Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Bordering Alaska along Canada’s north-western corner, Yukon broke away from the Northwest Territories to become its own territory in 1898. Among the indigenous peoples who populated the area prior to European contact were the Southern and Northern Tutchone, the Tlingit, and the Gwich’in. The Hudson’s Bay Company began moving into the area in the 19th century, although European settlement only rose substantially during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s, resulting in a sudden spike and then dip in the regional population. Yukon shares its one UNESCO World Heritage Site with neighbouring British Columbia and Alaska, although also has three national parks and 12 National Historic Sites.

Archaeology & History Sites in Yukon

Dredge No. 4

Located south of Dawson City, Dredge No. 4 represents the largest wooden-hulled dredge in North America. It began operations in 1913, at which point it was used to mine placer gold on the Yukon River. It remained in use until 1959, during which time it collected nine tons of the precious metal. Repeatedly affected by seasonal flooding after that point, in 1992 it was moved to its present site for long-term preservation. Tickets for tours of the structure are available from the Klondike National Historic Sites visitor centre.

S. S. Keno

Built at Whitehorse in 1922, the S.S. Keno is a sternwheel paddle steamer which once transported the silver lead ore mined from Mayo district down the Stewart River. After the expansion of the Klondike Highway brought road traffic through this remote region, such river transport became uneconomical and the S.S. Keno was decommissioned in 1953. Following a refurbishment, the vessel was docked in Dawson City and opened to visitors as a heritage attraction, with Canada’s government having recognised it as a National Historic Site since 1962.

S. S. Klondike

The SS Klondike is a sternwheeler that ran freight along the Yukon River from Whitehorse and Dawson City between 1937 and 1950. It replaced a previous ship, also named the SS Klondike, which ran that same route between 1929 and 1936. The younger of the two ships, a registered National Historic Site, is now docked on dry land and managed as a visitor attraction by the Canadian Parks service. The area outside the ship has several information boards focusing on the history of First Nations uses of the river.

Museums & Art Galleries in Yukon

Tagé Cho Hudän Interpretive Centre

Located to the north of the Yukon River Bridge, the Tagé Cho Hudän Interpretive Centre explores the culture and heritage of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation. Among its displays are a collection of Northern Tutchone micro-blades as well as more recent artefacts such as a salmon skin dog pack and a rabbit skin blanket. These collections are accompanied by various dioramas and a dug-out timber boat. Outside the centre itself are other things of interest, including a winter moose-skin shelter, a drying rack, and a pole house.

Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre

Devoted to the culture and heritage of the Tlingit people who live in this northern area of Canada, the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre can be found on the shore of Teslin Lake. Various displays bring together material culture pertaining to the lives of Tlingit people over the past two centuries, including beadwork and ceremonial masks. The centre remains an important place for Tlingit communities today, as its Great Hall is used in the governance of this community. Outside the museum are a group of carved timber totem sculptures.

Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre

Located in Whitehouse, along the Alaska Highway, the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre delves into the earliest migrations into the Americas, when the ancestors of the indigenous populations crossed the Behring Strait from Asia. Opened to the public in 1997, the centre deals not just with the lives and struggles of these first Americans, but also with the various prehistoric megafauna that crossed the Behringia land bridge with them, including mammoth, elk, and sabre-toothed cats. As well as having models and dioramas of these creatures, the centre also displays their surviving skeletal remains.