Province/Territory: Yukon Territory

Mine your inner Klondike prospector

  • 60 sternwheelers once worked the river including the S.S. Keno
  • 100000 prospectors joined the Klondike Gold Rush
  • 500+ million dollars worth of gold discovered

Wander the dusty streets of Dawson City and soak in the heady Klondike Gold Rush days when poor miners and wealthy propsectors came to strike rich. From a First Nations' fishing camp, to a bustling boom town, the race to the Yukon began in 1896 when prospectors struck gold at Bonanza Creek.

Today, you can hop aboard the grand lady of the Yukon River on a tour of the S.S. Keno. Grab a pan and shovel and try your hand at gold panning. Learn how rugged prospectors braved the treacherous Chilkoot Pass to tear up the creek beds. Stroll through town with a costumed guide imagining a frontier of dance halls, theatres, and saloons. Get your hands-dirty trying out the mining tools and trade. Thrill in the stories of midnight sun mania before the crooked buildings and boardwalks where a few millionaires were born, and thousands of dreams were shattered.

Why you should visit
  • Join Parks Canada’s walking tours to seventeen historic properties part of the Dawson Historical Complex.
  • Walk Dawson City's dusty boardwalks among warped and leaning false-fronted buildings.
  • Visit Discovery Claim on Bonanza Creek where George Carmack, Skookum Jim and Tagish Charlie struck gold.
  • Check out Dredge No. 4, the largest wooden-hulled, bucket line gold dredge in North America.
  • Find out how gold was extracted with a crank of the creaking windlass.
  • Pan for gold in the creek that launched the biggest gold rush.
  • Stroll the decks of the steamboat S.S. Keno.
  • Play croquet at the stately Commissioner’s Residence.
  • Visit the tiny two-room cabin where "the bard of the Yukon" immortalized the Gold Rush in poetry.

Weather

  • Dawson City experiences a wide range temperatures. Summers (June to August) can be cool though temperatures can fluctuate from warm to extremely hot. Spring (March to May) and especially fall (September and October) are chilly and more than a light jacket is often necessary. Winter (November to February) can be very cold with temperature plummeting below −40°C at times.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada’s Canadian Climate Normals Website.
Visitor information
When to go
  • Summers are a great time to visit Dawson City, an authentic frontier town and arts and cultural hub in Canada's north.
  • Held annually in July, the Dawson City Music Festival, is a big name musical celebration under the midnight sun.
  • The Yukon River Quest in June is the longest annual canoe and kayak race in the world.
  • Visit Canada's oldest gambling hall, Diamond Tooth Gerties, complete with cancan girls kicking up fun from May to September.
Need to know
  • Plant to spend at least 2-3 days visiting all five historic sites.
  • Wear comfortable footwear.
  • Wheelchair accessible.
  • Bring clothes you can layer, as the temperature fluctuates daily.
  • Expect periodic short rain showers throughout the day; always carry a raincoat.
Getting Here