Do people still mine for gold in Dawson?
Why yes! There are currently 13, 766 active placer claims. In the Yukon there are 90-100 family owned and operated mines.
What is placer mining?
Placer mining is a technique by which gold is removed from gravel using water and gravity. There are no toxic chemicals such as mercury or cyanide used in its extraction. For more information about the processes and business of Placer Mining, click here.
On which side of the Yukon River do I catch the ferry?
Do we really have to answer this one? Both sides! Seriously, the George Black Ferry runs 24/7, free of charge and on demand, and is part of the Yukon Highway system, linking Dawson with West Dawson and the Top of the World Highway. By following the Top of the World Highway, you cross into Alaska, via the Poker Creek Boarder Crossing, the most northerly costoms check point in North America.
What types of animals can I see in the Klondike?
Too many to list! The Yukon is a pristine wilderness that is home to a variety of wild animals. Common sightings include moose, fox, beaver, rabbits, and the biggest ravens you’ve ever seen! In the winter caribou and lynx are common. Dawson is also full of wild sourdoughs, the “colourful 5% “ that add to the uniqueness of our town.
When can I see the Northern Lights?
It is possible to see the northern lights anytime it is dark at night. In the Klondike this means from late august to late March. Check out this link for current aurora borealis predictions.
When do they put the ice bridge in on the Yukon River?
Firstly don’t think of the ice bridge as a frozen version of the Golden Gate. The river itself becomes the bridge! Every October when the Yukon River begins to freeze, the ferry is “pulled” and dry-docked. When the river freezes, extra water is added to the surface of the existing ice. When it freezes, the ice is strong enough to support the weight of even transport trucks!
Is the “dome” a geodesic dome?
The dome refers to the Midnight Dome which is a look out point atop the mountain that skirts Dawson city to the northeast. A short drive will bring you to the dome where you will see a spectacular 360degree panorama of the surrounding mountain ranges and the Klondike and Yukon River valleys.
Is that a big mining scar on the hill above Dawson?
The scar in the hillside above Dawson, called Moosehide Slide is actually the result of an ancient landslide, not mining activity. The slide has historically been used as a navigational tool for river travellers. On a side note, no person can stake a new placer mining claim within the city limits. Rumour has it thought, that gold fever led a local man to sink a shaft below his restaurant! In another story, a mining company wanted to pay to relocate the Dawson town site so they could mine it!
What is a sourdough?
The most common description of a sourdough is an old time miner. It is also someone who has lived in Dawson and has witnessed a freeze- up and break-up of the Yukon River within one year. A cheechako is the opposite, a newcomer. According to a local joke sourdough is a person who is sour because they have no dough to get out of the Klondike before freezeup!
What should I wear?
The Klondike is a land of extremes. Often times Dawson City is the hottest and coldest spot in Canada within one 24hour period!
Summers are hot, so pack shorts and a t-shirt, not a parka! Bring clothes you can layer, as the temperature fluctuates daily. In order to maintain the historical integrity of our town, most of Dawson’s streets are unpaved with charming boardwalk lining the downtown core. There are often short rain showers throughout the day so always carry a raincoat in your backpack. If you are not travelling light, it may not be a bad idea to pack your rubber boots, the unofficial foot wear choice of Dawsonites!
Fall comes to Dawson by late August or September, make sure you pack mittens and a hat as mornings and overcast days can be chilly.
In winter it isn’t rare to see the mercury drop to –50 Celsius for a spell, but if you are dressed appropriately, you’ll be comfortable while you watch the aurora borealis swirl through the sky. Bring a winter parka or down jacket, a down or thick fleece vest, long underwear and snow pants. Wool is the preferred fabric for sweaters, but layered fleece is impressive in it's warmth. Hats, scarves, and mittens or gloves are essential. Some prefer mittens to gloves as they keep your hands warmer. A pair of insulated winter boots are essential.
Who are the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in?
Dawson City is located in the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in (People of the Klondike). Over a third of the community is First Nations and the First Nations language (Hän) is even taught at the local school to First Nations and non-first nations alike! Did you know that the word Klondike is a derivative of the Hän word Tr'ondëk? To encourage mutual understanding and respect, visitors are urged to learn more about Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in history and culture. Start with a visit to the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre (Long time ago house).
First Nations Protocols
It is important when visiting the Klondike that respect is given to First Nations culture, history and protocols.
The Land: The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in have the greatest respect for the environment. We ask that you step lightly on this ground and its fragile resources. A small, easily plucked plant may have taken many years to grow; even rotten logs and dead trees can be habitat for small animals and birds.
Burial sites: These sites are sacred to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and should be respected and left undisturbed.
Artifacts: Territorial regulations forbid the collection of artifacts and other historic resources.
Photos: Some First Nations people feel uncomfortable having their photo taken. This is especially true during ceremonies. Please ask for permission before you proceed.
Moosehide Village: Visitors wishing to visit Moosehide must first contact the reception desk at the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government. Moosehide is a drug and alcohol free village. If you plan to hike the trail to Moosehide, please be advised that the trail is not maintained and can be precarious in some spots. Once there, please refrain from peering in windows as the cabins are private homes. There are no services, so please pack your own food and beverages.
For more info and contact information please visit www.trondek.com