Monday, October 26, 2009

We left Chicken, Alaska and headed for the Canadian border at Poker Creek/Little Gold Creek, the most northerly road crossing point. The crossing is at an elevation of 4127 feet and is 105 km from Dawson City and 176 km from Tok, Alaska.

We had not filled the tank since Tok, and had not wanted to pay the $4.69 a gallon in Chicken, so we headed out on the Top of the World highway to Dawson City hoping to have enough fuel to make it. Why not live on the edge, I always say!
This is the customs station at the border. There are no residents here; the road closes once the snow flies in mid September.
This is the former US border station. I believe the building above is shared by both countries.
The smoke that we had become accustomed to - continued into the Yukon.
Apparently, it is a very scenic highway, but we could not comment on that. After the gravel road on the US side, we were surprised to find a mixture of hard surface and broken gravel on the Canadian side. Unlike other blog posts I had read, however, it was not that bad at all at reasonable speeds.
We managed to spot some buildings in Dawson City as we came down the big hill to the river through the smoke. It would seem that the fuel had lasted well!
We took the free ferry across the river and headed into Dawson, starting at the information centre. Then it was to the Shell station where I added an even $100 of fuel to the tank.

After a meal and a shower at an in-town campground, we headed out to find a nice quiet, secluded camp spot along the river. I watched some merganzers and bald eagles on the river till dark. N 64 02.109 W 139 13.899
Next day, we headed up Bonanza creek and checked out famous Dredge #4, which is now maintained and restored by Parks Canada. Bonanza creek, of course, is the place where the original gold discovery was made that started the gold rush.
Other claims in the area are numbered as to where they were located upstream or downstream from the original claim.
These huge dredges excavated their way, reaching 40' feet below the surface with huge buckets, processing the gravel inside the rig, then spewing it out the rear in great arcs. They were so big that they had to float in the movable ponds they created.
In the Dawson area, there are thousands of acres of these curved tailing piles, most of them still completely devoid of any vegetation. Check out the Dawson City area on Google Earth. You will be amazed.
One of the claim stakes used to mark a mining claim in the area.
Downtown Dawson City, from the riverside dike.
All the buildings here are old. Some of them have been well restored, some are in a state of advanced disintigration.
The Keno is a preserved sternwheeler that used to ply the river from Whitehorse to Dawson City. It made a final voyage to this location in 1966, and is now on display - also a Parks Canada historic site.
The riverfront in Dawson City; still a busy place.
Click on the photos below and you should be able to read these plaques in the area that tell about the history of the area and some of the mining techniques that were developed.
Dawson City was also home to three famous Canadian authors.
Jack London, Robert Service, and Pierre Berton all had homes here and some are open for tours.
Still no Roger's cell service anywhere in the Yukon or Dawson, but I managed to find some wi-fi with my iPhone to check for messages. Also, no service for either my Sirius or XM satellite radio this far west and north.
Next: Diamond Tooth Gerties and heading up the Dempster highway!


  1. I looked at Dawson City on GE. Amazing! the dredges are very incredible! Thanks for pointing it out...


  2. I looked at Dawson City on GE. Amazing! the dredges are very incredible! Thanks for pointing it out...