Frequently Asked Questions
- How is the highway?
There are two highways that connect Dawson City. The first is the Klondike Highway, which connects to Whitehorse, the Yukon’s capital, 533km (331 miles). The Klondike Highway is open year-round, and is paved and maintained. The Top of the World Highway connects to the Taylor Highway in Alaska, which brings drivers through to Fairbanks and beyond. Be prepared to stop at Little Gold/Poker Creek border crossing. The highway is unpaved and seasonal. The TOTW is usually open May to mid-September, depending upon road and river conditions. For up-to-date conditions, visit www.511yukon.ca or call the Visitors Information Centre (VIC) at 1-867-993-5566.
- Do I need a passport to get to Dawson City?
Yes, you need a passport to get to Dawson City if you are coming from Alaska. For more information on what you need to cross the border into Canada, visit the Canadian Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) page at: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html.
- How does the Ferry work? Is it able to carry my R.V? The ferry is owned and operated by the Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works and is viewed as an extension of the Klondike Highway, therefore making it a free service. The ferry operated 24/7 on demand, May thru September. For more information on the ferry, call the VIC at 1-867-993-5566. The George Black Ferry accommodates everything from walk-on passengers with bicycles, to the largest R.V’s with vehicles being towed behind. While you might have to wait a bit longer to get on depending on the demand, the friendly ferry staff are experts at getting all manner of motorized vehicles across.
- Is American money accepted in Dawson City?
Yes, American money is accepted in Dawson City. The majority of Dawson businesses operate using the Fair Exchange Rate, which changes weekly.
- Where can I go fishing? What type of fish can I expect?
Visit the Trading Post on Front Street to buy a fishing license, rent a rod and get expert advice from the proprietor, Dave. To find about more about fishing in the Yukon, visit http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/hunting-fishing-trapping/fishingregulations.php.
- When can I see Northern Lights?
Dawson City is an ideal place to view the Northern Lights. The lights are out as soon as it gets dark here, and generally make a stirring debut during the early morning hours in late-August and can be seen until April, depending on how strong they are and how clear the sky is. To check out the aurora forecast for Dawson, visit http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast.
- How much sunlight can I expect?
Around the summer solstice (the longest day of the year on June 21st) Dawson City gets about 21.5 hours of sunlight.
- How cold/warm does it get?
Average July temperature is 15.6 °C (60.1 °F) and in January is −26.7 °C (−16.1 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded is 34.7 °C (94.5 °F) on May 31, 1983 and the lowest temperature ever recorded is −55.8 °C (−68.4 °F) on February 11, 1979. It experiences a wide range of temperatures surpassing 30 °C (86 °F) in most summers and dropping below −40 °C (−40 °F) in winter.
- Do people still mine for gold?
Yes, people still mine these hills for gold. There are about 80 small, family owned and operated mines still in operation in the Klondike, and over 13,500 placer claims.
- I’m relocating to Dawson, how do I find a place to live or employment?
Employment is easily found once you make the long trip to Dawson City. All the jobs available in town are posted at the Klondike Outreach office, or viewed online at www.klondikeoutreach.com. While housing is sometimes more elusive than employment in Dawson, it is also much easier to find once you are here. Available accommodations are often posted on town bulletin boards, on the Buy, Sell and Trade Facebook page, and through word of mouth. Many employers, understanding the difficulty seasonal workers have in finding housing, will have staff accommodations put aside, so be sure to check with your potential and current employer to see if they are able to assist you.
- How do I get a hold of _________ ?
Dawson’s a small town! If you are looking for a year-round resident, chances are a local knows them, or will do their best to put you in touch with someone who might. Try the KVA (993-5575) or the VIC (993-5566), or just post a bulletin on one of the towns many boards.