What to visit?
Klondike National Historic Sites form the Canadian portion of the Klondike Gold Rush route and its primary destination, the goldfields in and around Dawson in the Yukon. It is more than a route, it is a path to the development of the Yukon and land access to Alaska. The Yukon had been home to Indigenous First Nations people for thousands of years and many continue to live here. In the late 19th century gold had been found in a tributary of the Klondike River near Dawson. Thousands of gold seekers came up from western United States ports, and elsewhere, by ship and by land to find their fortunes. The interacted with the First Nations that lived here and developed a new society and a mining industry. It was a rigorous transformation. Most gold seekers , and travellers today, come via two mountain passes from the port city of Skagway, Alaska. The Coastal range form an almost impenetreble barrier that separates Southeast Alaska from Canada's Bristish Columbia and the Yukon. Over the ridge are the lakes that form the source of the Yukon River. Once over the mountains the travellers could go downstream by boat or raft to Whitehorse and then Dawson. Eventually hundreds of paddlewheel steamboats plied this route, transporting goods as well as people. Two of the largest Steamboats remain in Whitehorse and Dawson: the S.S. Klondike and the S.S. Keno, both restored and maintained by Parks Canada.
Both Whitehorse and Dawson are destinations worthy of your time and effort. Whitehorse is the only city in the Yukon, the transprotation hub and capital. Dawson was rapidly developed as the gold rush took place. Even a grand theatre was built. Government came as well with Political Administration, the Courts and the Royal Canadian Mountain Police. Industrail mining sites were also developed and several huge mining machines can be visited.