From Whitehorse to Dawson City

I love Dawson City, and have always said that if visitors don’t experience Dawson City they don’t really understand the Yukon. On tour, it’s a long day, driving 525 km (326 miles), with pleasant but not dramatic scenery.

We got away from Whitehorse at about 9:30, made a stop at the ruins of historic Montague Roadhouse, then another at the viewpoint at Five Fingers Rapids.

Five Fingers Rapids, Yukon River

Five Fingers Rapids was the most difficult spot on the Yukon River for the many boats that used to run between Whitehorse and Dawson City. There’s a viewpoint down at the river but it’s a long hike with over 100 stairs to negotiate and few people do it.

Five Fingers Rapids, Yukon River

The weather got worse as we headed north and by the time we reached Moose Creek Lodge for our afternoon coffee/tea break just before 3:00pm the rain was quite heavy.

Moose Creek Lodge, Yukon

We reached Dawson just before 5:00 – our wildlife count for the day was one cross fox at Pelly Crossing and a black bear about an hour later. As forecast, the sun was poking through the clouds in Dawson. Check-in at the large but nearly empty Westmark Hotel was quick, and after dinner I went walking until after 10:00.

This is the original Bank of Commerce, whose ownership and condition continues to make the local news decade after decade.

Bank of Commerce, Dawson City

The dyke that was built to protect Dawson from the Yukon River in the late 1980s has become one of the community’s main attractions. It’s a wonderful place to walk, and the many interpretive signs can make it educational as well. The dyke always makes me sad, though, as it reminds me of my friend Kevin Maher, who loved to sit on the dyke and just watch the river go by in the evening – I miss you, mate 🙁

Dyke along the Yukon River at Dawson City

It was very quiet in town last night – this photo looking across the bow of the sternwheeler Keno was shot at 8:50pm.

Dawson Cty

“Tribute to the Miner”, designed by Dawson artist Halin de Repentigny.

Tribute to the Miner, designed by Dawson artist Halin de Repentigny

The sun lights up Second Avenue at 9:50pm.

The Third Avenue Complex, showing what happened to many early buildings – luckily these ones have complementary leans that saved them.

Third Avenue Complex in Dawson City, Yukon

The day’s heavy rain has left a lot of mud and large puddles on the dirt streets of Dawson – and a lot of extra work for hotel cleaning crews!

This was the view from my room at 10:10 last night.

The view from the Westmark Hotel at 10:00pm

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