|Source||Llewellyn Glacier at Atlin Lake|
|• location||Atlin District, British Columbia, Canada|
|• coordinates||59°10′N133°50′W / 59.167°N 133.833°W|
|• elevation||669 m (2,195 ft) |
|Kusilvak, Alaska, U.S.|
|62°35′55″N164°48′00″W / 62.59861°N 164.80000°W Coordinates: 62°35′55″N164°48′00″W / 62.59861°N 164.80000°W|
|0 m (0 ft)|
|Length||3,190 km (1,980 mi)|
|Basin size||833,232 km2 (321,713 sq mi) to 854,700 km2 (330,000 sq mi) |
|• average||0.8 km (0.50 mi) Rampart to Tanana;  820 m (2,690 ft) to 1,000 m (3,300 ft) (Pilot Station) |
|• average||9.1 m (30 ft)-12.1 m (40 ft) (Rampart to Tanana); |
|• maximum||40 m (130 ft) (Rampart);  24.4 m (80 ft) (Pilot Station) |
|• location||Pilot Station, Alaska, U.S.— (121 miles upstream of mouth; Basin size: 820,856 km2 (316,934 sq mi);  831,386 km2 (321,000 sq mi)  |
|• average||(Period of data: 2001-2022) 6,840.3 m3/s (241,560 cu ft/s)  |
(Period of data: 1971–2015) 6,576 m3/s (232,200 cu ft/s) (Period of data: 1977–2006) 6,428
|• minimum||340 m3/s (12,000 cu ft/s)|
|• maximum||24,600 m3/s (870,000 cu ft/s) 34,000 m3/s (1,200,000 cu ft/s) (2005) |
|• location||Yukon Delta, U.S., Alaska, Bering Sea|
|• location||Kaltag (450 miles upstream of mouth; Basin size: 767,000 km2 (296,000 sq mi) |
|• average||6,040.2 m3/s (213,310 cu ft/s)  to 6,130.6 m3/s (216,500 cu ft/s) |
|• location||Stevens Village (Basin size: 508,417 km2 (196,301 sq mi) |
|• average||(Period of data: 1977-2022) 3,471.1 m3/s (122,580 cu ft/s) |
|• location||Dawson (1,300 miles upstream of mouth; Basin size: 264,000 km2 (102,000 sq mi) |
|• average||2,160 m3/s (76,000 cu ft/s)  to 2,319.1 m3/s (81,900 cu ft/s) |
|• left||White River, Tanana River, Innoko River|
|• right||Tagish River, Takhini River, Teslin River, Big Salmon River, Pelly River, Stewart River, Klondike River, Birch Creek, Koyukuk River|
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 (itself named after the river). 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 longest river in Alaska and Yukon, it was one of the principal means of transportation during the 1896–1903 Klondike Gold Rush. A portion of the river in Yukon—"The Thirty Mile" section, from Lake Laberge to the Teslin River—is a national heritage river and a unit of Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park.   Paddle-wheel riverboats continued to ply the river until the 1950s, when the Klondike Highway was completed. After the purchase of Alaska by the United States in 1867, the Alaska Commercial Company acquired the assets of the Russian-American Company and constructed several posts at various locations on the Yukon River.
The Yukon River has a recent history of pollution from military installations, dumps, wastewater, and other sources.  [ failed verification ][ citation needed ] However, the Environmental Protection Agency does not list the Yukon River among its impaired watersheds, and water-quality data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows relatively good levels of turbidity, metals, and dissolved oxygen.  The Yukon and Mackenzie rivers have much higher suspended sediment concentrations than the great Siberian Arctic rivers. 
The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, a cooperative effort of 70 First Nations and tribes in Alaska and Canada, has the goal of making the river and its tributaries safe to drink from again by supplementing and scrutinizing government data.
The name Yukon, or ųųg han, is a contraction of the words in the Gwich'in phrase chųų gąįį han, which means white water river and refers to "the pale colour" of glacial runoff in the Yukon River.   The contraction is Ųųg Han, if the /ųų/ remains nasalized, or Yuk Han, if there is no vowel nasalization.  In the 1840s, different tribes had different opinions as to the literal meaning of Yukon. In 1843, the Holikachuks had told the Russian-American Company that their name for the river was Yukkhana and that this name meant big river.  However, Yukkhana does not literally correspond to a Holikachuk phrase that means big river.   Then, two years later, the Gwich'ins told the Hudson's Bay Company that their name for the river was Yukon and that the name meant white water river.  White water river in fact corresponds to Gwich'in words that can be shortened to form Yukon.  Because the Holikachuks had been trading regularly with both the Gwich’ins and the Yup'iks,  the Holikachuks were in a position to borrow the Gwich'in contraction and to conflate its meaning with the meaning of Kuig-pak [River-big], which is the Yup'ik name for the same river. For that reason, the documentary evidence suggests that the Holikachuks had borrowed the contraction Ųųg Han [White Water River] from Gwich'in, and erroneously assumed that this contraction had the same literal meaning as the corresponding Yup'ik name Kuig-pak [River-big].
The Lewes River is the former name of the upper course of the Yukon, from Marsh Lake to the confluence of the Pelly River at Fort Selkirk.
The following table lists the Indigenous names for the Yukon.
|Literal meaning||Native language||Spelling in the|
|Spelling in a|
|'white water river'||Gwich'in||Yuukan or Ųųg Han||Yuukan or Ųųk Han||/ju:kan//ų:k han/|
|[ citation needed ]||Deg Xinag||Yeqin||Yeqin||/jəqɪn'/|
|Hän||Tth’echù or Chuu k'onn||Tth'echù or Chuu k'onn||/tθʰ'etʃʰuʔ//tʃʰu: k'onn/|
|Southern Tutchone||Chu Nìikwän||Chu Nìikwen||/tʃʰu ni:kʷʰən/|
The generally accepted source of the Yukon River is the Llewellyn Glacier at the southern end of Atlin Lake in British Columbia. Others suggest that the source is Lake Lindeman at the northern end of the Chilkoot Trail. Either way, Atlin Lake flows into Tagish Lake (via the Atlin River), as eventually does Lake Lindeman after flowing into Bennett Lake. Tagish Lake then flows into Marsh Lake (via the Tagish River). The Yukon River proper starts at the northern end of Marsh Lake, just south of Whitehorse. Some argue that the source of the Yukon River should really be Teslin Lake and the Teslin River, which has a larger flow when it reaches the Yukon at Hootalinqua. The upper end of the Yukon River was originally known as the Lewes River until it was established that it actually was the Yukon. North of Whitehorse, the Yukon River widens into Lake Laberge, made famous by Robert W. Service's "The Cremation of Sam McGee". Other large lakes that are part of the Yukon River system include Kusawa Lake (into the Takhini River) and Kluane Lake (into the Kluane and then White River).
The river passes through the communities of Whitehorse, Carmacks, (just before the Five Finger Rapids) and Dawson City in Yukon, and crossing Alaska into Eagle, Circle, Fort Yukon, Stevens Village, Rampart, Tanana, Ruby, Galena, Nulato, Grayling, Holy Cross, Russian Mission, Marshall, Pilot Station, St. Marys (which is accessible from the Yukon at Pitkas Point), and Mountain Village. After Mountain Village, the main Yukon channel frays into many channels, sprawling across the delta. There are a number of communities after the "head of passes," as the channel division is called locally: Nunum Iqua, Alakanuk, Emmonak, and Kotlik. Of those delta communities, Emmonak is the largest with roughly 760 people in the 2000 census. Emmonak's gravel airstrip is the regional hub for flights.
Navigational obstacles on the Yukon River are the Five Finger Rapids and Rink Rapids downstream from Carmacks.
Despite its length, there are only four vehicle-carrying bridges across the river, listed from upstream to downstream:
A car ferry crosses the river at Dawson City in the summer; it is replaced by an ice bridge over the frozen river during the winter. Plans to build a permanent bridge were announced in March 2004, although they are currently on hold because bids came in much higher than budgeted.
There are also two pedestrian-only bridges in Whitehorse, as well as a dam across the river and a hydroelectric generating station. The construction of the dam flooded the White Horse Rapids, which gave the city its name, and created Schwatka Lake.
Transportation is also performed along the river in summer by barge, enabling heavy goods, oil, and vehicles to be transported to communities along the Yukon, Tanana, Innoko, and Koyukuk rivers. This service is performed by Ruby Marine and reaches Tanana on the Yukon River and Nenana on the Tanana River. 
Some of the upper slopes of this watershed (e.g. Nulato Hills) are forested by Black Spruce.  This locale near the Seward Peninsula represents the near westernmost limit of the Black Spruce, Picea mariana,  one of the most widespread conifers in northern North America.
The river flows into several parklands and refuges including:
Yukon at Pilot Station (121 miles upstream of mouth) minimum, average and maximum discharge 
|Year||Discharge (Period: 1975/10/01 – 2022/09/30)|
|1997||No incomplete data have been used |
for statistical calculation
The Yukon River is home to one of the longest salmon runs in the world. Each year Chinook, coho, and chum salmon return to their terminal streams in Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and British Columbia. The Chinook have the longest journey, with an estimated 35–50% bound for Canada. As salmon do not eat during their spawning migration, Yukon River salmon must have great reserves of fat and energy to fuel their thousands-mile-long journey. As a result, Yukon River salmon are noted for their especially rich and oily meat.
The villages along the Yukon have historically relied on and continue to rely on salmon for their cultural, subsistence, and commercial needs. Salmon are traditionally dried, smoked, and frozen for both human and sled dog consumption. Common methods of fishing on the Yukon include set gillnets, drift nets, dip nets, and fish wheels. The preference of certain gear is largely dependent on the river's varied characteristics in different areas. Some parts of the river do not have eddies to make set-nets successful, whereas in other places the tributaries are small enough to make drifting impractical.
Over the last 20 years salmon recruitment, the number of returning adults, has taken several shocks. The late 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s have been marked by radically reduced runs for various salmon species. The United States Department of Commerce issued a Federal Disaster Declaration for the 2008 and 2009 Commercial Chinook Yukon River fisheries, calling for the complete closure of commercial fishing along with restrictions on subsistence fishing. The root cause of these poor returns remains debated, with questions about the effects of climate change on ocean food-supply & disease prevalence in returning adults, the methods of fishing used on the river, and the effects of the Bering Sea Pollock trawl fleet on food supply and salmon bycatch.   In 2010, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game's Board of Fisheries issued the first-ever restriction for net mesh size on the Yukon, reducing it to 7.5 inches (190 mm). 
Various organizations are involved to protect healthy salmon runs into the future. The Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association was formed in 1990 by a consensus of fishers representing the entire drainage in response to recent disaster years. Its organizational goals include giving voice to the village fishers that have traditionally managed these resources, enabling communication between fishers and fishery managers, and helping to preserve the ecological integrity of salmon runs and local cultures' Traditional Ecological Knowledge 
In March 2001, the U.S. & Canadian governments passed the Yukon River Salmon Agreement to better manage an internationally shared resource and ensure that more Canadian-originated salmon return across the border.  The agreement is implemented through the Yukon River Panel, an international body of 12 members, equal-parts American and Canadian, that advises managers of Yukon River fisheries concerning restoration, conservation, and coordinated management. 
Tribal organizations such as the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP), Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments (CATG), and Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) work to sustain Yukon River salmon to promote healthy people, cultures, and communities.
The main river and tributaries are (sorted in order from the mouth heading upstream):
|Basin size |
|Average discharge |
|Old Lost Creek||10.3|
  
Interior Alaska is the central region of Alaska's territory, roughly bounded by the Alaska Range to the south and the Brooks Range to the north. It is largely wilderness. Mountains include Denali in the Alaska Range, the Wrangell Mountains, and the Ray Mountains. The native people of the interior are Alaskan Athabaskans. The largest city in the interior is Fairbanks, Alaska's second-largest city, in the Tanana Valley. Other towns include North Pole, just southeast of Fairbanks, Eagle, Tok, Glennallen, Delta Junction, Nenana, Anderson, Healy and Cantwell. The interior region has an estimated population of 113,154.
Yukon is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the second-least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 43,964 as of March 2022. Whitehorse, the territorial capital, is the largest settlement in any of the three territories.
Yukon–Koyukuk Census Area is a census area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2020 census, the population was 5,343, down from 5,588 in 2010. With an area of 147,842.51 sq mi (382,910.3 km2), it is the largest of any county or county-equivalent in the United States, or about the same size as the state of Montana. It is part of the unorganized borough of Alaska and therefore has no borough seat. Its largest communities are the cities of Galena, in the west, and Fort Yukon, in the northeast.
The Koyukuk River is a 425-mile (684 km) tributary of the Yukon River, in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the last major tributary entering the Yukon before the larger river empties into the Bering Sea.
The Chandalar River is a 100-mile (160 km) tributary of the Yukon River in the U.S. state of Alaska. Its peak flow, recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) between 1964 and 1974 at a stream gauge at Venetie, was 62,800 cubic feet per second (1,780 m3/s) on June 9, 1968.
Yukon is in the northwestern corner of Canada and is bordered by Alaska and the Northwest Territories. The sparsely populated territory abounds with natural scenic beauty, with snowmelt lakes and perennial white-capped mountains, including many of Canada's highest mountains. The territory's climate is Arctic in territory north of Old Crow, subarctic in the region, between Whitehorse and Old Crow, and humid continental climate south of Whitehorse and in areas close to the British Columbia border. Most of the territory is boreal forest with tundra being the main vegetation zone only in the extreme north and at high elevations.
Northern Athabaskan is a geographic sub-grouping of the Athabaskan language family spoken by indigenous peoples in the northern part of North America, particularly in Alaska, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. The Northern Athabaskan languages consist of 31 languages that can be divided into seven geographic subgroups.
The Hän, Han or Hwëch'in / Han Hwech’in are a First Nations people of Canada and an Alaska Native Athabaskan people of the United States; they are part of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group. Their traditional lands centered on a heavily forested area around the Upper Yukon River, Klondike River (Tr'on'Dëk), Bonanza Creek and Sixtymile River and straddling what is now the Alaska-Yukon Territory border. In later times, the Han population became centered in Dawson City, Yukon and Eagle, Alaska.
The history of Yukon covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians through the Beringia land bridge approximately 20,000 years ago. In the 18th century, Russian explorers began to trade with the First Nations people along the Alaskan coast, and later established trade networks extending into Yukon. By the 19th century, traders from the Hudson's Bay Company were also active in the region. The region was administered as a part of the North-Western Territory until 1870, when the United Kingdom transferred the territory to Canada and it became the North-West Territories.
Chief David Salmon was an indigenous Alaskan that served as Chief of Chalkyitsik and later First Traditional Chief for the Gwich'in people. He was known for his commitment to improving his community and working for the people. Salmon would use his position and influence as chief to begin many public works and create programs dedicated to helping the Gwich'in people. As an advocate for education, Salmon would spread his knowledge by creating traditional Athabascan items for display or teaching his community to keep Athabascan traditions alive. At the same time, Chief Salmon would be trained and become the first Episcopal priest for Interior Alaska and spend a lot of his life spreading his faith.
Wright Air Service is an American commuter airline based in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. It was established by Al Wright and started operations in 1967. It is located off the east ramp near the Fairbanks International Airport. The president of the company was Robert Bursiel, but the company was recently bought out by a new owner in 2017.
The interior Alaska–Yukon lowland taiga is an ecoregion in the taiga and boreal forests biome, of far northern North America.
The Tanana Athabaskans, Tanana Athabascans or Tanana Athapaskans are an Alaskan Athabaskan peoples of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group. They are the original inhabitants of the Tanana River drainage basin in east-central Alaska Interior, United States and a little part lived in Yukon, Canada. Tanana River Athabaskan peoples are called in Lower Tanana and Koyukon language Ten Hʉt'ænæ, in Gwich'in language Tanan Gwich'in. In Alaska, where they are the oldest, there are three or four groups identified by the languages they speak. These are the Tanana proper or Lower Tanana and/or Middle Tanana, Tanacross or Tanana Crossing, and Upper Tanana. The Tanana Athabaskan culture is a hunter-gatherer culture and have a matrilineal system. Tanana Athabaskans were semi-nomadic and as living in semi-permanent settlements in the Tanana Valley lowlands. Traditional Athabaskan land use includes fall hunting of moose, caribou, Dall sheep, and small terrestrial animals, and also trapping. The Athabaskans did not have any formal tribal organization. Tanana Athabaskans were strictly territorial and used hunting and gathering practices in their semi-nomadic way of life and dispersed habitation patterns. Each small band of 20–40 people normally had a central winter camp with several seasonal hunting and fishing camps, and they moved cyclically, depending on the season and availability of resources.
The Upper Kuskokwim people or Upper Kuskokwim Athabaskans, Upper Kuskokwim Athabascans, and historically Kolchan, Goltsan, Tundra Kolosh, and McGrath Ingalik are an Alaskan Athabaskan people of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group. First delineation of this ethnolinguistic group was described by anthropologist Edward Howard Hosley in 1968, as Kolchan. According to Hosley, "Nevertheless, as a group possessing a history and a culture differing from those of its neighbours, the Kolchan deserve to be recognized as an independent group of Alaskan Athapaskans." They are the original inhabitants of the Upper Kuskokwim River villages of Nikolai, Telida, and McGrath, Alaska. About 25 of a total of 100 Upper Kuskokwim people still speak the language. They speak a distinct Athabaskan language more closely related to Lower Tanana language than to Deg Xinag language, spoken on the middle Kuskokwim. The term used by the Kolchan themselves is Dina'ena, but this is too similar to the adjacent Tanana and Tanaina for introduction into the literature. Nowadays, the term used by the Kolchan themselves is Dichinanek' Hwt'ana. Their neighbors also knew them by this name. In Tanaina they were Kenaniq' ht'an while the Koyukon people to the north referred to them as Dikinanek Hut'ana. The Upper Kuskokwim Athabaskan culture is a hunter-gatherer culture and have a matrilineal system. They were semi-nomadic and lived in semi-permanent settlements.
The Indigenous peoples of Yukon are ethnic groups who, prior to European contact, occupied the former countries now collectively known as Yukon. While most First Nations in the Canadian territory are a part of the wider Dene Nation, there are Tlingit and Métis nations that blend into the wider spectrum of indigeneity across Canada. Traditionally hunter-gatherers, indigenous peoples and their associated nations retain close connections to the land, the rivers and the seasons of their respective countries or homelands. Their histories are recorded and passed down the generations through oral traditions. European contact and invasion brought many changes to the native cultures of Yukon including land loss and non-traditional governance and education. However, indigenous people in Yukon continue to foster their connections with the land in seasonal wage labour such as fishing and trapping. Today, indigenous groups aim to maintain and develop indigenous languages, traditional or culturally-appropriate forms of education, cultures, spiritualities and indigenous rights.