SS Klondike


After the railroad reached Whitehorse in the summer of 1900, regularly scheduled freight and passenger service was established to connect Skagway with the riverboat service at Whitehorse. Once in Whitehorse, passengers were able to go by stern wheeler to Dawson City and the gold fields. Finally there was a route to the Klondike gold fields.

Steam boating on the Yukon River began in 1886. After the discovery of gold in the Klondike, many more stern wheelers began to travel the river. These boats carried passengers and supplies to and from Dawson during the months when the river was not frozen. They were fueled by wood, burning up to two cords an hour. This meant stopping about every 30 miles to get more wood at the wood camps.

An upstream trip from Dawson to Whitehorse would take about four and one-half to six days to complete, while the same distance downstream could be covered in about a day and one-half. Visitors to Whitehorse can see one of the few remaining sternwheelers, the S.S. Klondike, which now sits on the bank of the Yukon River in downtown Whitehorse.


Whitehorse's most famous River Boat the SS Klondike.


photos: courtesy of Yukon Archives

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