Dawson City

Dawson City Locator Map

Population: 1,879

Dawson City is located on the Yukon River, approximately 330 miles north of Whitehorse via the Klondike Highway and 185 miles from Tok, AK, via the Taylor and Top of the World Highways (the Klondike Loop). 

Visitor Information: Tourism Yukon/Parks Canada Visitor Center on Front and King Streets, open May–Sept.; Klondike Visitors Association at www.dawsoncity.ca.

Dawson City sits at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon rivers, at what was once a summer fish camp of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in people. With the discovery of gold in 1896, and the succeeding gold rush of 1897-98, the town’s population boomed. Dawson City became Yukon’s first capital, when the Yukon became a separate territory in 1898. But by 1953, Whitehorse—on the railway and the highway, and with a large airport—was so much the hub of activity that the federal government moved the capital there. Dawson City was declared a national historic site in the early 1960s. Parks Canada offers an interpretive program for visitors to this historic city, including walking tours of the town.

Dawson City offers lodging and accommodations (some with dining) at modern hotels/motels, cabins and bed-and-breakfasts, including: Downtown Hotel, The Eldorado Hotel/Yukon Hotel, Klondike Kate's Cabins & Restaurant, Triple J Hotel, Bombay Peggy's Victorian Inn & Pub, Aurora Inn, Bonanaza Gold Motel, and 5th Avenue Bed and Breakfast. Camping at Gold Rush Campground RV Park, Dawson City RV Park & Campground and Bonanaza Gold RV Park. Shopping for souvenirs and Yukon gold at Klondike Nugget and Ivory on the corner of Front & Queen St. Old time photos at Peabody's Photo Parlor. Hair Cabaret at corner of Queen and Second also has a registered massage therapist.The community has gas stations, a bank, ATM, laundromats with showers, grocery stores, general stores, churches and a post office.  A free government ferry, the George Black, carries vehicles across the Yukon River (6- to 7-minute average ferry crossing time) between Dawson City and the start of the Top of the World Highway into Alaska between mid-May and mid-September (depending on river ice).

Dawson City Map

Attractions:
  • Tour The Commissioner’s Residence on Front Street, once home to the Hon. George Black, M.P., Speaker of the House of Commons, and his famous wife, Martha Louise, who walked to Dawson City via the Trail of ’98 and stayed to become the First Lady of the Yukon.
  • Walk the Dike Trail along the famous Klondike and Yukon rivers.
  • Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Casino has Klondike gambling tables, slot machines, bar service and floor shows nightly. Open May to Sept.
  • Dawson City Museum, located in the Old Territorial Administration Building, features gold rush and First Nation history, and a collection of narrow-gauge locomotives.
  • Tour the magnificently reconstructed Palace Grand Theatre, a national historic site.
  • SS Keno National Historic Site. The SS Keno was the last steamer to run the Yukon River when she sailed from Whitehorse in 1960 to her present berth on the riverbank.
  • Visit Robert Service’s Cabin.
  • Visit the Jack London Cabin and Interpretive Centre.
  • Enjoy annual events: Yukon River Quest in June; Yukon Gold Panning Championship, Annual Dawson City Music Festival, and International Dome Race in July; Discovery Days and the Great Klondike International Outhouse Race in August.
  • Danoja Zho Cultural Centre on Front Street presents the culture and history of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nation people through cultural programs, special performances and gallery tours. Gift shop.
  • Pan for Gold on Bonanza Creek Road with Claim 33 Gold Panning (Mile 6) or at the Discovery Claim (Mile 9.3).
  • See Dredge No. 4, the largest wooden hull bucket-line dredge in North America, at Mile 7.8 Bonanza Creek Road.
  • Learn about sled dog racing at Slow Rush Kennels.
  • Special events from April to September. See the full calendar of events at DawsonCity.ca.

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