Dawson City, Yukon
THE HEART OF THE KLONDIKE
When you think of the Gold Rush, you think of this Klondike National Historic Site. Dawson City is where more than 30,000 Stampeders transformed a fishing camp at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers into the largest city West of Winnipeg and North of Seattle. Tourists from all over the world either make it their destination, or pass through on their way over the Top of The World Highway to Alaska.
It was the capital of the Yukon Territory until 1953, and today is a national historic site. Many of the buildings have been restored to their original grandeur, and new structures are built to reflect the historical theme, adding to the charm and appeal of this community one hundred and fifty miles South of the Arctic Circle.
||Besides tourism, mining continues to provide employment for many. As the world price of gold fluctuates so does activity around the creeks and the summer population of Dawson.
Dawson City boasts many hotels and restaurants which provide top-notch accommodations and dining for their clientele. During the summer, the Yukon Queen II navigates the beautiful wilderness of the Yukon River, which is the third longest river in North America to Eagle, where you can begin the Top of the World Highway adventure. Look for moose wading in the shallows as you enjoy a hearty prospector's lunch. Your 102-mile journey between Eagle and Dawson City is haunted by echoes of the Gold Rush and blessed by magnificent scenery.
You'll find history along the creaky wooden sidewalks, at the Dawson City Museum and Historical Society and in the authentic costumes the townsfolk wear. You may not leave Dawson City with gold, but you should leave with some good photos and memories of Canada's Gold Rush days.
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Dawson City Attractions
Choose from an array of scenic guided hikes spotlighting different facets of lovely Tombstone Park
Discovery Claim #1 and Gold Dredge #4
Get a glimpse of Discovery Claim #1 where gold was first discovered. Visitors also have a chance to try their hand at gold-panning.
Diamond Tooth Gertie's
The gold rush lives on at Diamond Tooth Gertie's where you can stake your poke in a blackjack game and get a kick out of the nightly show. Or you can journey back in time at a production of the Gaslight Follies at the lavish old-time Palace Grand Theatre. Along the boardwalk you'll encounter shops, restaurants, and historic points of interest (including a library paid for in part by Andrew Carnegie).
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Dawson City History
The town, which was established on the banks of the Yukon River in 1897, exploded to forty thousand inhabitants the next year when news of the gold strike on Bonanza Creek reached the outside world, making it the largest city West of Winnipeg and north of Seattle. Inhabitants had telephones, running water, and steam heat. Dawson City was once the biggest Canadian town West of Winnipeg. But the end of the Gold Rush brought the end of Dawson City's golden era.
When the gold seekers poured into the area, under the strong leadership of Chief Isaac, the Han First Nation established a thriving village at Moosehide just down the river from Dawson, to avoid the influence of the growing city. They have ultimately returned to the larger town and play a very active role in the economic activities and development of Dawson City.
Dawson City survived and today stands as one of the best remaining examples of a typical gold rush town. Vintage, false-front wooden buildings and boardwalks have been restored to their turn of the century look.
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