alaska. The river is 3,190 kilometres (1,980 mi) long and empties into the Bering Sea at the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta. The average flow is 6,400–7,000 m3/s (230,000–250,000 cu ft/s). The total drainage area is 833,000 km2 (321,500 sq mi), of which 323,800 km2 (125,000 sq mi) lies in Canada. The total area is more than 25% larger than Texas or Alberta.
The Klondike Gold Rush was a migration by an estimated 100,000 prospectors to the Klondike region of Yukon, in north-western Canada, between 1896 and 1899. Gold was discovered there by local miners on August 16, 1896; when news reached Seattle and San Francisco the following year, it triggered a stampede of prospectors. Some became wealthy, but the majority went in vain. It has been immortalized in films, literature, and photographs.
Dawson City, officially the City of Dawson, is a town in the Canadian territory of Yukon. It is inseparably linked to the Klondike Gold Rush (1896–99). Its population was 1,375 as of the 2016 census, making it the second-largest town in Yukon.
The Chilkoot Trail is a 33-mile (53 km) trail through the Coast Mountains that leads from Dyea, Alaska, in the United States, to Bennett, British Columbia, in Canada.
Bennett Lake is a lake in the Province of British Columbia and Yukon Territory in northwestern Canada. It is just north of the border with the United States state of Alaska, near the Alaskan port of Skagway.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a national historical park operated by the National Park Service that seeks to commemorate the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s. Though the gold fields that were the ultimate goal of the stampeders lay in the Yukon Territory, the park comprises staging areas for the trek there and the routes leading in its direction. There are four units, including three in Municipality of Skagway Borough, Alaska and a fourth in the Pioneer Square National Historic District in Seattle, Washington.
Carmacks is a village in Yukon, Canada, on the Yukon River along the Klondike Highway, and at the west end of the Robert Campbell Highway from Watson Lake. The population is 493. It is the home of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, a Northern Tutchone-speaking people.
Marsh Lake is a widening of the Yukon River southeast of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. It is over 30 kilometres long and ranges from three to four kilometres wide. The co-ordinates of the lake are 60°26′10″N134°15′02″W, and is 2,147 feet above sea level. The lake forms part of a chain of finger lakes, sometimes referred to as "The Southern Lakes", they form the headwaters of the Yukon River.
The Yukon Trail is a 1994 educational computer game from the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC), similar to their previous Oregon Trail series but set during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century. Players start out in Seattle and must make decisions concerning supplies, a partner, and travel plans as they head to Alaska before boating down a river to Dawson City and staking a claim to mine for gold. The game features the famous author Jack London and authentic 19th-century photographs that show what life was like back then.
Forty Mile is best known as the oldest town in Canada’s Yukon. It was established in 1886 at the confluence of the Yukon and Fortymile rivers by prospectors and fortune hunters in search of gold. Largely abandoned during the nearby Klondike Gold Rush, the town site continued to be used by Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. It is currently a historic site that is co-owned and co-managed by Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the Government of Yukon.
The Whitehorse rapids were rapids on the Yukon River in Canada's Yukon Territory, named for their supposed resemblance to the mane of a charging white horse. The rapids formed where the Yukon River flows across and cuts down through lava flows of the Miles Canyon basalt. These rapids presented a major navigational obstacle on the Yukon River during the Klondike Gold Rush, and lent their name to the nearby town of Whitehorse.
The Miles Canyon Basalts represent a package of rocks that include various exposures of basaltic lava flows and cones that erupted and flowed across an ancient pre-glacial landscape in south-central Yukon.
Tr'ochëk is the site of a traditional Hän fishing camp at the confluence of the Klondike River and Yukon River. The site is owned and managed by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, and is operated by the First Nation's Department of Heritage.
SS Klondike was the name of two sternwheelers, the second now a national historic site located in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. They ran freight between Whitehorse and Dawson City along the Yukon River, the first from 1929 to 1936 and the second, an almost exact replica of the first, from 1937 to 1950.
Steamboats on the Yukon River played a role in the development of Alaska and Yukon. Access to the interior of Alaska and Yukon was hindered by large mountains and distance, but the wide Yukon River provided a feasible route. The first steamers on the lower Yukon River were work boats for the Collins Overland Telegraph in 1866 or 1867, with a small steamer called Wilder. The mouth of the Yukon River is far to the west at St. Michael and a journey from Seattle or San Francisco covered some 4,000 miles (6,400 km).
Steamboats operated on the Stikine River in response to gold finds in along that river and in the Cassiar Country of northwestern British Columbia, Canada.
A. J. Goddard was a Klondike Gold Rush era sternwheeler owned by Seattle businessman Albert J. Goddard and built for transport of men and supplies on the Upper Yukon River in Canada. She was assembled from pieces which were manufactured in San Francisco, shipped up to Skagway, Alaska, hauled over the Coast Mountains, and finally assembled at Lake Bennett. She made one trip to Dawson during the gold rush, was sold and sank in a storm on Lake Laberge in 1901. Her wreck was discovered in 2008 by Doug Davidge and was designated as a Yukon Historic Site.
The SS Keno is a preserved historic sternwheel paddle steamer and National Historic Site of Canada. The SS Keno is berthed in a dry dock on the waterfront of the Yukon River in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada.
Lindeman Creek, formerly known as One Mile River connects Bennett Lake to Lindeman Lake, areas on the Chilkoot Trail in far northwestern British Columbia, Canada.