10 Free Things to Do in Dawson

Much of Dawson’s vibrant colour, eclectic flavour, and charming personality won’t cost you a thing!  Stretch your travel budget by checking out the following FREE attractions:

Amanda Warren

#10. Get a Real Dawson Welcome at the VIC

Located in the historic Alaska Commercial Company building, we recommend that the Visitor Information Centre be your first stop. Let our friendly staff welcome you to the Klondike with warm smiles, knowledgeable travel tips and localisms. You may even catch a glimpse of the famous penny-farthing!         

#9. History Hunting at Harrington’s 

Drop into Harrington’s Store, a building constructed in 1902, that stands on the corner of Third Avenue and Princess Street. Inside you’ll find Dawson As They Saw It” – an exhibit that includes historical photographs and archival materials that date back to the Klondike Gold Rush.

#8. Explore the Paddlewheel Graveyard

Take a walk to this Paddlewheel Graveyard where the remains of several–once majestic–sternwheelers sit on the bank of the Yukon River. Explore the area as you conjure what it was like when paddlewheelers were the quickest and easiest way to get to Dawson. Be sure to bring your camera, because this picturesque spot is sure to impress even the most skilled Instagramer.

#7. Browse the Wares  

Our local shops are more than just a place to purchase, they also offer an assortment of unique experiences.  From walking the aisles in our very own trading post to seeing a display of authentic mammoth bone, you’ll have an extraordinary time just “window shopping.”  Who knows, you may just find the perfect Klondike treasure!

#6. Visit Some Founding Dawsonites  

Experience another side of our town’s vibrant history by visiting the Dawson City Cemeteries. Visit the grave of a Dawson-“Knight,” Alexander McDonald, who was knighted by the Vatican for his generous financial donations.  Or, pay your respects to Percy “The Iron Man” DeWolfe, who helped deliver mail in the cold dark winter… by dogsled.

#5. Stroll on Ninth Avenue 

Get away from the “busy” Dawson streets by taking a quiet walk among our regional flora and fauna.  The Ninth Avenue Trail spans from one end of town to the other, offering both interpretive signage and unforgettable views of Dawson City.  A community favourite, you’ll likely meet some locals along the way!

#4. Detour Up The Dempster

Although not in Dawson per se, we highly recommend a drive up the Dempster Highway to Tombstone Territorial Park.  This gravel road winds through the Ogilvie Mountain Range and through the subarctic tundra, offering views of rolling valleys and serpentine creeks.

#3. Discover Your Inner Miner

Feel the lure of gold and immerse yourself in history as you travel up Bonanza Creek Road and into the Klondike Gold Fields.  Grab a gold pan and drive approximately 15 minutes up the road to Discovery Claim–the very spot that spawned the Rush.  If you’re feeling lucky, head a few more minutes up the road to Free Claim #6  and try your hand at panning.  Who knows, you may strike gold! 

#2. Take in the View from the Midnight Dome

Unmistakably the most recognizable Dawson City landmark, the Midnight Dome–complete with its rock-face scar known as the Moosehide Slide–stands majestically above the town.  Drive or hike your way to the top and take in the breathtaking panorama of the Yukon River Valley.

#1. Celebrate With Us at a Community Event!

Dawson loves any excuse to get together and have some fun, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to partake in one of our many free community events.  Cheer on the competitors at the Yukon Gold Panning Championships, join an interpretive wilderness tour during Weekend on the Wing, or gallery hop at the Riverside Arts Festival. Whatever your flavour, you’ll love celebrating your FREE time with us!