Yukon River

A woman sitting on a bed of pine cones

Coming Back To The Yukon (Part 2)

“I cannot cross the river,” I told my friends as they were about to move on. (The truth was I didn’t want to cross the river.) We were a group of seven people hiking … two of us were staying behind on the beautiful sandy beach at Kusawa Lake, as the others went farther. I felt like sitting back and relaxing. My other friend was feeling the same. We are queens, we said. We don’t like to cross rivers.

The Ice pool Contest is a go for 2021

The Ice Pool Lottery, officially known these days as the Dawson IODE Ice Guessing Contest, has been around in various forms since 1896. The Dawson Chapter of the IODE officially took over running the event in 1940 and has managed to keep it going in spite of pandemics and other natural disasters.

What’s in a name?

Chishti’s Then and Now: Water and a Name is the second in a series of stories featuring the Chu Niikwän artists and their work.

The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers

In these days of highways and 1000-year level flood dikes, it’s easy to forget that the best way to get to Dawson used to be by sternwheelers. While most of the stampeders made their way here in small boats and rafts in 1898, a sizeable number cruised to the fledgling town from St. Michael’s, Alaska, in riverboats and steamers and, once the White Pass chugged into Whitehorse, still more hopped on boats from there.

Back to the land

On an evening in early November, Teri-Lee Isaac and her family butchered a caribou that was given to them by family in Fort McPherson. While the practice gives the family a freezer full of wild meat for the upcoming winter, it also connects them to the land, and to Northern Tutchone cultural practices that have been passed down through the generations.

Yukon See It Here – Steve Wilson

This is what a sunrise over the Yukon River looks like. The open water creates this steam when temperatures hit -30o. These photos were taken on Feb, 16, 2019, from the SS Klondike parking lot. Camera: Nikon Coolpix B500. [box] We invite you to share your photos of Yukon life. Email your high-resolution images with …

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The ballad of “Buck” Choquette

Buck Choquette spent his last days and hours in Dawson telling Jack London true stories of his long pioneering life in the Northwest. Is it just coincidence, then, that the main character in his most successful novel, The Call of the Wild, is also named Buck?

For more than 30 years Doug Davidge has helped solve Yukon’s historic mysteries, both hidden and exposed

Doug Davidge finds lost things.  Over the course of more than three decades in the Yukon, Davidge has been known to find things that people know are missing–such as the A.J. Goddard, a steamboat that vanished in Lake Laberge in 1901–and things that people might not even realize are lost. For example, a few years ago …

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Just keep paddling

Carmen Gustafson is gearing up for her fourth Yukon River Quest. For those who are fond of stats, that means that by this year’s Canada Day long weekend she will have raced 2,860 km between Whitehorse and Dawson City. To the casual observer this probably sounds crazy, especially when you consider that those paddlers who …

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Watching the River Thaw

Members of the Yukon Order of Pioneers (YOOP) have placed the Ice Pool Tripod on the ice of the Yukon River and the tickets for the IODE Ice Guessing Contest, generally just called the Ice Pool, will be on sale at various places between Whitehorse and Dawson City until April 15. The tripod is anchored …

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Yukon See It Here – Murray Martin

Scenic Whitehorse was a “Winter Wonderland” as we walked along the shore of the Yukon River towards the S.S. Klondike. [box] We invite you to share your photos of Yukon life. Email your high-resolution images with a description of what’s going on and what camera equipment you used to [email protected][/box]

Yukon See It Here – Murray Martin

It was a frosty day for the SS Klondike, as it lay in hibernation along the Millennium Trail. [box] We invite you to share your photos of Yukon life. Email your high-resolution images with a description of what’s going on and what camera equipment you used to [email protected][/box]

What’s on the river? – A winter warm-up to the Christmas Bird Count

It’s snowy and cold outside, and most of the Yukon’s migratory birds, such as swans, pretty yellow warblers, ducks and shorebirds, have long fled the territory. There’s always a few species, however, that linger. A favoured habitat for some of these birds is the Yukon River, just below the Rotary Centennial Bridge (“blue bridge”) near …

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Rope wreaths and Yukon steamers

Ruth Treskatis, volunteer and Janna Swales, executive director, proudly display their creations in front of the popsicle stick model of the SS Klondike at the Yukon Transportation Museum on Oct 15/18 What a history-packed day November 3, 2018, will be at our local Yukon Transportation Museum (YTM). The special activities start at 3 p.m. with …

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Moosehide – shining a light across the North

The 2018 Moosehide Gathering in Dawson City was, once again, a smashing success. The local Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in relocated to Moosehide, two miles north of Dawson City on the Yukon River, during the gold rush of 1898, to escape the insanity of thirty-thousand lousy, drunken gold-hungry stampeders. It is a refuge for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, and the …

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Doomsday camping on Top of the World – Part 5 of 6

Grandpa, if a giant asteroid was on target to collide with Earth and everyone knew the exact day and time of the explosion to blow up the planet, where would you want to go camping for the last night?

The ecological web: A story of salmon caught in the middle

“Nature is not something else, isolated, out there; it is as much a part of us as we are of it, and neither can be altered without impacting on the whole.” – Adam Weymouth The Yukon River holds many roles—the namesake of a territory, the history of peoples for thousands of years and home to …

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Fishing with Children

The first rule of fishing with children is that it has to be fun or it will fail.

Carmacks agate

Quartz is everywhere; it is the second most common mineral making up the Earth’s crust, just behind feldspar. Quartz is composed of the two elements silicon and oxygen. It has many different forms.

It’s ice pool time

The ice pool tripod is in the river, anchored by a cable to the boxed clock on the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, ready for when the ice moves during breakup some time in late April or early May. The tripod is on the ice between the river bank and the unofficial ice road. It may …

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Yukon See It Here: Marc and Mar Rodriguez

Even in winter you can see different colours in the Yukon River. We love it! Photo: Marc and Mar Rodriguez [box] We invite you to share your photos of Yukon life. Email your high-resolution images with a description of what’s going on and what camera equipment you used to [email protected][/box]

Who’s still here?

Fall migration is over, but you can still see some pretty cool birds around if you know where to look.

I’m a Survivor

We fundraise in the community every year, to cover the team and recreational paddling expenses, so that participating in Paddlers Abreast is not an impediment to anyone. We do not receive government funding. Any donations above $20 is eligible for a charitable donation receipt. When we have a surplus, we donate money to Karen’s Fund, …

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As the River Slowly Freezes

Living across the Yukon River from Dawson City in the communities of West Dawson or Sunnydale has its perks. You’re near town, but not in town. A 35-minute walk or 10-minute ferry ride is all it takes to partake of the amenities of town living, while still experiencing an off-the-grid lifestyle. But twice a year …

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Hepburn Tramway Historic Walk

“There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.  A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo.  Even a bicycle goes too fast.” Paul Scott Mowrer Whitehorse resident Peter Long is an avid walker.  He has explored many trails in and around Whitehorse. …

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A Celebration of Tradition and Culture

From July 28 to 31 the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation will welcome everyone to their traditional territory. The First Nation is hosting the 13th biennial Moosehide Gathering, taking place at Moosehide Village, which is located 3 km downriver from Dawson City by boat, or 4.5 km by forest trail. Entry and camping is free. During …

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Camaraderie in a Canoe

Nine ladies in a voyageur canoe whose ages range from 23 to 62; 715 kilometres; paddling for Yukon Cancer Care Fund. Stix Together is a team of Whitehorse women participating in the 18th Annual Yukon River Quest. The race begins with a mass start at noon on Wednesday, June 29. Participants gather at the gazebo …

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In praise of Whistle Bend

As I turn from Mountain View Drive and toward our Whistle Bend home, I am yet again gobsmacked by the sudden and looming sight of the mountains on the far side of the Yukon River. Blue in the mornings, pink at night and otherwise brilliantly lit against a vivid indigo background of so much sky, …

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Musings on Ice: A Changing Yukon Winter Story

Ice is important. It allows people and wildlife to use or cross lakes, ponds and rivers. Ice also provides access to what’s below: fish, muskrats and water, for example. Unfortunately, the mild fall temperatures in many parts of Yukon have again delayed ice formation. This isn’t new. Recorded observations of Yukon River freeze-up in Whitehorse …

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West Dawson Time

I’m not sure where the second week of freeze up has gone. After the protracted nature of my preparations, the flurry of activity upon arrival, and the pleasantly systematic organization of the cabin once here, time itself has taken on a different feel. Maybe it was the sudden transition from fall to winter that came …

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Jewels on the Water

The ice is coming down in a rush this year. While there was not a sign of the stuff in the river on the day they pulled the George Black Ferry out of the Yukon on October 29, it took just a few nights of minus teens temperatures to bring small pans of the greyish …

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Ramble in T.O.

  My dance practice is rooted in uncultivated, wild, outdoor spaces. I often perform site-specific dances outdoors for audiences and/or camera. However, my latest collaborative project, Ramble (45 min), was performed last month inside a black box theatre in a busy city (Toronto), within a busy theatre and dance festival (the 25th edition of SummerWorks). …

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Doing the Squirrel-paddle

I couldn’t sleep the night before. Was it the roughly 10 night-shifts in a row I had pulled just prior to leaving, or was it the excitement to get on that river? I’m not a river paddler. I grew up in Ontario (which I realize has rivers) and am at home on lakes and nasty …

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Creative Getaway

Perhaps your partner is sick of navigating around that massive quilting frame to get to the living room couch. Perhaps you’re tired of moving that big felting project off the kitchen table day after day, so the family can have supper. If so, a month of free studio space in a delightful location, with very …

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One River, Many Maps

At the beginning of his noon hour public lecture David Neufeld said he was working on his book but didn’t want to finish it because then he would lose his excuse to spend so much time on the Yukon River. He said when you say you’re working on a book, you get away with things. …

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Rocking the Klondike

116th Brier, an event that started in the Klondike Gold Rush and is considered the Yukon’s oldest continuously running event.

Here Comes the Sun

At the request of some Facebook friends I spent about a week in late December taking a series of pictures showing the retreating daylight hours. Some of them were people who used to live here — friends and former students. They wanted to remember what it was like. Other requests were from people as far …

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Northern Exposure

My first time skinny-dip comes among a swirl of firsts. It happens in Atlin, my first time in that pretty town, in my first month living in the Yukon. It’s my first time taking my clothes off where strangers can see me, my first time standing tall and nude in the unshielding bright of day. …

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Why does Dawson Need a Dike?

The Yukon Gold Panning Championships were held on the well-used greensward between Front Street and the dike. The greensward wouldn’t be here if the dike wasn’t built. The dike was a controversial pile of rock and dirt when it was erected in 1987. Many conceded it was necessary, and long overdue. But no one said …

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Sled dog racing along the Yukon River in a Rendezvous of yore.

Rendezvous In the Old Days

Rendezvous – it’s always been our mid-winter break. A chance to unwind. It’s competition, and horseplay, and fun.

A Season in the Mist

Freeze-up on the Yukon River is not proceeding according to custom this year. Despite the lack of ice at the regular crossing down by the ferry landing in Dawson City, people did begin to cross the river south of the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike about two and a half weeks after the George …

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River Walk Columns appear out of nowhere overnight

How many times had I passed by the columns without seeing them? Joyce Majiski swears she put the columns up two years ago, and yet, as if I’ve just been given x-ray glasses, this is the first time I’ve noticed them. Five columns of various earth-tone colours, with metal rings girding their middles and metal …

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When will the Ferry Be In?

Write about things that are going to happen about 10 days after you write them, the editor says. Oh, to be a Nostradamus at such times. About 10 days from now, the George Black ferry will slide down the wooden rails leading from its winter berth to the Yukon River, chasing away the ravens trying …

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(Ex)changing Paddling Gear

Perhaps you believe, as Kenneth Grahame suggests in his classic novel, The Wind in the Willows, that “there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” If so, you need to get yourself to this weekend’s first annual Paddle Swap in Whitehorse. “Members of the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club …

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Remembering Tent City

As we get closer to the time when Dawson sees an influx of summer workers, I thought I would take this week to reflect on the glory that was Tent City. To begin with, there has been a summer housing crunch in Dawson from at least the 1970s on. The shortage of suitable accommodation has …

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Dawson’s Got Culture

Things generally slow down at the Dänojà Zho (Hän for Long Ago House) Cultural Centre once the summer season is over and the tourists are gone, but this fall season has been something of an exception. The place is a hotbed of activity, even in December. The building is approaching its 15th year of operation …

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A Look at Dawson’s Dike

It will have been obvious from my last column that I was truly expecting breakup to have occurred before I got around to writing the next one. It’s April 30 this afternoon, and while there has been a lot of movement on the Yukon River over the last few days, the tripod is still standing …

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Driving Depends on Icy Conditions

It’s hard to think of an icy road as being anything but dangerous, but that’s not always the case. In Dawson City it can go both ways. For those wanting to drive from downtown to the Midnight Dome subdivisions, Mary McLeod Road is often the preferred route, especially for those who live along the stretch …

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Walking Away from Disaster

Walking Away from Disaster

On May 8, Darren Bullen woke up on a small gravel island, upside-down in a single engine Cessna, with the weight of a man on his neck. The plane had fallen silent and gone down after complete engine failure. Near Coffee Creek, over 100 km south of Dawson City, trapped in the middle of the …

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Steely Determination: Racing the Yukon River Quest

There is a strong current heading north towards Dawson and it is not just that of the Yukon River. Sixty-nine teams are registered in this year’s Yukon River Quest with a voltage of energy in those paddling arms that will make that river sizzle. The mission statement of the Yukon River Paddling Association is “To …

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Hero for a day

On a sunny, chilly Saturday this winter, local trapper and wildfire fighter Guy Couture didn’t realize he was about to become a hero. He was simply helping his friends offer a local dog musher an extraordinary birthday gift – a ride with the longest dog team in Dawson! The idea was this: bring together as …

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