17 Unique Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon

Last Updated on March 7, 2024

Dawson City is one of my absolute favorite towns in the entire world . I’ve been lucky enough to visit many times, when I lived in Skagway and when I lived in Fairbanks . I’ve also had the chance to visit since then while updating the Milepost. Dawson is in Canada’s stunning Yukon Territory north of British Columbia and east of Alaska.

Combine the location with extensive history and culture and friendly locals and lots of quirky and unique things to do, it’s impossible not to love Dawson City. It is well set up for visitors, but doesn’t feel crowded. There are so many interesting things to do in Dawson City , from learning about the Klondike Gold Rush to exploring First Nations Culture to hiking the wild beauty of Tombstone Territorial Park.

Dawson City isn’t easy to get to, it’s a long day’s drive from Fairbanks and a slightly shorter, but still long way from Whitehorse. For travelers who like to get off the beaten path, Dawson City is an ideal place to add to your Yukon or Alaska itinerary.

This area has long been and still is home to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nations people. After the discovery of gold along Bonanza Creek in 1896, Dawson exploded to become the largest city north of Seattle with 30-50,000 people by 1898. In addition to prospective miners, Dawson was filled with high end entertainment and services for those joining in the gold rush. Today Dawson is home to less than 2000 people and tons of adventure and history. It’s a small community far away from major airports and it is absolutely worth the effort to get to this unique and unforgettable town.

  • How to Get to Dawson City

How many days do you need to visit Dawson City?

  • Explore Historic Downtown Dawso n

Learn about First Nations Culture at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre

  • Join the SourToe Cocktail Club

Ride the George Black Ferry

  • Explore the Paddlewheeler Graveyard
  • Check out a restored Paddlewheeler
  • Visit Author’s Row and the Jack London Museum

Catch a show at the Palace Grand Theatre

  • Try your luck at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall

Try Gold Panning

  • Dive into Klondike Gold Rush History at Gold Dredge #4 and the Discovery Claim on Bonanza Creek
  • Hike or Drive to big views on Midnight Dome
  • Paddle the Yukon River

Drive Top of the World Highway

  • Take a Hike or Scenic Drive to Tombstone Territorial Park

Chase the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun

  • Dawson City’s Unique Community Festivals

How to get to Dawson City

Dawson City is in the remote northern part of Canada’s Yukon Territory , and it’s not easy to get to! This is part of what makes it such a fun place to visit and it’s absolutely worth the effort to get there.

map of alaska and western canada showing the location of Dawson City

Note: Dawson City is NOT the same place as Dawson Creek, British Columbia , the official start of the Alaska Highway.

How to get to Dawson City by Air

To get to Dawson City by Air, you can fly from Whitehorse , the largest town in the Yukon. Whitehorse has multiple flights a day from Vancouver as well as other Canadian cities.

How to Drive to Dawson City from Whitehorse or Alaska

Driving from whitehorse to dawson city on the klondike highway.

This scenic 330 mile/530 kilometer drive takes about 6 hours in good weather. The road is in good condition, though there are very few services and limited cell phone service. In the summer months, scheduled bus transportation is available between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The Klondike Highway is open all year.

Driving to Dawson City from Alaska over Top of the World Highway

visit dawson city

Top of the World Highway is one of the most stunning stretches of road I’ve been on. The remoteness and the scenery are incredible, especially in fall which is early September here.

The road is partially gravel and partially paved , with many steep drop offs without guardrails. Take it super slow (plan on it taking AT LEAST 5 hours to go from Tok to Dawson) and watch out for the dropoffs! You won’t want to hurry on this road anyway, it’s so incredibly beautiful.

There are no services between Tok, Alaska and Dawson except in Chicken (yes, there’s a town in Alaska called Chicken). Chicken is 108 miles from Dawson and Tok is 175 miles from Dawson. The total driving distance from Fairbanks to Dawson is about 400 miles and the total driving distance from Anchorage to Dawson is about 500 miles. Top of the World Highway closes in winter. There is very little cell service along this route.

There are two other important things to note if you are driving from Alaska on Top of the World Highway:

  • The border crossing between Alaska and the Yukon closes at night . The last time I was there, the border closed at 8pm Alaska time/9pm Yukon time. If you miss the border opening you’ll have to wait at the border until the next day. The border crossing is not open as early or late as the road is so it’s important to check on the current dates for the border season. There is a one hour time change between Alaska and Canada at the border.
  • Top of the World Highway ends on the west side of the Yukon River, directly across from Dawson City. There is a free ferry called the George Black ferry which takes cars and people across the river from mid May through sometime in October. The exact timing depends on when the river is free of ice and when it starts to freeze up again in the fall. The ferry crossing is short (less than 10 minutes) but you may need to wait a bit before you can cross.

I recommend spending two nights in Dawson City, giving yourself a full day to explore. If you can make it three nights, you’ll have two full days in town, giving you plenty of opportunity to see everything the town has to offer as well as fit in a hike or a tour on the river. This will also give you time to get out to the Discovery Claim and Gold Dredge #4.

If you only have one day, you’ll still have time to take in the town and get out to the Discovery Claim, but it will be a busy day and you’ll have to make some choices about what to see.

Explore Historic Downtown Dawson City

A wooden historic building with windows and a sign that says Maxmillian's Gold Rush Emporium

Walking around historic downtown Dawson City is a great way to get started and get a feel for where you are. Pop into the Visitor Information Center to get the latest happenings around town and get all of your questions answered. This is a good place to get information on any tours you might want to book during your stay. You can also find maps and a ton of informaton. Get tickets here for the Klondike National Historic Site walking tours , a great way to get oriented and catch up on gold rush history!

Parks Canada also offers an interpretive tour of the restored Palace Grand Theatre.

The Dawson City Museum is another great place to learn about the natural and cultural history of this part of the Yukon.

You can further explore the historic buildings from the wooden boardwalks, checking out shops and restaurants and more!

My favorite shop in Dawson is Maxmillien’s Gold Rush Emporium. Maxmillien’s is an amazing independent bookstore with an impressive selection of maps . One of the many fun shops in historic downtown Dawson, you can also find gifts from the Yukon and souvenirs to remember your trip.

In addition to the perfectly restored historic buildings, some have been left as they were and you can see what happens to old buildings build on frozen ground! They start to sink or tilt when some of that frozen ground melts.

Several empty historic wooden buidings leaning over

Long before the Klondike Gold Rush made Dawson City famous around the world, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nations people lived and thrived here for generations. Today, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people are self governing and continue to steward the land and culture for modern people and those in the future.

At the Cultural Centre, you can see exhibits and learn about the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people’s language, stories and culture from the people who have stewarded this land for generations.

Join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club – or enjoy a less gross cocktail

The Sourtoe Cocktail is a world famous activity at the Sourdough Saloon (worth a visit even if you don’t want to become a member of the club). The Sourdough Saloon is in the Downtown Hotel and offers food and drinks in a fun historic setting.

Becoming a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club (I’m a member!) involves taking an oath, taking a shot which has a preserved human toe in it which you have to touch your mouth to (ack! I know!) and then getting a certificate. I know it sounds gross, and it is, but it’s the kind of fun and quirky thing you can totally do if you get caught up in the moment.

Another bar with lots of local flavor and great live music is the Westminster Hotel, known as the Pit . Another quirky bar to add to your experience in Dawson City!

cars going onto a small river ferry with room for about six cars across the yukon river in dawson city

Even if you’re not driving Top of the World Highway, I highly recommend a quick ferry ride across the Yukon River on the George Black ferry. This is a really unique experience and if you don’t have a car you can just walk on. The ferry runs 24 hours a day in summer and it’s free.

Explore wrecked boats in the Paddle Wheeler Graveyard

A unique thing to do in dawson city is visit the paddle wheeler graveyard, a collection of crushed old ships damaged by the river. A pile of crumpled wood takes up the photo, an old pilot house partially collapsed can be seen at the top of the pile

The Paddlewheeler Graveyard is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Dawson City because it’s so unique and unusual . For 50 years starting at the time of the Klondike Gold Rush at the turn of the last century, paddlewheelers where the primary way that people and cargo got around in the Yukon. Hundreds of these boats traveled the Yukon River as well as along the Pacific Northwest Coast.

As airplanes and roads replaced them, many were tied up next to the river across from town. Over time the river and especially the breakup of the river in the spring smashed them until they are now warped wreckages of their former glory. You can walk around (be careful!) and explore a very different time in the world of transportation.

To get there, you’ll need to take the George Black ferry across the river (if you are driving Top of the World Highway you can check it out as you arrive or leave since you’ll already be taking the ferry). Once on the west side of the Yukon River (opposite town) go through the campground to the far side and then go a little further either through the brush (make noise and pay attention in case of bears) or beach (if the water level permits) and then you’ll see it!

Visit the Restored Paddle Wheeler SS Keno

A restored paddlewheeler that is now a museum in Dawson city

Before or after you check out the Paddlewheeler graveyard, check out the SS Keno National Historic Site , operated by Parks Canada. From the 1920s until the 1950s, the Keno supplied the mining activity along the Stewart River in the Yukon. When roads replaced the sternwheelers, she was dry docked in Whitehorse and then later restored and brought to Dawson City. Today you can see the Keno on Front Street along Dawson’s waterfront.

Jack London Museum and Author’s Row

A small log cabin leaning slightly surrounded by a small grass yard and a forest.

Along 8th Street on the edge of town, is what is known as “Authors Row”, a collection of cabins inhabited by well known authors of the past. Jack London spent a winter here and you can see what life was like in a cabin in the winter. Spoiler alert – Jack London did not love it.

You can also see the Robert Service cabin and memorize some of his well known poetry about the north.

The Pierre Berton cottage is now a place for Canadian authors in residence who can stay for a time to work on their writing. Pick up one of Pierre Berton’s excellent history books about the Klondike if you’d like to read more about the gold rush!

The historic Palace Theatre in Dawson City. It is a wooden Victorian building with cream trim.

When the original building was built in 1899, the Palace Grand Theatre was an opera house every bit as beautiful and well equipped as anything in San Francisco or a big European City, giving it the name “Paris of the North”.

An exact replica (with modern safety features), was built in 1962 and today you can catch a show in the summer in this beautiful building. Ask at the visitor centre for the current schedule and offerings.

Try your luck at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s – Canada’s Oldest Casino

The exterior of a historic wooden building. It is painted white with green trim and has a sign saying Diamon Tooth Gerties gambling hall

Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall, Canada’s oldest casino, has casino games as well as Cancan shows and is a fun way to step back in time! Operating since 1971, the building itself was built in 1901 and renovated to take guests back to gold rush days. They also have a full bar with local beer and a long list of Klondike themed cocktails.

Gold put Dawson City on the map, so there’s no better place to try your hand at gold panning! At Claim 33, you can learn how to gold pan and use their supplies to try it out, along with a small museum and gift shop.

If you want to strike out on your own , you can head to Free Claim #6, near where the original Klondike claim was. Here you can pan for gold to your heart’s content but you’ll need to bring your own gold pan (buy one in downtown Dawson).

Experience the Klondike Gold Rush at Gold Dredge #4 and the Discovery Claim

A gold dredge with trees behind it. The dredge is four stories high and made of wood painted gray. There. is a large bucket line coming out of one end.

If you really want to learn about the Klondike Gold Rush, do not miss driving out Bonanza Creek to the Discovery Claim and Gold Dredge #4.

As you drive about 20 minutes outside of Dawson, you’ll see the impact over a century of gold minging has had on this valley. From the Discovery Claim in 1896, where miners used gold pans to look for specks of gold in Bonanza Creek, to the enormous dredges of the mid 20th century, to today’s mining equipment, you’ll really get a feel for gold fever through time. Gold continues to be a major part of the economy in Dawson City.

The Dredge and Discovery Claim are Parks Canada National Historic Sites. Book a tour in town at the visitor centre before you head out and learn all the ins and outs of gold placer mining.

The Discovery Claim has an interpretive sign about the first gold found here, but what I really love about this spot is how beautiful and reflective it is.

A birch forest with a narrow dirt walking path going through the trees

Paddle or walk the Yukon River

For the adventurous, book a tour to canoe or raft the Yukon or Klondike Rivers for a few days! Experience the Yukon as humans have for centuries. You can start or end in Dawson and design your own adventure or join one already happening.

If that sounds like too much, spend some time walking along the trail along the river. You don’t want to miss spending some time with this epic North American River. The path is gravel, wide and flat though there are stairs in places to get up to it.

Low bushes in front of a river with hills and forest in the background

If you have a car that can go on gravel roads and a bit of extra time, I highly recommend driving Top of the World Highway. Even if you are not planning to drive to Alaska, the views along this highway are stunning and you do indeed feel like you’re on top of the world!

Hike or Drive to the Incredible View at Midnight Dome

A woman smiling and waving in the driver seat of a pickup truck with a camper on it at midnight dome with the Yukon River below and in the background near Dawson City.

Expansive views of Dawson City as well as the surrounding landscape and the mighty Yukon River abound at the summit of Midnight Dome.

To drive to the top of Midnight Dome , follow appropriately named Dome Road out of town. It winds up and takes you straight there in about 15 minutes.

If you prefer to hike it , grab a map at the visitor centre downtown and ask about the different route options. Starting from downtown, you’ll climb about 2000 feet (600 meters) in about 5 miles round trip.

Take a Hike or drive to Tombstone Territorial Park

a shrubby valley with a few trees and a river valley and distant mountains shrouded in fog

An hour and a half from Dawson City, Tombstone Territorial Park is an outdoor lovers paradise. A possible day trip or multi day camping trip from Dawson, start your adventure at the Tombstone Interpretive Centre. The Centre is open late May through September and has wheelchair accessible toilets. There is also a short nature trail here that is wheelchair accessible.

Tombstone is a remote park with no services and no cell phone service, north of Dawson City on the gravel Dempster Highway . Make sure you have food and water and all your supplies for your trip including a good spare tire and tire changing equipment.

The Interpretive Centre has maps and information about camping, backpacking and hiking trails. In addition to rugged and beautiful scenery, Tombstone is an excellent place to see wildlife. Make sure to check on the latest bear activity and any areas that may be closed for wildlife activity. Follow all guidance from park staff and information boards about bear safety while visiting.

Driving from Dawson City to Tombstone Territorial park is stunning by itself, so those who are not hikers can still enjoy the drive and the Interpretive Centre. You’ve come this far, whey not a bit farther to see some of the most stunning scenery in the Yukon!

Depending on the time of year, Dawson City is an ideal place to experience the unique wonders of the Far North. In winter (September through March), keep your yees on the sky to see the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis.

From April through August, enjoy long evenings, no darkness and see. theMidnight Sun from Midnight Dome (a long standing local tradition).

Join in a Local Festival

A quirky thing to do in Dawson City is the annual outhouse race. Here four outhouses decorated and on wheels line up at the start on a gravel street in town

Dawson has a ton of local festivals and events that are worth planning a trip around! Visiting for an event will add to your experience and give you an even more intimate feel for the people of Dawson City. Some of the festivals during the summer months include:

  • Indigenous People’s Day – Hän singing, storytelling and celebration are part of this annual celebration in June
  • Dawson City Music Festival – live music all around town for this weekend in July
  • Discovery Days – a parade, mud bog races and more to celebrate the Klondike gold rush every year in August
  • Klondike International Outhouse Race – form a team of four and decorate your “outhouse” and get your team in costume for a fun run (carrying the outhouse). Even if you’re just watching, it’s hilarious! The “outhouse” can be reserved and it’s basically a metal box on wheels that resembles an outhouse with metal poles for the runners to carry it. Your team provides the decorations!

A view of a river from high above. It's a stormy and cloudy day and the river is flowing between forested hills. There are trees in the foreground. Text reads: Why you should visit Dawson City in Canada's Yukon Territory

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27 FUN things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Last updated on June 17th, 2024

Want to experience the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush? In this guide we’re sharing 17 fun things to do in Dawson City, Yukon, plus where to stay, how to get there, and more! If you’ve ever wished you could get a glimpse of the Klondike Gold Rush, Dawson City NEEDS to be on your travel bucket list.  This small town in Canada’s Yukon Territory (YT) was the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush and is loaded with history. With countless preserved, historic buildings and costumed tour guides, exploring the national heritage site of Dawson City feels like stepping back in time!

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

But beyond its Klondike Gold Rush history, Dawson City also boasts incredible scenery, a quirky (err…gross) tradition, First Nation culture, the oldest casino in Canada, the Northern Lights, and so much more. It’s a one of a kind destination unlike anywhere we have ever been! And in this guide we’re sharing the best things to do in Dawson City, plus helpful travel tips, to help you experience this unique town for yourself. 

Watch our experience exploring Dawson City, including touring the town, seeing beautiful views, and a can-can show! 

About Dawson City

  • 17 fun things to do in Dawson City
  • When to visit Dawson City

How to get to Dawson City

Where to stay in dawson city.

  • How much time do you need in Dawson City?
  • Dawson City Itineraries

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Before diving into the top things to do in Dawson City, it’s important to know some of its history! In 1896, gold was discovered near Dawson City in Bonanza Creek, kicking off the Klondike Gold Rush. About 1,000 nearby miners came to the area to stake their claims and by 1897, news spread worldwide and an estimated 100,000 stampeded to the Klondike region and the rush was on! By 1898, Dawson City itself ballooned to more than 30,000 people. And while most of the newcomers discovered that much of the good ground had been claimed, many decided to set up businesses to cater to the miners.

Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Between 1896 and 1899, $29 million dollars in gold had been mined and Dawson City became known as the “Paris of the North.” It was the largest city west of Winnipeg and north of Seattle and was even the capital of the Yukon until 1953. There were dance and gambling halls, bars, brothels, churches, casinos, theaters, restaurants, supply stores, and anything else a bustling boomtown needed. However, once gold was discovered in Nome, Alaska, many of these gold seekers left in search of more gold. But they left behind tons of history to continue exploring today!

Map of the Best things to do in Dawson City

27 fun things to do in Dawson City

Despite being a small town with under 2,000 residents, there are a lot of things to do in Dawson City! Whether you want to check out historic sights, go for a hike, take a scenic drive, or hit the slots, there’s a little something for everyone.  Below is a rundown of 27 fun things to do in Dawson City, plus a custom Google Map below, which you can save to your Google Maps to reference during your time in Dawson City!

1. Explore historic downtown Dawson City

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

One of the BEST things to do in Dawson City is simply walk around its downtown area! The entire downtown feels like a living history museum. Each block is lined with colorful historic buildings, wooden boardwalks for sidewalks, and even dirt roads! We suggest giving yourself an hour or two to stroll its streets, but as you explore, make sure to find the Kissing Buildings . These are two buildings that are precariously leaning against each other and is the best place to snap a photo in town. You should also take a stroll down Front Street, imagining what the busting street looked like during the gold rush, as this was the center of the action!

2. Enjoy some of the Best Restaurants in Town

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

During our time exploring these things to do in Dawson City we really enjoyed Bonton & Company . This spot is a cafe by day, with coffee, pastries, and lunch items, and a restaurant by night, with cocktails and a menu highlighting local products. It is the kind of spot you’d expect to find in a big city, not in remote Canada. And has actually been named one of the best new restaurants in Canada by multiple publications! We enjoyed some coffee in the morning (while using their free Wi-Fi to get some work done), plus lunch, including a charcuterie board, which we highly recommend. They cure their own meats in-house too (you can see the room in the back)!  It is a pricer spot, but for the quality you get in a remote location like Dawson City, it’s worth it. Note: if going for dinner, make sure to make a reservation! Some other restaurants to check out are Red Mammoth Bistro , La Taqueria and Sourdough Saloon . And if you need something sweet, make sure to grab a milkshake at Klondyke Cream & Candy .

3. Join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club at the Sourdough Saloon

Sourtoe Cocktail | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Maybe the most unique attraction and tradition in Dawson City is the Sourtoe Cocktail. This is a shot of liquor, usually Yukon Jack whisky, but the real kicker is, it has a DEHYDRATED HUMAN TOE dropped into the bottom of the glass. Yes, those disgusting things in the photo above are TOES! The legend of this story dates back to the 1920s. There were a pair of brothers who were rum runners. And one night, they were on a run in a blizzard when one of the brother’s feet went through some ice- soaking his foot. Fearing they were being chased by the police, they kept moving and by the time they could stop, his big toe was frozen solid. The other brother cut off the toe to prevent gangrene and they dropped the toe in some alcohol to commemorate the occasion.  Years later, Captain Dick Stevenson was cleaning out a cabin and discovered the jar with the toe in it. After meeting with his buddies they decided to start the Sourtoe Cocktail Club. Over the years the club has acquired, by donation, over 25 toes! The rules of the Sourtoe Cocktail is that “you can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have to touch the gnarly toe.” And no eating the toe allowed, not that you’d intentionally want to do that. At least, we hope not. 😉  Sound fun to you? Head to the Sourdough Saloon to give it a shot (literally)! They do the Sourtoe cocktails every night, just make sure to sign up in advance. When we visited there were over 102,000 members of the club and after some Google sleuthing, it looks like they are pushing 112,000 members a year later! Clearly it’s a popular option for things to do in Dawson City despite being super gross! For those that don’t drink (like us), your only option without alcohol is to do an air shot, as in no liquid, just straight toe. So we chose to skip this Dawson City tradition.

4. Visit the S.S. Keno National Historic Site

S.S. Keno | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

As you wander around Dawson City you’ll very likely notice the S.S. Keno , a sternwheeler from the 1920s. Sternwheelers helped play a huge role in the opening of the region to industry and people. From the 1890s to the 1950s, they provided transport, delivered mail and news, and carried silver lead ore from the nearby mines. You can view the S.S. Keno from the outside or go on a tour of it with Parks Canada (more on that below!).

5. Go on a tour with Parks Canada

Dawson City Walking Tour | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Parks Canada not only preserves and maintains 17 historically significant heritage buildings in Dawson City, but they also provide a handful of tours as well! Parks Canada is one of the reasons why there are so many great things to do in Dawson City! You can go on a walking tour of downtown and go inside buildings, tour the S.S. Keno, visit a cabin, learn about the area’s indigenous history, do an escape room experience, and more! Tours times and offerings vary depending on the time of year you visit so be sure to check the website or pop into the Dawson City Visitor Information Centre and speak with the staff. It’s also suggested to visit the day before or on the morning of to get your name on a list for the tour you’d like. For how cheap these tours are (most are less than $10 CAD per person), we highly recommend doing them! We did two while in town (marked with an asterisk below) and both were fantastic!

Dawson City Walking Tour | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

6. Dawson City Walking Tour*

On this tour you’ll be led around town by a costumed guide who will share the unique and very interesting history of this once booming Klondike Gold Rush town. You’ll visit the Old Post Office, Red Feather Saloon, and be regaled with tales from the Gold Rush! We went on this tour and learned so many interesting tidbits about some of the characters who once lived in town and the wonderfully preserved buildings. Plus, having a costumed guide only added to the experience. It was a lot of fun!

7. S.S. Keno

While you can see the S.S. Keno from the outside for free, if you want to experience the S.S. Keno from the inside, you’ll need to book a tour with Parks Canada . 

Dredge #4 tour | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

8. Dredge #4 Tour*

The second tour we went on in Dawson City was the Dredge no. 4 Tour. This tour shares about the history and evolution of gold mining in the area. Plus you’ll get a full guided tour of the inside of the massive dredge, which is very impressive, and learn how it worked. Our guide was very informative and we learned a ton!

9. Robert Service Cabin

Robert Service, also known as the Bard of the Yukon, is a popular writer and poet in the Yukon.  It is said that he brought the Klondike experience alive for people and also put the Canadian North on the map. And on a tour with Parks Canada you can visit his old cabin, set amongst alders and fireweed. It’s a great option for things to do in Dawson City, but we just didn’t have quite enough time to do this one too.

10. Drive up to Midnight Dome

Midnight Dome | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

To get the best view of the city and surrounding area, head to Midnight Dome . You’ll be high above Dawson City and be able to look down the Yukon River valley and see lots of mountains all around. It’s an incredible view and one of our favorite things to do in Dawson City! And if you happen to be visiting Dawson City on the summer solstice (mid June), you’ll find a party on top of the Midnight Dome. Ever since at least 1899, people have been hiking to the top to celebrate the sun circling the horizon and see the midnight sun. We missed out on this, but it sounds like a lot of fun!

11. Visit the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

For generations Dawson City has been home to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, who still call this area home today. But in 1896, their lives were disrupted when gold was discovered in Bonanza Creek, kicking off the Klondike Gold Rush.  To learn more about the First Nation, visit the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre right on the Yukon River. The center shares the history and culture of the first people of the Klondike. But keep in mind that it is only open certain days of the week depending on when you visit, so be sure to check their website for hours before adding this to your list of things to do in Dawson City.

12. Check out other historic sights in town

Beyond the tours offered by Parks Canada and the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, there are a handful of other historical sights to check out in Dawson City.

13. Jack London Museum

Jack London is another popular writer who lived in the Dawson City area for a time. And if you’re a fan of his work, like the popular book turned movie “Call of the Wild”, then check out the Jack London Museum . The museum is located in a replica cabin that was built using half the wood from the original cabin. At the museum you can learn about the author’s time before, during, and after the Klondike Gold Rush.  

14. Dawson City Museum

At the Dawson City Museum you can learn even more about the town’s storied history and see thousands of historic artifacts and photographs. It’s a great place to visit if you love history!

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

15. Klondike Institute of Art and Culture

If art is more your thing, then you should pay a visit to the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture. Here you’ll see pieces from local artists, and they also host a variety of events, festivals and educational programs.

16. Try Gold Panning

Ever wanted to pan for gold? At Free Claim #6 you can! And for free, as the name implies! You’ll need to bring your own pan, but you can borrow a pan and get a vial to store your findings from the Visitor Center. To get there, you’ll drive 12 miles down Bonanza Road. The free claim is about a half mile upstream from the famous Discovery Claim, which set off the Klondike Gold Rush! 

17. Hike a trail

Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Dawson City is surrounded by wilderness. And if you know anything about us you’ll know we couldn’t write a list of the best things to do in Dawson City without including a few trails. While our favorite hike near Dawson City requires a bit of a trek to get to (more on that later!), there are some trails in town as well! 

18. Waterfront Trail

The Waterfront Trail is right in town and as you might guess from the name goes along the Yukon River. Along the way you’ll find signage that shares information about the history of Dawson City and the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin. It runs from the north end of town to the confluence of the Klondike River. 

19. Ridge Road Trail 

Ridge Road Trail is a longer trail just outside of town that used to be a government built wagon trail. From 1899 to 1902 the road was used as a major supply route to the goldfields. There were shops, roadhouses, and suppliers all along the route, so you’ll be walking (or biking!) in the miner’s footsteps! If you want to complete the entire 33 km route, you’ll want to camp overnight at one of the campgrounds along the way. To learn more, check out this brochure and map of the route. 

20. Gamble and see the can-can show at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

For a fun night out, head to Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall ! This is said to be the oldest gambling hall in Canada, established in 1971, and one of the best things to do in Dawson City. It gets its name after Gertie Lovejoy, one of Dawson’s most famous dancers from the Gold Rush era, who had a diamond between her two front teeth. But this spot is known for more than just drinks and games, it’s home to can-can shows!  There are 3 completely different shows every night and it costs $20 per person for a season pass, which can get you into shows for the entire summer season. And what is really cool about this casino is that it is a non-profit and all proceeds go back to the community!  During our visit to Dawson City we headed to Diamond Tooth Gerties to catch all three shows, which went way past our bedtime. But we had a blast singing and dancing to many familiar tunes! They make some pretty solid mocktails too!

Diamond Tooth Gerties | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

21. Go on a Yukon River Cruise

If you were hoping to jump back in time and experience a ride on a paddlewheeler on the Yukon River then you are in luck…sort of! The Klondike Spirit provides a nostalgic experience aboard the only operating paddlewheeler in the Yukon.  On the boat you’ll learn through a narrated tour about Dawson City, the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin, the village of Moosehide, and more! Note: this cruise didn’t appear to operate in 2023, so we suggest calling or emailing them beforehand to check.

22. Take a FREE ferry across the Yukon River

Dawson City Ferry | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Prefer a free boat ride? One of the highlights of our time exploring the things to do in Dawson City was simply riding the free George Black Ferry across the Yukon River!  This ferry runs 24 hours a day, minus a short service break on Fridays from 5-7 AM. It is actually part of the Canadian highway system and since it is the only way across the Yukon River in Dawson City, it is FREE!  Riding it is a quick, free way to see the town from the water. But that’s not all you can do! Once on the other side you can visit the Paddlewheel Graveyard or drive the Top of the World Highway, which leads to Alaska. More on both of those below!

23. Visit the Paddlewheel Graveyard

Over the years, hundreds of wooden paddlewheel ships ran up and down the Yukon River carrying supplies, humans, and silver lead ore. With the construction of highways and introduction of flight, the need for these ships quickly diminished.  Many of these old ships’ final resting place is right on the western banks of the Yukon River and you can see them at the Paddlewheel Graveyard . It’s a very unique (and a tad eerie) spot to add to your list of things to do in Dawson City! Note: you will need to take the free ferry across the river to get to the graveyard.

24. Drive the Top of the World Highway

Top of the World Highway | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

We visited Dawson City after 2.5 months in Alaska and to get there, we drove the Top of the World Highway. This mostly unpaved highway runs 79 miles from Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon. And it gets its name because most of the time the road is above the treeline and you cross over mountain ridges with endless views! We highly recommend making a day trip to the Top of the World Highway while in Dawson City! You could drive just to the US/Canada border and turn around, or continue into Alaska. We personally recommend going to Chicken, Alaska. This is a quirky small town without any electricity, cell service, or plumbing! The town runs on generators and has outhouses. 

Top of the World Highway | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

And if you’re wondering where the name Chicken comes from, it dates back to the late 1800s. Gold miners here survived on lots of ptarmigan, which resembles a chicken. And when the town was incorporated in 1902 they couldn’t figure out how to spell or the best way to spell ptarmigan so they decided to call the town Chicken instead.  Make sure to stop by Chicken Creek Cafe for some pie! And pop into the shop a couple doors down for a Chicken souvenir!

Note: The Top of the World Highway is technically open from May until first snowfall, but the US/Canada border is only open from June-early September, with specific hours everyday. So if you want to cross the border, make sure to check the exact dates and hours it is open. Also, even though it is mostly unpaved, any vehicle can drive the road.

25. Look for the Northern Lights

Northern Lights | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

If you’re like us, seeing the northern lights has long been on your bucket list! And from the end of August until April, Dawson City is one of the best places in North America to see them. To have the best chance to see them you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather forecast. One of the best sites to checkout is Aurora Forecast , which will tell you the probability for the upcoming days. While we didn’t see them in Dawson City, others we met did. So if the conditions are right, definitely head outside to take a peak. Seeing them a few days later along the Dempster Highway was truly one of the most spectacular experiences of our lives!

26. Visit Tombstone Territorial Park

Grizzly Lake at Tombstone Territorial Park | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Tombstone Territorial Park is one of the most epic spots in the Yukon Territory. And it’s only located 110 km northeast (1.5 hour drive) of Dawson City! So while not actually in Dawson City, it still had to be included on our list of things to do in Dawson City, since it’s just that amazing! This park is on the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, who called the mountains “ragged mountain land” in the Han language. And it’s a very accurate description! The park is known for its incredible scenery, including rugged peaks, permafrost landforms, and abundant wildlife. In fact, it’s sometimes referred to as Canada’s Patagonia. During our visit we hiked the Grizzly Lake Trail , which is 22 km (13.8 miles) roundtrip. This is usually done as a backpacking trip, sometimes in combination with the Divide Lake and Talus Lake Trail . It is a challenge to do it in one day, but if you start early it is doable and SO worth it! You are above the treeline basically the entire hike and have nonstop views. But the best part is when you get close to Grizzly Lake and see the insanely jagged peaks that surround it. It’s unreal! And it didn’t hurt that we did this hike at the very end of August, which is the start of fall in the Yukon Territory. The terrain was full of golden, orange, and red hues.

Watch us hike the Grizzly Lake Trail in Tombstone Territorial Park!

Grizzly Lake at Tombstone Territorial Park | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

If you don’t have the time or ability to hike to Grizzly Lake, Goldensides Mountain is a popular day hike. It’s 3.7 km (2.3 miles) round trip and gains 203 meters (666 feet), making it doable for most visitors! Note: Tombstone Territorial Park is located on the Dempster Highway, so part of the drive from Dawson City will be on gravel.

27. Drive the Dempster Highway

Driving the Dempster Highway | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Last but certainly not least, one of the best things to do in Dawson City is to drive the Dempster Highway.  The Dempster Highway is Canada’s most northern highway and is the only highway in Canada that crosses the Arctic Circle. It starts just east of Dawson City and goes 740 km (460 miles) up to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. From here, it connects to the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway for another 152 km to Tuktoyaktuk, also known as Tuk. At Tuk you can dip your toes (or if you’re like us, your whole body) in the ARCTIC OCEAN! 

Driving the Dempster Highway | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Driving the Dempster Highway is easily one of the greatest experiences of our lives. However, it is not an adventure to be taken lightly. The road, minus a small stretch in Inuvik, is totally unpaved and is notorious for flat tires. There are also very limited to no services along most of the drive. Thankfully we didn’t have any major issues, but we did encounter multiple people with flat tires. If you have about a week to spare while visiting Dawson City and a capable vehicle (good tires + in overall good condition), it is 110% worth the trek!

Want to make the trek? Check out our guide to Driving the Dempster Highway for much more information about the drive, services along the way, the best stops, and more!

When to visit these things to do in Dawson City

Midnight Dome | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

While you can enjoy these things to do in Dawson City year round, your experience will vary heavily depending on the month. Here’s a rundown of what to expect in each season!

Summer (June to August)

The most popular (and most would probably say most pleasant) time to visit Dawson City is the summer. The days are long and the temperatures are very pleasant. These long days give you tons of time to explore all the things to do in Dawson City that are outdoors like hiking, gold panning, and checking out the historic sights in and around town. Summer is also when most businesses and activities will be in full swing for the tourist season. 

Fall (Late August to September)

While fall typically doesn’t hit most places until late September or early October, Dawson City experiences fall MUCH earlier. The end of August to the beginning of September marks the fall in Dawson City, especially in the more mountainous areas, like Tombstone and the Dempster Highway. There is a short window during this timeframe when the landscape bursts with reds, yellows, and oranges. This is a stunning time to visit! We were in Dawson City and the surrounding area around this time and it was incredible! Just be prepared for colder temperatures and keep in mind that towards the end of September, tourist season winds down and many attractions and businesses will begin closing for the season.  If you’re traveling in an RV and aren’t prepared for winter, you will want to start making your way south in September.

Winter (October to February)

After the short fall season ends, Dawson City sees less daylight, more snow, and rapidly cooling temperatures. But for those looking to experience a different side of Dawson City, there is still fun to be had! Dog sledding, snowmobiling, and catching the Aurora Borealis are all great winter activities in Dawson City. It is important to note that this guide was written primarily for the summer and fall months. Many businesses and the Parks Canada tours are closed during the winter months.

Spring (March to May)

In the spring time the days will be getting longer and the temperatures will rise. Businesses and attractions will be gearing up for the upcoming tourist season, but depending on when you arrive, they might not be ready for you. This is definitely shoulder season and may not offer the true Dawson City experience.

Back in the late 1800s, your only way to get to Dawson City was to brave the mighty Yukon River or trudge the grueling Chilkoot Trail. Nowadays we’re in luck…you can drive your car or fly into Dawson City!

Driving to Dawson City from Alaska

Top of the World Highway | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

To get to Dawson City from Alaska, you’ll drive the Taylor Highway and the Top of the World Highway, which as we mentioned, is a 79 mile mostly gravel road. From Tok, Alaska to Dawson City, YT, the drive is about 5 hours and includes a border crossing. The border is only open seasonally, from June early September and its hours vary .  It’s important to know that Dawson City is one hour ahead of Alaska . So when planning your drive, make sure you’ll make it to the border before they close for the day.  Once you cross into Canada, you’ll have gorgeous scenery until the Top of the World Highway ends at the bank of the Yukon River, right across from Dawson City. There is no bridge to get across, but thankfully there is the free George Black Ferry. It takes less than 20 minutes and is a fun experience in itself and is included in our list of things to do in Dawson City!

Driving to Dawson City from Whitehorse via the Klondike Highway

Whitehorse is the largest city (in fact, the only official city) in the Yukon Territory. If coming to Dawson City from Whitehorse, it is an almost 6 hour drive along the Klondike Highway.  This highway is open year round and is completely paved, except for occasional sections under construction. But be sure to check Yukon 511 before you make the trek for up to date road conditions. 

Flying to Dawson City

Although it’s a very small town, Dawson City does have an airport ( YDA ), with flights from Whitehorse (YXY) via Air North, a Yukon airline. However, if this does not work or you just want to see more of the Yukon Territory, a popular option is to fly into Whitehorse. Air Canada and WestJet offer flights to Whitehorse from May to September. You will then need to rent a car to get to Dawson City.

Midnight Dome | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

How to get around Dawson City

Speaking of cars, having your own car (or a rental car ) will be the best way to explore these things to do in Dawson City. There are tours you can hire to take you around Dawson City, but you will need your own way to get to Dawson City.

Do you need 4×4 to explore these things to do in Dawson City!? 

We have a RWD Sprinter Van and had no issues in Dawson City or even on the Dempster Highway. 

Driving the Dempster Highway?

If you plan to continue onto the Dempster Highway , make sure you have a reliable vehicle. You will also want good tires, a spare tire, tire repair kit , an emergency roadside kit , and enough food and water for longer than you plan to be out there.

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Dawson City has a variety of lodging options available. We were in our van so we chose to boondock, but there are options for all types of visitors.

Hotels 

Dawson Lodge Klondike Kate’s Cabins The Bunkhouse Triple J Hotel The Downtown

Curious how we get FREE flights and hotels? Check out our list of our favorite travel cards that have saved us thousands of dollars!

Vacation Rentals

Bedside Manner Basement Sweet (2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom) The Loft on Sixth (1 bedroom, 1 bathroom) Log Cabin with Large Deck (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) House in the Klondike (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms)

Yukon River Campground : This campground is located across the river from town, so you will have to take the ferry across whenever you want to go into town. But what makes Yukon government campgrounds awesome is free unlimited firewood! Gold Rush Campground : Located within walking distance to town! Klondike River Campground

Boondocking

There aren’t a ton of boondocking options in Dawson City, but we stayed just below the summit of Midnight Dome a couple nights and it was nice and quiet. 

How much time do you need to enjoy these things to do in Dawson City?

Dawson City itself is small and can be explored in one busy day, but we suggest 2-3 days in the area to appreciate all that it has to offer. Unsure how to organize these things to do in Dawson City? We’re including a 1, 2, and 3 day itineraries below!

Things to do in Dawson City Itineraries

Whether you only have one day to experience Dawson City’s gold rush charm or can spare a few to explore its surrounding areas, we’ve gotcha covered! Below are a handful of itinerary options to help you get started with your Dawson City planning!

Midnight Dome | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

One day in Dawson City

  • Start your day with coffee and breakfast at Red Mammoth Bistro.
  • Wander around the streets of Dawson City before heading on some Parks Canada tours!
  • We suggest going on the Dawson City Walking Tour at the minimum, but throwing in Dredge #4 or S.S. Keno, depending on which interests you more.
  • Have lunch at Bonton & Company.
  • Drive up to Midnight Dome to see sweeping views of the area!
  • For dinner, go to the Sourdough Saloon and if you’re brave, try the sourtoe cocktail. Whether you want to experience it or not, we suggest at least going to watch!
  • End the night with can-can shows at Diamond Tooth Gerties!

Top of the World Highway | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Two days in Dawson City

For your first day, follow the one day itinerary above which includes some of our favorite things to do in Dawson City!

For day two you have a couple options. You could either drive the Top of the World Highway into Alaska, if you haven’t already driven it. Or you could drive part of the Dempster Highway to Tombstone Territorial Park and hike for the day!

Driving the Dempster Highway | Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Three days in Dawson City

For your second day, make the trek to Tombstone Territorial Park. Go for a hike along the Goldensides Mountain Trail and just enjoy the scenery from the car!

On day three, head across the Yukon River to the Top of the World Highway! We suggest going all the way to Chicken, Alaska. Either on your way there or back, make sure to check out the paddlewheeler graveyard.

Looking for more things to do in CANADA AND ALASKA? Check out our guides and vlogs!

  • The ULTIMATE guide to driving the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean
  • Driving the Alaska Highway: Everything you need to know
  • The ULTIMATE 10 day Alaska road trip (3 itinerary options!)
  • How to spend 7 days in Alaska (4 itinerary options!)
  • The 24 BEST hikes in Alaska
  • The ULTIMATE Summer Alaska Packing List
  • Watch all of our Alaska vlogs and Canada vlogs
  • Read all of our Alaska guides and Canada guides

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34 Interesting Things to Do in Dawson City, Yukon

For a town seemingly in the middle of Yukon’s endless wilderness with only about 2,000 year-round residents, Dawson City has a heck of a lot to offer visitors. History, landscape and people have a whole lot to do with this.

Home of the 1896 Klondike Gold Rush, Dawson City was once the largest settlement north of Seattle and west of Winnipeg.

Add to this a rich Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation heritage, turn of the (19th) century charm and an ever-present frontier spirit and Dawson City is one fascinating place. Read on to discover 34 interesting things to do in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada.

Things to do in Dawson City - restored buildings

Historical things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

  • Parks Canada Walking Tours:  One of the most noticeable things on arrival in Dawson City is the Parks Canada costumed interpreters. Join one of the many themed tours to learn more about Dawson’s history and see inside some of the restored buildings. We loved the “Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun” tour.
  • Commissioner’s Residence:  The discovery of gold just outside of Dawson City didn’t just bring gold prospectors, but the government as well. The Yukon Territory was created in 1898 and a commissioner sent in as the federal government’s representative shortly after. Restored to its early 20th-century look, the Residence is a National Historic Site of Canada.
  • Take in a museum:  The Dawson City Firefighting Museum commemorates over a century of service from the Yukon’s oldest fire department. Admission is by donation.   For more, check out the Dawson City Museum on Fifth Avenue. Over the next few years, the museum is having its biggest overhaul in thirty years with new exhibits and artefacts.
  • S.S. Keno: One of three remaining preserved sternwheelers in the territory, the S.S. Keno is a step back in time to the days when paddle steamers ruled the Yukon River. Take a self-guided tour and discover how both passengers and supplies were transported around Yukon before the highways took precedence. 
  • Sternwheeler Graveyard:  To see what happened to the other 200+ sternwheelers after retirement, visit the Sternwheeler Graveyard. Travel across the river and walk through the Yukon River campground to the resting place for at least six of these huge boats. It’s a fascinating hodgepodge of wooden decks, huge paddle wheels, rusty chimneys and engine parts. Free activity.

Things to do in Dawson City - S.S. Keno

Meet the people of Dawson City

  • Jack London Interpretive Centre: Once upon a time, the writer Jack London lived in Dawson City as a gold prospector. While he may not have found gold, he found fame through his writing instead. There is a replica of his Dawson City cabin here alongside his restored food cache.
  • Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre: Dawson City is located in the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation people. Learn about the history and culture of the area before the gold miners moved in at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre through displays and interpretive talks.
  • Robert Service Cabin: Robert Service was a British-Canadian poet who lived in a small cabin in Dawson City from 1909-1912. His poems about the Gold Rush years earned him huge success and the nickname ‘Bard of the Yukon.’ Visit his cabin for a peek into his life and to hear poetry readings from Parks Canada staff.
  • Cemeteries: The Gold Rush brought with it all sorts of characters and figures into the Dawson City area and a trip to one of Dawson City’s cemeteries may be more interesting than you’d initially think. The Dawson City Museum and Historical Society have produced a walking tour guide . Free activity.

Things to do in Dawson City - Jack London cabin

Entertainment in Dawson City

  • See a show at the Palace Grand Theatre:  Dating back to the Gold Rush, the wonderfully restored Palace Grand Theatre is one of those places that lives up to its name. The building has been refurbished a few times but went through a major refit during 2016 and 2017. It is expected to re-open in the summer of 2018. Try and see some of the Dawson City Music Festival here if you can as it was one of our favourite experiences.
  • Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall:  Canada’s oldest casino features thrice nightly Cancan shows (which get a little wilder as the night progresses) alongside a range of traditional and modern games. Now I’m not ordinarily a fan of casinos but Gertie’s is a fun place to be.
  • Join the Sourtoe Club: Ever felt that your life just isn’t complete until you’ve downed a shot of alcohol with a dehydrated human toe in it? Your chance to join the Sourtoe Club is finally here, at the Downtown Hotel. The spectator sport of it is admittedly quite fun even if you don’t take the plunge yourself.
  • Bombay Peggy’s Pub: If drinking sourtoe cocktails aren’t your thing (me either), don’t worry, there are plenty of other places to drink in Dawson! A converted brothel, Bombay Peggy’s is a favourite for its cosy atmosphere and long drinks list.

Things to do in Dawson City - Palace Grand Theatre

Dawson City and the Klondike Gold Rush

  • Bonanza Creek:  Dawson City wouldn’t be the place it is today without the Klondike Gold Rush. When gold was discovered on Rabbit Creek in 1896, it ignited a stampede of prospectors to the North. Now known as Bonanza Creek, the location of this legendary gold strike is now a historic site with outside displays and signage. Free activity. 
  • Pan for gold: Just a little further up from the Bonanza Creek is a free claim where anyone can try their luck and pan for gold in the river. You don’t necessarily need a gold pan to try, any kind of old pot or pan will do. If you have no luck, a little closer to town on the Bonanza Creek road is Claim 33 – a mining museum where gold is guaranteed for panners. Free activity (claim 6).
  • Dredge no. 4: Also along the Bonanza Creek road is Dredge no.4, the largest wooden dredge in the world. Built in 1912, this huge machine was used to dig gravel at the rate of 22 buckets per minute. Just one of thirteen dredges used around Dawson City at this time, the trenches created by these behemoths are still starkly visible today. Free activity.

Things to do in Dawson City - Gold panning at claim 6

Outdoor adventure in Dawson City

  • Go fishing : In my  (albeit amateur) experience, the Yukon has a whole lot of fish and not many people. Hence we had a great time fishing in the Yukon! Fishing licenses and equipment can be purchased at the Trading Post on Front Street – ask here for recommendations on where to go and what to fish for. Arctic grayling are very common and easy to catch.
  • Day trip to Tombstone Territorial Park: Drive just two hours from Dawson City and enter spectacular wilderness complete with jagged mountain peaks, endless tundra and beautiful hidden lakes. Tombstone Territorial Park, on the legendary Dempster Highway , is a must see when in the Dawson City area. You won’t regret it, I promise. Free activity.
  • Paddle the Yukon River: This is the most challenging of things to do in Dawson, but certainly one of the most rewarding if you have the time. We travelled over 700km by canoe from Whitehorse to Dawson City, recreating part of the gold prospectors’ pilgrimage over a century ago. Alternative starting points include Carmacks (415km to Dawson) and Minto (325km). Another way to get on the river is to take a ride on the Klondike Spirit, the Yukon’s only operating paddle steamer.

Things to do in Dawson City - Hiking in Tombstone Territorial Park

Unique Dawson City experiences

  • Solve a murder:  The Commissioner’s Residence isn’t just a place to experience grandeur. It’s also home to an Escape Room based on a real life 1903 murder. If not familiar, an escape room is an adventure game where a small group of people need to solve a mystery or puzzle to unlock their way out.
  • Midnight Dome: The towering hill (880m) behind Dawson City provides a stunning vantage point over the town and impressive Yukon River. Accessible via a short drive or challenging hike, the name comes from the tradition to watch the midnight sun from here. Free activity and one of my favourite things to do in Dawson City.
  • Take the ferry: Dawson City sits on the edge of the mighty Yukon River. To cross this waterway and continue on driving to Alaska on the Top of the World Highway, a ferry runs continuously in summer. If you’re not planning to continue on to Alaska, make sure you take the ferry at least once as a pedestrian to see a different perspective of Dawson City and the river. Free activity.

Things to do in Dawson City - Midnight Dome views

As the locals do in Dawson City

  • Farmers’ Market: The Dawson City Farmers’ Market takes place every Saturday from late July to early September. Stallholders selling arts, crafts, vegetables and other homemade products can be found on Front Street from 11am to 5pm. Free activity.
  • Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture: The KIAC is a community-based arts centre. As well as offering courses, film screens and exhibitions, the complex also includes the contemporary ODD Gallery . Admission to the ODD gallery is by donation.
  • Hike the Ninth Avenue Trail : For an insight into Dawson City’s  gold rush heyday as the largest city north of Seattle and west of Winnipeg, try hiking this trail just north of town. Pushed for space downtown, prospectors started to move their dwellings up the hill to create a Ninth Avenue. The Klondike Transport and Trails Society have produced an excellent map of the Ninth Avenue Trail . Free activity.

St Andrews church

Dawson City events

  • Yukon Quest : The legendary 1,000-mile international sled dog race travels through Dawson City in February, with the town acting as an overnight checkpoint.
  • Thaw di gras  – Ring in Spring with Dawson City’s quirky Thaw di gras carnival. This mid-March event features dozens of different competitions ranging from lip syncing and arm wrestling to tea boiling and the delightfully named ‘bum darts.’
  • International Short Film Festival – This four-day event celebrating short film takes place on Easter weekend. Not just limited to film screenings, there are also panel discussions, award ceremonies, workshops and meet-and-greets.
  • Yukon River Quest: The world’s longest annual paddling race ends in Dawson City usually at the end of June. The Quest challenges canoeists, kayaks and paddleboarders to paddle the 715km from Whitehorse as fast as possible.
  • Canada Day – Celebrate Canada’s birthday (July 1st) in Dawson City with a parade, cancan dancers, mounties, a slice of free cake and of course, the national anthem.

Things to do in Dawson City - Canada Day parade

  • Yukon Gold Panning Championships – Usually held the first week of July, this open competition highlights Dawson’s mining heritage. Free for anyone to join in, whether you’ve ever panned for gold or not.
  • Dawson City Music Festival – Held annually in July, the Dawson City Music Festival is perhaps Canada’s most diverse music festival. Most of the artists play for free somewhere in town during the day during the festival weekend.
  • Moosehide Festival – This bi-annual summer event brings together the local Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in   with other First Nation groups in Moosehide Village. Probably one of the few festivals where guests arrive by speedboat (the village is a couple of kilometres downriver from DC), Moosehide celebrates First Nation culture with performances, dancing, workshops, storytelling, crafts and feasts.
  • Discovery Days – A mid-August weekend celebration of the gold discovery in Bonanza Creek in 1896. Think arts, music, sports tournaments, live music, a parade plus monster trucks races in mud (known as the Dawson City Mud Bog)

Things to do in Dawson City - Moosehide Gathering

How long to spend in Dawson City

On arrival in Dawson City, we expected to stay three or four days. We actually spent almost three weeks in the town as we just kept finding more awesome things to do in Dawson City!

Something I especially loved about Dawson was that there are so many completely free or very low-cost things to do. 

This means Dawson is a great destination even for those on a budget. So do as many as you like and remember, if visiting in summer, the Midnight Sun is on your side!

There are affiliate links in this post. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Top tip – I’d highly recommend buying a copy of the Milepost when you visit Dawson City .  It is a comprehensive guide to every major road and attraction in Yukon Territory- with this, you won’t miss anything on your adventures in and around Dawson City!

Dawson City Highlights: what to do if short on time

Overwhelmed by the number of things to do in Dawson City but have little flexibility in your Yukon itinerary? No problem.

With the sun being out around 20 hours of the day in summer, you’ve got plenty of daylight to pack activities in. Here’s what I would do during a quick visit to Dawson City:

Day 1:  Wander the streets of Dawson City on a self-guided tour (get a map at the Visitors Centre) or join one of the Parks Canada tours. Choose between visiting two of: the S.S. Keno, Commissioner’s Residence or Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre. Consider taking in a show at the Grand Theatre.

Late afternoon, take the ferry over to the Sternwheeler Graveyard. After dinner, visit Bombay Peggy’s (or the Downtown Hotel if you’re really hankering for the Sourtoe experience) and finish the night at Gertie’s, in time for the last cancan show at midnight.

Day 2:  Get out of town! No seriously. If you like hiking, head for Tombstone Territorial Park and try the first 4km (8km return) of the Grizzly Lake trail . It’s a challenging uphill start but at the top, the views towards the Tombstone Mountains are truly epic.

An alternative day would be to explore Bonanza Creek road and the likes of Dredge no. 4, the Bonanza historic site and free gold panning at claim 6 before returning to town to visit Jack London’s cabin and whatever other museums take your fancy.

Whatever you do, fit in a trip to Midnight Dome to enjoy the views of Dawson and the Yukon River. And maybe another visit to Gertie’s.

Looking to book a stay in Dawson City?

Bonanza Gold Motel – Great value

Downtown Hotel Dawson City – Awesome location

Aurora Inn – Highly rated on Booking.com

34 Interesting Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon - For a town seemingly in the middle of Yukon's endless wilderness with only about 2,000 year-round residents, Dawson City has a heck of a lot to offer visitors. Here are 34 of the best things to do in Dawson City ranging from stunning hikes to fascinating historical places.

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One half of the Canadian/British couple behind Off Track Travel, Gemma is happiest when hiking on the trail or planning the next big travel adventure. JR and Gemma are currently based in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Thursday 22nd of February 2018

This is making me want to come back to the Yukon this year! We only had one day in Dawson but I fell in love with the surreal beauty of this rugged place. We didn't even make it up Midnight Dome (plus it rained like crazy) so still got a few things on my bucket list. And I agree, the Parks Canada walking tours are absolutely fabulous!!

Friday 23rd of February 2018

Aren't they just?! Such great value and you can tell the Parks Canada staff enjoy their work. We're potentially heading back to Yukon in 2019...meet us there?

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17 Awesome Things to Do in Dawson City, Yukon

Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

  • Last Updated: February 9, 2024

Whether you love history, adventure or dancing to local music, you’ll find plenty of amazing things to do in Dawson City, Canada in this first-hand guide.

Dawson City is one of those towns that everybody seems to know about, but few people ever get to.

For anybody that has an interest in Klondike Gold Rush history, the Yukon in Canada’s north and the towns scattered around the territory are well worth visiting.

It’s not just Klondike gold rush era history and gold panning that draws people up this way though. The landscapes of Yukon are some of the most spectacular in the country, and the people that call this place home could not get any more friendly and welcoming.

While almost everybody that travels to Yukon makes their way through Whitehorse, the capital of the territory, it’s Dawson City 530km further north that has the real appeal to those looking to for an authentic experience.

Things To Do In Dawson City Yukon

Table of Contents

Join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club

Visit the jack london museum, try your luck at diamond tooth gertie’s gambling hall, take a city tour with klondike experience, gold panning, head up the midnight dome for epic dawson city views, wander the streets, explore tombstone territorial park, time your visit with the yukon quest, go dog sledding, party at dawson city music festival, check out the s.s. keno, look for the aurora borealis (northern lights), spend some time in the dänojà zho cultural centre, paddle the yukon river, wander around the cemeteries, take a drink (or 5) in the pit, downtown hotel, the best things to do in dawson city.

On our second trip to Yukon we had the pleasure of finally making it up to this historic and quaint town from the Gold Rush era, and instantly fell in love with its quirkiness and charm.

Our visit was quite short, but you could very easily spend weeks exploring the area around Dawson City.

With Tombstone Territorial Park close by, and tonnes of adventure activities to be enjoyed, it’s a wonderful place to visit at any time of year.

Enjoy gold panning and learning about the history of the Gold Rush, drinking with the locals, partying at a music festival, or immersing yourself in the pristine nature around the town.

Here’s our complete guide to the best things to do in Dawson City, Yukon

READ MORE – Check out our  southern Yukon road trip itinerary .

What Do Do In Dawson City

“You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips must touch the toe.” – Everybody who has joined the club.

If the Klondike Gold Rush is what put Dawson City on the map, it’s the Sourtoe Cocktail Club that made it legendary amongst travellers the world over.

This famous, and pretty grotesque, tradition involves enjoying a delicious cocktail at the bar of the Downtown Hotel, with one unique ingredient.

A severed human toe.

Yes, you read that right.

It’s a tradition that has been around for decades. In 1920 a man named Louie Liken lost his toe due to frostbite and apparently kept it in a jar of alcohol in his private cabin to preserve it.

In 1973 another local, Captain Dick Stevenson, was cleaning the cabin and came across the toe.

That night he headed down to the Sourdough Saloon in the Downtown Hotel and started putting it in the drinks of anybody who would be game to try it.

And thus, the Sourtoe Cocktail was born.

Since that night there have been a number of different toes used to join the club ( the first was swallowed after 7 years, and subsequent toes have all been either eaten, stolen or fallen apart) , all donated by people who have lost their appendages due to various ailments or injuries.

To join the club you can order any drink (although a Yukon whiskey is the recommended option for newcomers), and the toe is dropped inside it.

You must down it all in one go, and make sure your lips touch the filthy toe.

Once you’ve successfully completed the challenge you get your name inside the ledger (over 85’000 people have done it), and you get a certificate to take home and hang on your wall.

Just don’t swallow or steal the toe, or you’ll be fined $2500.

Jack London was one of the most popular American authors of the early 20th century, thanks to his works such as The Call of the Wild, Martin Eden, and White Fang.

In the early days of his career, Jack London spent a year living and travelling around the Klondike, including a harsh winter holed up in a log cabin close to Dawson City.

Jack London was trying his hands at various hard labour work, but instead his time in the Klondike inspired many of the future stories that would turn him into the famed storyteller he was.

Years after his death his cabin was discovered by local man Dick North, and he brought it to Dawson City to set up a memorial for the great author.

Today the cabin is part of the Jack London Museum, and visitors can come to check out his cabin and learn more about the American author inside the interpretative centre.

It is only open in summer, but you can have a look at London’s cabin from the outside at any time of the year.

READ MORE: Want to know travel tips for Canada? Check out our ultimate travel guide !

Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall is an old school casino that feels like you’re stepping back in time the moment you walk in the door.

This is actually Canada’s first licensed casino, opening in 1971, and they’ve decided to keep the theme the same as the Klondike Gold Rush era style you’d expect in Dawson City.

Besides the typical games like slots, roulette and blackjack, the real highlight is the can-can dancers that throw their heels up on the stage. Even if you don’t like gambling, it’s worth stopping by Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall in the evenings to check out the dancers anyway.

As an added incentive Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall is also a not-for-profit enterprise. All revenue is invested back into the community to preserve the heritage buildings.

READ MORE – Learn more about our other amazing local adventure,  dog sledding in Yukon .

While simply walking around Dawson City is a great way to get a feel for the place, we’re big believers in getting a local guide to learn the history and culture as well, which is why we recommend walking tours.

The best tour company in Dawson City is Klondike Experience , run by Canadian man Jesse, who moved to Dawson City over a decade ago and instantly fell in love with the town.

His company is a bit of a one-stop-shop for just about any kind of adventure you’d want to have in the area.

Whether it’s helicopter rides, dog sledding tours, transport options (he runs a regular shuttle between Whitehorse and Dawson City) or anything in between, Jesse can make it happen.

We did a city tour with Jesse, and he spent a few hours walking and driving us around the best parts of town, diving into all the stories and details that we would have missed on our own.

Afterwards, he took us up to the Midnight Dome for an awesome view of the area, which was an added bonus to the tour.

Jesse was an amazing guide, and we really got so much more understanding for what makes Dawson City tick because of him. Highly recommended!

Klondike Experience City Tour

Dawson City was built on the backs of the gold mining industry as gold miners headed north to try and make their fortune in the mineral-rich soil and rivers of the Yukon Territory. This was known as the Klondike Gold Rush.

These days most of the huge nuggets have been claimed, and anywhere that has potential is being mined by larger companies with big budgets. Places like Bonanza Creek and Rabbit Creek were hotspots for gold mining during the Klondike Gold Rush.

But there’s still guaranteed fun to be had, and a small chance to strike it rich, for the average person.

Whether you are experienced in gold panning and you have your own equipment, or you just want to learn one sunny afternoon, you’ll find plenty of spots around Dawson City to go searching for this valuable rock.

We recommend joining a gold panning tour (hit up Jesse at Klondike Experience), so you can make the most of this cool gold mining experience.

As a city made famous by the Gold Rush, it’s cool to take part in the gold panning experience that shaped Dawson City.

The large hill looming over Dawson City is known as the Midnight Dome, and it has incredible views of the area while being easily accessible for almost anybody.

There are two ways to reach the top of Midnight Dome. You can drive along the road that takes you directly to the lookout, or you can hike the 5-mile round trip along a variety of different hiking trails.

No matter how you get up there though, the views are going to be worth it.

You can see many of the mountains that surround Dawson City, and you’ll get a great perspective of Dawson’s location right on the Yukon River.

If you’re wondering what to do in Dawson City on a sunny day, this is a great activity.

Dawson City Midnight Dome

One of our favourite Dawson City activities was simply walking around the streets and admiring all the old buildings.

The heritage buildings of Dawson City are actually managed by Parks Canada, which means they’re doing everything in their power to keep them looking the way they always have, rather than modernising them.

You can easily spend a few hours walking around and photographing the derelict structures, checking out the crazy leans on some of them (due to the permafrost and not being able to build proper foundations) and chatting to friendly locals.

One of the most famous buildings to check out are of course the Robert Service Cabin, and the Dawson City Museum.

The Dawson City Museum is the best place to learn all about the history of Dawson City if you’re interested in that.

The Robert Service Cabin is a Klondike National Historic Site and is the former cabin of the famous poet from the Yukon Territory.

Old Buildings Dawson City

Just 1.5 hours past Dawson City along the Dempster Highway is the striking Tombstone Territorial Park, a place that should not be missed on your trip to the Yukon.

This 2200km 2 park is home to an abundance of wildlife, such as caribou, moose, Dall sheep, grizzly and black bears, and spotting any of these mammals is always a real highlight.

The landscapes are also spectacular, with large valleys punctuated by jagged peaks.

The First Nations’ history is also fascinating, as the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in have been using this area for thousands of years.

There are plenty of great activities you can enjoy in the park, with hiking and camping being the most popular ones, along with fishing and off-road driving.

Tombstone Territorial Park is rugged and remote, so make sure you are adequately prepared before visiting.

If you don’t have your own vehicle, you will have to book a guided tour when you visit Dawson City.

Known as being one of the world’s most challenging dog sledding events, the Yukon Quest is a 1000-mile race that stretches from Whitehorse in Yukon all the way to Fairbanks in Alaska.

The teams of mushers and their dogs spend most of the time out in the wilderness during the race, but in Dawson City they have a rare opportunity to briefly hang out in civilisation.

The course passes right through downtown Dawson City, and on the day that the racers are in, most of the town heads down to the checkpoint to cheer them on as they continue the adventure.

While the winters are long and cold in the north, it’s events like this that really bring some fresh life into the town. Definitely one of the top things to do in Dawson City, Yukon if you can time your trip right.

While you might not be up for taking on a crazy 1000-mile race in the middle of Yukon’s most challenging terrain, you could always try dog sledding for yourself in a much more enjoyable fashion.

Dog sledding has been a method of transport for locals for generations, and in recent years it’s become a popular tourist activity.

Around Dawson City, there are a number of operators that run excellent, responsible dog sledding tours, ranging from one-hour taster sessions right up to multi-day expeditions.

You’ll be sure to fall in love with the gorgeous huskies that make up the sled teams, and in these places it’s actually encouraged to play around with the dogs and show them affection.

It really is one of the top fun things to do in Dawson City in winter.

READ MORE – Make sure you read our article asking ‘ is dog sledding cruel? ‘ before you book a tour.

Dog Sledding In Yukon

Besides the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, there was something else we kept hearing about whenever we talked to people about Dawson, and that was the legendary Dawson City Music Festival.

What started off as a small barbecue one weekend in 1979 has now turned into a not-to-be-missed attraction for all Yukoners.

Every year a number of Canadian and international artists head to Dawson City to partake in the family-friendly event, which is held in a variety of venues around town.

The Dawson City Music Festival is a 3-day party, and is one of the best Dawson City attractions, and people from far and wide travel to town to dance the days (and nights) away.

Make sure you book accommodation early if you’re planning on coming up for the Dawson City Music Festival.

During the Gold Rush, one of the most luxurious and popular ways to travel between towns was to take a paddleboat steamer along the massive Yukon River.

Unfortunately this historic era of Gold Rush travel is long gone, but luckily for us there’s still a number of original paddle wheelers scattered around the territory, and one of them is right in Dawson City!

The S.S. Keno was built in 1922 and used to transport various minerals for mining companies along the Yukon River until it was decommissioned in 1951.

In 1960 the vessel made its way from Whitehorse to Dawson City along the Yukon River, becoming the last paddle steamer to make the trip under its own power, and it’s stayed in town ever since.

These days it’s a National Historic Site located just outside of town on the shores of the Yukon River, and visitors can learn more about its Gold Rush history on an interpretative tour.

No list of what to do in Dawson City would be complete without seeing the Gold Rush era S.S. Keno on the Yukon River.

If there’s one thing that is on everybody’s Yukon bucket list, it is to see the Northern Lights. And it’s hard to find a better spot to see them than right here in Dawson City.

Being so close to the Arctic Circle means that in the winter months the night skies can come alive in brilliant displays of greens and purples as gases in the atmosphere dance around.

If the conditions are right you can see them right from downtown, but for a really unbelievable experience, drive out of town or take an Aurora Borealis sightseeing tour.

Seeing the Northern Lights in Dawson City is something that will stay with you forever!

Northern Lights Unsplash

The First Nations history of the Yukon is an important element of the territory’s culture, and thankfully it is celebrated the way it deserves to be.

From the artwork of Carcross to the cultural centres in Haines Junction, there are plenty of amazing places to learn more about the indigenous people of northern Canada.

Luckily one of the best things to do in Dawson City is to do just this at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre.

Here you’ll find excellent exhibitions and gorgeous artwork throughout the centre, and the staff are more than willing to tell you everything you’d ever like to know about these First Nations people.

In the summer they host a range of activities to get people more interested in their culture, and there’s also a store where you can buy traditional clothing and handicrafts.

Check website for seasonal updates and visitor info!

It might be the ultimate Yukon adventure – taking a canoe and paddling along the territory’s most powerful and legendary river over the course of a few weeks.

When we first heard of a couple doing this, literally renting a canoe and going off on their own in the Yukon wilderness, we immediately thought that they were crazy, but that we had to do it for ourselves.

After some research though it turns out they weren’t so crazy, and that paddling the Yukon River is actually a fairly common journey for plenty of people every year.

A popular route is to paddle from Whitehorse to Dawson City over the course of 16 days broken up into two stages, with the town of Carmacks being the stopping point halfway.

Companies in Whitehorse can organise everything for you, including the canoe and equipment rental and transfers back to Whitehorse, meaning all you need is food and a sense of adventure.

Dawson City has a couple of historic and picturesque cemeteries around town, and while it might seem like an odd thing to add to a list of things to do, they’re worth checking out as you walk the streets.

You’ll find tombstones going back as far as the gold mining days of the Gold Rush, and with their picturesque settings surrounded by trees, they can make for great photos.

Cemetery Dawson City

As far as fun and dirty bars go, it doesn’t get much better than The Pit in Dawson City!

Located downstairs at the Westminister Hotel, this Dawson institution has been serving drinks for decades, and you’re bound to meet some hilarious locals on any night of the week.

The larger bar is known as the Snake Pit, while the dingier dive bar is called the Arm Pit.

We personally preferred drinking some craft beer in the Arm Pit, surrounded by old pictures, news stories and Yukon memorabilia hanging on the walls.

Where to Stay in Dawson City

For such a small town, there’s a surprising number of accommodation options in Dawson City. And while you won’t find any 5-star luxury resorts, you will definitely find some good quality and homely places to rest your head at night.

This is where we personally stayed, and we absolutely loved the style of the place , which felt like it was plucked straight out of the Gold Rush era.

The rooms were large and quirky, the staff were friendly, wifi worked (didn’t expect that), and it was of course the closest place to the Sourdough Saloon, home to the Sourtoe Cocktail.

Dawson City Yukon

Alesha and Jarryd

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Wow, this list of things to do in Dawson City is incredible! I’m planning a trip there next year and can’t wait to check out the Dawson City Music Festival. The idea of watching live music in the midnight sun is so unique and exciting. Thanks for the tips!

Back in 2017 someone actually stole the toe. It made national news!

no way. That is crazy and so not Yukon like. I am glad they got another toe to continue the tradition. 🙂

Hi Alesha and Jarryd

I’m just in the process of planning a trip to Alaska from the UK. You’ve absolutely persuaded me to visit Dawson. Thank you!

Hi Jan, that is amazing. Alaska is on out travel bucket list. It looks beautiful. Yukon is a special place. We loved our time there. Dawson City was a lot of fun. Have a great time and don’t forget to kick the toe. 🙂

This is such an amazing list, I’m visiting Dawson in two weeks and your list really helped me plan what activities and places I want to see. Thank you so much! 🙂

Thank you so much Sarah. We hope you have a great time. It is such an amazing city. 🙂

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Discover the golden history of Dawson City

Sun sets over the pink Westminster hotel

No time machine required

Experience the remarkably historic period of the Klondike Gold Rush frozen in this authentic city. This legendary event caused a global movement of people that was unprecedented at the time. Although it lasted just a few short years, it left a rich historic legacy with stories of triumph, defeat, bravery and the peculiar madness of gold fever. Dawson City became the biggest city west of Winnipeg and north of Seattle. Today, you can explore the legend while revelling in the unique vibe of one of the North’s most treasured towns. 

Communities

Welcome to the Klondike

A blue museum

The best place to start your Klondike adventure is at the Visitor Information Centre , where you can discover all the offerings in the area and also join in a Parks Canada walking tour. Interpretive guides will bring to life a rich history and colourful legends. Explore one of the fabulously conserved historical buildings by visiting the home and grounds of the Commissioner’s Residence and then dive deep into local history at the Dawson City Museum . 

Sip a pre-dinner cocktail at a former brothel. Bombay Peggy’s bar embraces Dawson’s bawdier past with some inventively named drinks. “Bloomer Remover” anyone? 

After dinner, enjoy the fun at Diamond Tooth Gerties (or simply “Gerties” to the locals). This is Canada’s oldest casino and the hub of Dawson’s notorious nightlife. Or should we say “midnight sun life”?  It’s a lively place that evokes the gold rush spirit with a gambling hall and nightly can-can shows.

Explore Dawson City History and Culture

dawson city boardwalks

The gold seekers weren’t the first to arrive in this area. The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people had been here for centuries. The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre brings to life their stories and culture. 

For another perspective, take a river trip. Relive a slower pace of travel on board the Klondike Spirit paddlewheeler, float past the traditional First Nations village of Moosehide, see the paddlewheel graveyard or watch a traditional fish wheel in operation.  

Back on dry land, stroll wooden boardwalks and meet locals as colourful as the town itself. At the cabin of Robert Service, a.k.a. the “bard of the Yukon”, listen to live readings of his poetry. Then head down to the cabin of that other famous Klondike author, Jack London. Another interesting option is to wander through some of Dawson’s old cemeteries. You can pick up a walking guide at the visitor centre. 

Tonight, take part in the time-honoured tradition of the Sourtoe Cocktail . Forget about cocktail umbrellas in your drink, this one has a pickled human toe!  

After a busy day, kick back, soak up some of those midnight sun rays and simply enjoy the magic of Dawson.

Tour the Goldfields

mining dredge under a winter sky and blanket of snow

In August of 1896, gold was found in Rabbit (later Bonanza) Creek launching the biggest gold rush the world has ever seen. An estimated 30,000 – 40,000 made it through enormous obstacles to arrive in the Klondike.  

Today, journey out to the goldfields and see where it all began at Discovery Claim. Although the “rush” was over just a few years later, gold mining continued and you can get a sense of the scale of operations at Dredge No. 4. At two thirds the size of a football field and 8 stories high, this was the largest wooden hull, bucket-line dredge in North America.  

And there’s still gold to be found. At Free Claim #6 you can get a sense of what it was like by trying your own hand at panning. And its finder’s keeper’s here—any gold you find you get to keep!

On your way back into town, drive up to the Midnight Dome for 360° views over Dawson City and the Klondike. If you’re in town at the summer solstice join the local gathering here in the evening to watch the sun circle the sky.

Day Trip to Tombstone Territorial Park

Two bright teal lakes in the bowl of a large mountain.

Just north of Dawson (112km/69mi.), you’ll find Tombstone Territorial Park . The park is a unique wilderness of rugged peaks, permafrost landforms and abundant wildlife, and makes for a great day trip. It’s particularly beautiful in late August when nature puts on an incredible display of fall colours.

Stop in at the Tombstone Interpretive Centre where you can sip some mountain tea, get the latest scoop on wildlife sightings, and enjoy the cultural displays. There are also interpretive programs and special events throughout summer. Feeling more active? Join a guided walk or pick up information on local hiking trails.

Continue to the Tombstone lookout, where you’ll be greeted by a spectacular view across a wide valley to the craggy, granite peak of Mount Monolith. If you feel like driving further, you can continue on to Two Moose Lake (35km/20mi.). As you contemplate the beauty of the tundra, you’ll notice something that you probably haven’t experienced in a long time—complete silence. And what about those moose? The best time to spot them is around twilight.

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Dawson City

visit dawson city

  • 1.1 History
  • 1.2 Climate
  • 1.3 Visitor information
  • 2.2.1 Airport
  • 2.2.2 Airline
  • 3 Get around

visit dawson city

Dawson City is a historical town of 2,270 people (2021) in Yukon . It invites visitors to celebrate its heritage as a late 19th-century gold rush town, with frontier buildings and boardwalks, saloons, and a vintage sternwheeler.

In prehistoric times the area was used for agriculture by the Hän-speaking people of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and their forebears. The heart of their homeland was Tr'ochëk, a fishing camp at the confluence of the Klondike River and Yukon River, now a National Historic Site of Canada, just across the Klondike River from modern Dawson City. This site was also an important summer gathering spot and a base for moose-hunting on the Klondike Valley.

The current settlement was founded by Joseph Ladue and named in January 1897 after noted Canadian geologist George M. Dawson, who had explored and mapped the region in 1887. It served as Yukon's capital from the territory's founding in 1898 until 1952, when the seat was moved to Whitehorse.

Dawson City and port of entry Skagway in Alaska were the centre of the Klondike Gold Rush. It began in 1896 and changed the First Nations camp into a thriving city of 40,000 by 1898. By 1899, the gold rush had ended and the town's population plummeted as all but 8,000 people left. When Dawson was incorporated as a city in 1902, the population was under 5,000. St. Paul's Anglican Church was built that year, and is a national historic site.

The population dropped after World War II when the Alaska Highway bypassed it 480 km to the south. The economic damage to Dawson City was such that Whitehorse, the highway's hub, replaced it as territorial capital in 1953. Dawson City's population languished around the 600–900 mark through the 1960s and 1970s, but has risen and held stable since then. The high price of gold has made modern placer mining operations profitable, and the growth of the tourism industry has encouraged development of facilities. In the early 1950s, Dawson was linked by road to Alaska, and in fall 1955, with Whitehorse along a road that now forms part of the Klondike Highway.

The City of Dawson and the nearby ghost town of Forty Mile (together with Skagway) are featured prominently in the novels and short stories of American author Jack London, including The Call of the Wild . London lived in the Dawson area from October 1897 to June 1898. Other writers who lived in and wrote of Dawson City include Pierre Berton and the poet Robert Service.

Dawson City has a subarctic climate. The average temperature in July is 15.7 °C (60.3 °F) and in January is −26.0 °C (−14.8 °F). It experiences a wide range of temperatures surpassing 30 °C (86 °F) in most summers and dropping below −40 °C (−40 °F) in winter.

Visitor information

  • 64.064 -139.43277 1 Dawson City Visitor Information Centre , 1102 Klondike Hwy , ☏ +1 867 993-5566 . ( updated Jun 2022 )

visit dawson city

Dawson City is accessible by Highway 9 (Top of the World Highway), if you are travelling east out of Alaska .

Dawson City can also be reached on Highway 2 (Klondike Highway), if you are travelling north from Whitehorse . About 40 km east Dawson City on Highway 2 it intersects with the south terminus of Highway 5. Highway 5, named Highway 8 in Northwest Territories , connects with Inuvik , and make up the Dempster Highway .

Dawson City has a small airport for scheduled and chartered flights.

  • Air North , toll-free: +1-800-661-0407 . A regional airline operating flights within the Yukon and flights in Canada travelling to the Yukon. ( updated Apr 2022 ) Scheduled flights to Dawson City from Old Crow, Inuvik (1.25 hours), and Whitehorse ( .25 hours).
  • Husky Bus , ☏ +1 867 993-3821 , [email protected] . Offers seasonal bus service from June to September between Dawson City and Whitehorse with stops along the way including in Carmacks . Travel time in each direction is 7 hours. ( updated Jun 2023 )

Map

  • Great White North Taxi , ☏ +1 867 730-2227 . ( updated Jul 2019 )

In 2023 the site Tr’ondëk-Klondike was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List . It's composed of eight sites, one of which is in the Tombstone Territorial Park and the other seven in and near Dawson City: Dawson City as well as the Native American settlement of Tr’ochëk slightly to the south, Jëjik Dhä Dënezhu Kek’it (Moosehide Village) and Fort Reliance a bit downstream on the right bank of Yukon River, and much further downstream (maybe 70 km as the crow flies), close to each other, the forts Cudahy and Constantine and the Native American sites of Ch’ëdähdëk (Forty Mile) and Ch’ëdähdëk Tth’än K’et (Dënezhu Graveyard).

  • 64.0626 -139.43078 1 Historic Klondike Gold Rush Town . Preserved frontier buildings and boardwalks, saloons, and a vintage sternwheeler recall the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush days. You can visit the goldfields, the Commissioner’s residence, and a famous poet’s historic log cabin.  

visit dawson city

  • 64.06091 -139.4351 4 ODD Gallery , 902 Second Ave . Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa noon-4PM . Contemporary visual arts. ( updated Jun 2022 )
  • 64.06578 -139.4299 5 Dawson City Fire Fighters Museum , 1336 Front St , ☏ +1 867 993-7407 , [email protected] . M-Sa 11AM-5PM in summer . Historical fire trucks and firefighting equipment from the Gold Rush era to present. Admission by donation . ( updated Jun 2022 )
  • 64.0553 -139.4326 6 Jack London Museum and Cabin , 600 Firth St ( 8th Ave and Firth St ). May-Sep: M-Sa 1PM-4PM . The celebrated novelist joined the Klondike Gold Rush. His time in Dawson City inspired him to write novels on adventures in the wilderness. Interpretive talk starts at 2PM daily. Admission by donation . ( updated Jun 2022 )
  • Parks Canada Walking Tours . From late May to the beginning of September, Parks Canada offers 1 to 1½-hour guided walking tours of the historic town, Dredge No.4, the S.S. Keno, and the Palace Grand Theatre. These tours provide access to buildings that are not open to the public such as the past office and the Red Feather Saloon. There is also an escape room experience ($76.75). Tickets are available at at the Visitor Information Centre (corner of Front and King Streets) $6.75 per person, $15 for Sledge No. 4 . ( updated Jun 2022 )
  • 64.08435 -139.4421 2 Paddle Boat Graveyard . Old paddle boats that plied the Yukon are drydocked, after a fashion, down the Yukon River opposite the town. To reach this you must take the free ferry across the river and walk through the government camping area along the river. Where the camping area ends, get out onto the river's shore and walk maybe 200 m further. These are dilapidated tetanus traps but it's fascinating to crawl around in and on them.  
  • Cemeteries . The towns has a great variety of cemeteries, including Jewish, Masonic, RCMP, and others. They are a reminder of the town's colourful past. They are just a short drive up Crocus Bluff and halfway up the shoulder of the Midnight Dome mountain that looms over the town.  
  • Gold Bottom Mine Tours , Front St. beside the Trading Post , ☏ +1 867 993-5023 . 9:15AM, 1:30PM . An experiential tour of an operating placer gold mine in Dawson City Yukon. See placer mining up close and personal, learn some Klondike 98 mining history and do some creek gold panning, with the opportunity to take home anything you find. $40 .  
  • 64.062 -139.4357 1 Dawson Trading Post ( The Trading Post ), 966 Front Street , ☏ +1 867-993-5316 . Amazing examples of Tr'ondek Hwech'in products. Beaded vests, fur mittens and the like. The shop also has all the things you might need to make a journey out onto the land with more amenities.  
  • 64.0615 -139.4345 1 Drunken Goat Taverna , 950 Second Ave , ☏ +1 867 993-5868 . Great Greek food.  
  • Klondike Kates . Fantastic soups, sandwiches and local ingredients.  
  • Aurora Inn . Bison carpaccio and fireweed honey duck breast.  
  • 64.061 -139.4338 2 The Pit , 975 Third Avenue ( In the Westminster Hotel ), ☏ +1 867 993-5339 . 9AM-11PM . For some local colour try the beer parlour at the Westminster Hotel or "the pit" (the dodgy-looking pink building on 3rd Ave) where gold mining fortunes and welfare cheques are cheerfully exchanged for $2 sleeves of draught beer almost any time of any day. Good local live music in the lounge next door at the pit on some nights.  
  • 64.06842 -139.43883 1 Dawson City River Hostel , Take ferry from Dawson City to the west side of the river , ☏ +1 867 993-6823 , [email protected] . Seasonal monthly tenting available. Bike and canoe rentals and van tours by demand. Owner is author of the "Yukon Travel Adventure Guide" and "The Saga of the Sourtoe". Dorms from $20 (members), $22 (non-members), private rooms $48. Tenting fees are: $14 one person one tent and $10 per person if more than one per tent . ( updated Jun 2022 )
  • 64.06078 -139.4355 2 Bombay Peggy's , 2nd Avenue and Princess Street , ☏ +1 867 993-6969 , [email protected] . Check-in: 3PM , check-out: 11AM . Rooms with en-suite and shared bathrooms. From $139 . ( updated Jun 2024 )
  • 64.06087 -139.43607 3 The Dawson City Bunkhouse , 2nd Avenue and Princess Street , ☏ +1 867 993-6164 , [email protected] . Check-in: 3PM , check-out: 11AM . Rooms with en suite or shared bathrooms. From $110/night (minimum 2 nights) . ( updated Jun 2024 )
  • 64.0582 -139.4334 4 Aurora Inn , ☏ +1 867 993-6860 , [email protected] . ( updated Jun 2020 )
  • 64.0631 -139.4298 5 Klondike Kate , 331 King St , ☏ +1 867 993-6527 , [email protected] . Cabins. $220 . ( updated Jun 2022 )
  • Drive south for 18 km to Bonanza Creek. This is the place where prospectors found the first piece of gold that kick started the Klondike gold rush. You will also pass through Dredge No. 4, a national historic site, along the way.
  • Tombstone Territorial Park is home to some of the territory's most beautiful mountains.

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Yukon Territory

This vast and thinly populated wilderness, where most four-legged species far outnumber humans, has a grandeur and beauty only appreciated by experience. Few places in the world today have been so unchanged over the course of time. Aboriginal people, having eked out survival for thousands of years, hunt and trap as they always have. The Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 was the Yukon's high point of population, yet even its heritage is ephemeral, easily erased by time.

Attractions

Must-see attractions.

SS Klondike steamship

SS Klondike National Historic Site

Carefully restored, this was one of the largest stern-wheelers used on the Yukon River. Built in 1937, it made its final run upriver to Dawson in 1955 and…

Kluane Museum

Kluane Museum

Commune with an enormous, albeit stuffed, moose at the excellent Kluane Museum. Enjoy intriguing wildlife exhibits and displays on natural and Indigenous…

MacBride Museum of Yukon History

MacBride Museum of Yukon History

This is the Yukon's pre-eminent museum, preserving and presenting the Yukon's history since 1952. Recently expanded, the museum offers a comprehensive…

Teslin Tlingit Heritage Center

Teslin Tlingit Heritage Center

On the shores of beautiful Teslin Lake, 5km north of Teslin, this cultural center greets visitors with five totem poles and features exhibits of modern…

Tombstone Territorial Park

Tombstone Territorial Park

Tombstone Territorial Park, which lies along Dempster Hwy for about 50km, is an easy day trip from Dawson City. Shades of green and charcoal color the…

Whitehorse Waterfront

Whitehorse Waterfront

One look at the surging Yukon River and you'll want to spend time strolling its bank. The beautiful White Pass & Yukon Route Station has been restored and…

Herschel Island-Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park

Herschel Island-Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park

The Indigenous name of Herschel Island-Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park means 'it is island' and indeed it is. Barely rising above the waters of Mackenzie Bay…

Whitehorse Fish Ladder

Whitehorse Fish Ladder

Stare down a salmon at the Whitehorse Fishway, a 366m wooden fish ladder (the world's longest) past the hydroelectric plant south of town. Large viewing…

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  • Canada , Spring , Travel Guide

Dawson City Travel Guide – Go Back In Time To The Klondike Gold Rush

  • Published on April 14, 2019
  • // Updated on Jun 19, 2021
  • // in Canada , Spring , Travel Guide
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Located in one of Canada’s most remote territories, Dawson City was once the epicentre of the Klondike Gold Rush. Dawson City, a place where men and women found and lost fortunes, inspired writers such as Jack London and Robert Service to pen captivating stories, and pushed stampeders to their limits in search for gold.

These days, the tens of thousands of prospectors have long left the fading riches around the mighty Yukon and the Klondike River. What’s left is a historic town, with around 1500 permanent citizens, inviting you to go back in time and catch a glimpse of the city’s past.

Walking around Dawson City

Colourful frontier-style houses line the unpaved streets, some in excellent condition, others slanted sideways on the brink of collapse. While walking around the city, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, ready to pick up your panning equipment for a day at the creek, or on the way to a Vaudeville performance at the Opera House, one of the several theatres around the city.

Are you planning a trip around the Yukon? Check out our Yukon travel itinerary

Slanted houses Dawson City Yukon

If you feel inspired to find out more about this fascinating city, this Dawson City travel guide will help you plan your next trip to the Yukon.

How to get to Dawson City

Today, it doesn’t take you several months of crossing mountain passes and floating on rivers in treacherous conditions to reach Dawson City. There are now a variety of (easier) ways to visit the Yukon city.

You can either travel on the North Klondike Highway, which will take you around five to six hours from Whitehorse or travel from Alaska on the unpaved Top of the World Highway. Bear in mind the US/Canada border crossing is only open from May until September.

If you’re taking the route through Alaska from Whitehorse, you’ll pass Kluane National Park, one of the most remote parks in Canada. Have a look at our stunning flightseeing tour in Kluane .

If you don’t have a car, you can always take the bus! The Husky bus is a reliable service transporting locals and tourists between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The trip takes 7h, stopping at a handful of stops along the way, and costs $119 one way. It does not run during the winter months.

The easiest and quickest way to get to Dawson City is by plane. Most routes are via Whitehorse. Whitehorse is a 2h15 flight from Vancouver, and then another 2h to get to Dawson City. I highly recommend Air North for your trip.

In case you’re flying from Europe, between May and September, you can take a direct flight from Frankfurt, Germany with Condor Air.

If you feel adventurous, you can always make your way to Dawson City by canoe or kayak. Check out these river adventures to find out more.

When to visit Dawson City

Yukon River Dawson City

We visited Dawson City at the end of spring, which is a great time to travel around the Yukon. The temperatures are mild and the days are long, which gives you enough time to explore. Most summer attractions and tours operate from mid-May until September, with the least amount of crowds in May and June. You also won’t be plagued by mosquitoes and bugs too much in spring.

If you prefer a winter holiday, Dawson City can be chilly in winter, sometimes reaching -40. However, there are many fun activities to enjoy during the cold months. Scroll down to find out more about winter activities around Dawson City.

We visited Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon Territory, at the end of autumn. Have a look at our Whitehorse travel guide for more info.

Things to do in Dawson

Welome to Dawson City

Dawson City Visitor Centre

First-timers in Dawson City will want to ensure they stop by the Visitor Centre. With short yet informative movies covering nearby attractions and local history, as well as information available in multiple languages, it’s a great starting point to guide you before you set off exploring on your own. Tickets for many attractions and sights can also be purchased here.

Although this is a helpful place to visit prior to exploring, it is also a good spot to regroup when you need to sort out your next steps, since they have free WiFi.

Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre

This cultural center dedicated to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in heritage offers a direct pathway to educate patrons on the customs, performances, and practices of this First Nation tribe. It’s also a meeting place for members of the tribe, and the center hosts exhibitions as well as tours during the summer months. If you don’t want to leave without something to commemorate your newfound knowledge of a First Nations tribe, swing by the gift shop for a wide array of authentic Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in artisan work, like clothing, artwork, or music.

Jack London Museum

Things to do in Dawson City Jack London

For fans of American author Jack London, this museum, while small, is a nice connection to the famous writer’s life whilst he lived in the Yukon. Explore notable museum sights such as a reconstructed Gold Rush-era cabin – which gives insight into London’s life when he arrived during the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the abandoned cabin’s rediscovery in 1936.

The museum offers an interesting tour, where guides will walk you through the story of Jack London’s Yukon life.

Robert Service Cabin

Things to do in Dawson City Robert Service

Perhaps the harsh natural conditions of the Yukon inspired many to write, because this particular attraction is dedicated to prolific Canadian poet & writer, Robert Service. During his time working as a bank teller in Dawson City, he would wake up extra early in this cabin to carve out time to dedicate to his writings.

The cabin is open for self-guided tours between March and September, retaining many of his original possessions like oil lamps, desk, writing materials, and other furniture and living materials.

Dawson City Museum

Things to do in Dawson City

The city’s primary museum on the history of the Klondike Gold Rush can’t be missed. Housed in a restored administrative building, this historical museum offers two galleries. The North Gallery explores the history of Dawson City in the era of the gold rush, and explores how this part of its history was a defining time in its development. The South Gallery tells the story of the Athapaskan people, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people  -meaning ‘hammered water’ – and their lifestyle and culture, decades before the first gold was ever found.

Diamond Tooth Gerties

Diamond Tooth Gerties Yukon things to do in Dawson City

Want to try your luck in Canada’s oldest casino? Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall will give you your fill of both modern fun and history-buff satisfaction. Named for a prominent dancer, Gertie Lovejoy – who wore a diamond on her front teeth – this isn’t your average casino. Live entertainment is offered in the same room where patrons can gamble & buy a drink. These performances, offered three times nightly, are presented in the same style as the gold rush era for an added touch of authenticity.

Parks Canada Behind the Scenes Walking Tour

As a heritage town, Dawson City works with Parks Canada to both present as well as preserve the rich tapestry of history that defines this part of the Canadian wild.

There are thousands of artifacts not often seen by the public, as they are not in the museums around the city. Through this guided tour with Parks Canada, visitors are allowed sneak peeks at artifacts normally not available to the public. They can even handle some of these items, all while being educated on their historical significance and the important role that this government department plays in the preservation of historical collections.

Klondike Spirit

River tour anyone? This paddle wheeler – the only one in operation in the Yukon – will take you down the Yukon river and through the stunning North Canadian wilderness. The knowledgeable tour guides will teach visitors about historical sites along the river, particularly the infamous Klondike Gold Rush. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife. Even in summer, boat rides can get a little chilly—fortunately, there are warm drinks available from the bar on the top level.

Things to do in Dawson City SS Keno

Another historical riverboat, the SS Keno is a notable sight worth seeing when you visit Dawson City. In such a remote part of the wilderness, these wood-burning paddle wheelers were a valuable connection to the rest of the world, transporting everything from people to supplies and everything in between, like gold dust.

Though you may not want to do this one at night – unless you enjoy feeling spooked – visiting historical graveyards is a great way to immerse yourself in the history of a place. Among the many prominent cemeteries, patrons can visit the Police Cemetery (where RCMP were buried between 1896 and 1936), the Jewish cemetery, and more. The walking tour also points out notable burials, such as famed prospector and “King of the Klondike” Alexander McDonald, and Percy “Iron Man” DeWolfe.

Sourtoe Cocktail

Dawson City Accommodation

Not for the faint of heart, the Sourtoe cocktail is a city tradition. Established in 1973, the “club” now has over 100,000 members. At the city’s Sourdough Saloon, a (real) dehydrated toe is dropped into your drink. You must finish the drink and the toe must touch your lips.

The legend of the toe dates back to the early 1900’s, when a rum-runner, on the run from police, lost a toe to the elements after cutting it off to prevent gangrene. The cutting process was helped by a swig of strong whiskey, and when the abandoned toe was found years later in a cabin, the tradition was established!

Discovery Days Festival

This annual late-summer festival consists of several days of fun and activities for families and groups. Since Dawson City became famous for the greatest gold stampede in history, the city has endeavored to preserve its rich past and commemorate this defining time in Canadian history. The Discovery Days festival boasts exhibitions, an art fair, a parade, and more. Festival-goers can even see a condensed performance by the Diamond Tooth Gerties dancers, or partake in a golf tournament.

Things to do Around Dawson

Top of the world highway.

Connecting Dawson City and Chicken, Alaska, this breathtaking highway winds through a high-altitude mountain range, guaranteeing one of the best views you’ll ever have from a car. The northernmost country border crossing in North America, this highway closes once the snow falls, at which time you can no longer cross into Alaska. Being in a remote region, be prepared for long stretches of complete wilderness between rest stops, refuel stations, or other people. And don’t forget to bring a camera.

Paddle wheeler graveyard

Paddlewheeler Yukon week itinerary

If you have an explorer’s spirit, then this sight is for you. Embedded in the trees along the Yukon river line are the remains of many wooden paddle wheelers. These impressive boats – at one time the primary mode of transport in this distant, remote region – became obsolete when roads were built and ground travel became accessible and popular. Feel free to wander through the wooden graveyard and explore the wreckage, but do so at your own risk; this site is not monitored by officials.

Midnight Dome

Dawson City lookout

As far as mountain viewpoints go, this is one of the best in the region and you can’t miss this sight if you’re passing through Dawson City on a clear day. Accessible by road or via hiking trail, the Midnight Dome boasts a jaw-dropping elevated panoramic view of the region below, including the Yukon River and Klondike Valley. You can even see the Ogilvie Mountain Range on the distant skyline. If you’re really lucky and play your cards right, you might even witness the Northern Lights.

Bonanza Creek and Discovery Claim

Visit the place where it all started and get a feel for the historic sequence of events that followed its discovery. On August 17, 1896, the first piece of gold was found in Rabbit Creek (now Bonanza Creek), a discovery that spurred the greatest migration in history and put this remote region on the world map. You can walk the Discovery Trail and learn about the different mining methods available at the time.

Dredge No. 4

Dredge Nr4 Yukon Road Trip

As the years passed, technology evolved. From the early 1900s, electricity-powered gold dredge machines churned through the Yukon River, dredging up all the gold they could find and moving at a snail’s pace of half a mile per season. Eight stories high and almost as large as a football field, Dredge No. 4 was the largest of its kind in North America. Though now retired from duty, she is open for tours and remains a must-see for all visitors of the city.

Gold panning Yukon trips

It’s one thing to learn about panning for gold, but another thing entirely to try it for yourself. At Claim 33, experienced and knowledgeable staff will teach you real “tried and true” techniques for gold panning, and visitors will come to realize the amount of patience and time required to procure even the smallest amount of gold. You’ll then get to apply your newfound expertise to your own gold-mining experiment, and can even take your newly-mined gold home in a little vial if you so desire.

Tombstone Territorial Park (on the Dempster Highway)

Dempster Highway views Yukon road trip

This is one for all the hikers, campers, and general outdoor aficionados. Tombstone Territorial Park covers 2,100 square kilometers, in which towering rugged peaks and areas of permafrost are dominant. Many protected species of wildlife inhabit this region, including over 150 species of birds. If you’re keen on spending a few days, lakeside backcountry camping is a pastime enjoyed by many and the park offers three campgrounds: Grizzly, Divide, and Talus Lakes.

Winter Activities in Dawson City

Dog-sledding.

dog sledding on Annie Lake; Yukon

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. No trip to the Great North would be complete without partaking in the local form of transport. Dog-sled outings are available in the frosty winter months for visitors of all ages and skill levels, and are an unbeatable way to experience the Arctic way of life. Dog-sledding is also a great way to get unparalleled views of the natural beauty of the far north, and not many people can say they’ve done this incredible activity.

Snowmobiling

Another great way to get around in deep snow – that also can’t be beat for fun points – is snowmobiling, and in a place like the Yukon there’s no shortage of places where you can sign up for this activity in the winter months. From rentals to tours, there are different options for all who want to get out into the wilderness and experience the awe-inspiring terrain firsthand.

Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis, Dempster Hwy. area

Arguably one of the most famous sights in the far north, the Northern Lights are a wonder of the natural world and fortunately, something commonly seen from Dawson city and the surrounding regions from as early as late summer until the spring. They are generally visible as soon as darkness falls, and can be seen through the night and into the early morning, making early wake up calls a magical and astonishing way to start a new day.

The Yukon Quest (dog sled race)

This ultra-famous dog sled race, where competitors travel by dog sled from Whitehorse to Fairbanks, Alaska in only 10 days, is an event not many people can witness in their lives. But if you happen to be in the region at the right time, you can take a tour that follows along with the racers from Whitehorse to Dawson City, and even experience the thrill of learning how to dog sled yourself!

Where to eat and drink

Klondike kate’s.

Klondike Kate's Dawson City

Set inside an authentic heritage building dating from the Gold Rush era, Klondike Kate’s is a must-visit if you pass through Dawson City. Using local ingredients often supplied by local residents and restaurant-goers, this delightful saloon restaurant is a city staple.

Drunken Goat Tavern

Mediterranean cuisine meets cozy bar in this local tavern. Grab a few share plates, a drink or two, and relax with friends in this laid-back, friendly bar that suits any occasion. In the wintertime, relax by the warming fireplace, or on the sun-warmed patio in the summer months.

Bombay Peggy’s

Want a cocktail like no other? Be sure to hit up Bombay Peggy’s. The pub, adorned with art and beautiful wooden interiors, is an easygoing spot to let your day melt away with friends over a martini or two. If you’re there in the summer, don’t miss the live music!

Cheechako’s Bake Shop

Colourful houses Dawson City

Everybody loves a good bakery, and whether you’re after a full breakfast or an on-the-go muffin, Cheechako’s has you covered. From bacon and egg sandwiches to full Eggs Benedict, this is a perfect morning stop to fuel you up for a day of sightseeing.

Alchemy Cafe

Looking for a laid back lunch spot? You’ll find exactly what you seek at Alchemy Café. Made with local, fresh ingredients (and a little love), this charming café is chock full of great dishes. For dessert, don’t skip the orange cake—a firm favourite.

Riverwest Bistro

A warm, friendly atmosphere awaits you at Riverwest Bistro. From homemade soup to fresh burgers and wraps, this easy and chill café is a great refueling stop before you head back into town for a day of exploring. Or sip a fresh roasted coffee from the upper deck.

Red Mammoth Bistro

If you’re seeking something sweet, stop in at Red Mammoth for a fresh baked pastry and a coffee. The lemon loaves are particularly popular, but if you’re feeling like something a little more savory, you can’t go wrong with hot soup and fresh bread.

Tourism Yukon  invited us to experience the Yukon on a week long road trip. As always, all opinions are our own and you will always read our genuine thoughts and experiences.

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2 responses.

The Gold Rush cities always have a lot of history and I think a lot of history is still buried underground. You have a cool look on the world and I love the way you express yourself! (Greetings from a fellow Belgian :D)

Thank you Joe! I really appreciate your words. Love your blog as well!

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Dawson City Travel Guide

Dawson City, Yukon in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush is a bucket list destination you don’t want to miss. The old frontier town on the banks of the mighty Yukon River is a highlight for any traveller to the Yukon.

Welcome to Dawson City

visit dawson city

Table of Contents

Get to know Dawson City

I fell in love with the vibrant, colourful community the moment I first arrived. Restaurants and businesses are named after Dawson’s short fame. There is a Jack London grill, a Diamond Tooth Gertie’s dance hall, and a Klondike Kate’s restaurant.

Many original old buildings are boarded hoping for a renovation crew to save them.

The good news is, that Dawson has failed to turn itself into a Klondike version of miniature Disneyland yet and instead is a beautiful, remote, and laid-back jewel with a real Wild West border town vibe. The secret of Dawson’s success seems to lie with the people living there today.

Flora Dora Hotel Dawson City

Less than 2,000 permanent residents live in Dawson City. You find a bunch of creative, resourceful individuals who have chosen to be there, living 240 km south of the Arctic Circle. You can tell, that people who settled here have loved what they found and have stayed.

In summer, you can follow guides dressed up in period costumes around the buildings of the gold rush days and listen to the history and stories of the Klondike.

Glimpse Into The Past

Dawson City is the heart of the Klondike gold rush. After the historic discovery of gold on Bonanza Creek in August of 1896, Dawson City grew out of a swampy area at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers into a large frontier town.

Dawson City was the centre of the Klondike Gold Rush. Within two years Dawson had a population between 30,000 and 40,000 people.

Only a few hundred gold seekers found substantial riches in the creeks of the Klondike and only a handful managed to hold on to their wealth. More fortunes were won and lost in the gambling halls of Dawson than in the goldfields. Dance-hall girls and prostitutes were working long and hard and earned good money.

Dawson Building

Dawson’s fortunes were all tied to the goldmines. By 1899, when the gold rush had ended, there were only 8,000 people left. By 1970 the population was under 900, but fortunately, it was rediscovered before it vanished into a ghost town.

Improvements to the Klondike Highway and links to Alaska opened the old gold rush town up to summertime tourists.

Parks Canada designated much of Dawson City as historic and began with restorations; and what an awesome job they’ve done. Dawson City was the territorial capital until it was moved to Whitehorse in 1952.

First Nations

The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in is a Yukon First Nation Band based in Dawson City. The citizenship of roughly 1,100 includes descendants of the Hän-speaking people, who have lived along the Yukon River for millennia, and a diverse mix of families descended from Gwich’in, Northern Tutchone, and other language groups.

How to get to Dawson City

During the Klondike Gold Rush, the only way to get to Dawson City was via the steep Chilkoot Trail and the rough rapids of the Yukon River. Today you can access Dawson in a variety of different ways.

You can drive the scenic and fairly well-maintained North Klondike Highway (#2) , or seasonally the adventurous Top of the World Highway (#9) connecting with Alaska.

  • From Whitehorse : Dawson City is 533 km from Whitehorse on the North Klondike Highway. Travel time is approximately six hours, depending on the season, road conditions, and weather. The road is paved all the way and is in good condition with odd potholes.
  • From Alaska : The Top of the World Highway is open in summer only. The chip-sealed gravel road connects Dawson to the Taylor Highway and Tok, Alaska. The sensationally scenic route takes you to incredible heights with top-of-the-world panoramas. If you have a vehicle I suggest that you drive at least part of it, even if you don’t continue to enter Alaska. Should you plan to cross the Alaska border, remember that it’s only open from 8 am to 8 pm (Yukon time) from mid-May to early October.

Husky Bus offers transportation between Dawson City and Whitehorse, and everywhere along the Klondike Highway. They also specialize in the transportation of canoes and kayaks.

Husky Bus Dawson Yukon

Dawson Airport is located on Klondike Highway, about 19 km east of Dawson. Air North is Yukon’s Airline and serves Whitehorse , Old Crow, and Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, and Fairbanks in Alaska .

It takes 10 days to 3 weeks to paddle the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson. You can start your rafting trip up to the Klondike at any other upriver community like Carmacks, Pelly, or Stewart Crossing.

A dog team takes a week or two to haul you between Dawson City and Whitehorse or Dawson and Fairbanks on the Yukon Quest Trail. Dawson is at the halfway point of the race.

How to get around Dawson City

Dawson City is a small town and ideal to navigate on foot. Still, if you want to go and pan for gold in the creeks of the Klondike or visit Dredge Number 4 you will need transport or book a tour.

Crossing the River

The George Black Ferry across the Yukon River connects downtown Dawson to West Dawson and the Top of the World Highway. The ferry crossing is free and runs 24 hours a day during summer.

The crossing takes about five minutes. In winter there is an ice road across the river. During the weeks of freeze-up and break-up, you have to decide which side of the river you want to be on and stay there.

Dawson car ferry

Top things to see and do

Take a guided walking tour.

Guided walking tours are offered by Park Canada all summer. Pick up a program flyer at the Visitor’s Centre on Front Street to check on available tours and the times.

Red Feather Saloon Dawson

Taking part in a walking tour gives you information about all the historic buildings in Dawson and you will hear some great stories. You will visit the old post office and marvel at the detailed work of the building.

CIBC Building

CIBC Building Dawson City

Like many of the buildings in Dawson, the CIBC Building located dates back to the gold rush. The city of Dawson has started a long-term restoration of this riverfront bank building on Main Street. It’s remarkable to see how tin was molded to look like stone. Poet Robert Service was once a teller here.

Dawson City Museum

Dawson City Museum

Here at Yukon’s largest Museum, you can make your own discoveries. Enjoy the displays about the First Nations history, the Klondike gold rush, and the Northwest Mounted Police.

Upstairs you find archives with lots of photographs, newspaper clippings, and interesting documents. In the winter the museum screens great classic movies.

SS Kino Dawson City

The SS Keno was one of the fleets of paddle wheelers that travelled the Yukon River for more than half a century before roads were built. The boat is grounded along the waterfront and is a similar attraction as the SS Klondike in Whitehorse.

World-Famous Writers

Robert Service Cabin

Dãnojà Zho Cultural Centre

Dãnojà Zho Cultural Centre (a long time ago house) is located opposite the Visitor Centre on Front Street. The centre is dedicated to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. Rotating exhibitions, videos and photographs tell the story and history of the people.

Cultural Centre Dawson

When I was in Dawson, we were invited to the Dãnojà Zho Cultural Centre for freshly baked sourdough bread and bannock.

Commissioner’s Residence

The Klondike gold rush was a challenging time for the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation, and for the hand miners who dug up these creeks. Take a tour with Parks Canada to peek behind the curtain of history.

Commissioner's Residence Dawson

Klondike Institute of Art and Culture

I can’t imagine a better place than Dawson to study art. The town may be small, but it has a creative community and a rich program of art events throughout the year. Many of the events take place at the KIAC building. KIAC hosts Dawson’s annual short film festival each April and the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival in August.

Also check out KIAC’s ODD Gallery, Dawson’s contemporary art centre.

Art And Culture Centre Dawson

Paddlewheel Graveyard

Trek to the wrecks and see the remains of the old Yukon sternwheeler. To get there, take the free ferry to cross the river and walk through the Yukon River Government Campground.

Walk to the end of the campground and through the small yellow gate. Follow the trail to the river’s shore approximately 200 m further to the first site.

The wooden vestiges of several paddle wheelers were dry-docked here on the shore of the Yukon River. Once considered the primary mode of transportation in the region, boats were abandoned when ground travel became more popular.

Please note that the site is not managed and should be explored at your own risk. Drop in at the Visitor Information Centre for an information flyer. Also, check on the weather and water levels before heading over.

Cruise the Yukon River

 Dawson City Cruises

Cruise the Yukon River on a paddle-wheeler to get into the Klondike Spirit. The paddle-wheeler runs the Yukon River daily from May to September offering river tours and dinner options. Get aboard and discover what makes Dawson City and the Yukon River so special.

Midnight Dome

No trip to Dawson is complete without hiking or driving to the top of Midnight Dome for a spectacular, panoramic view of Dawson City, the surrounding landscape, and gold mining areas.

To drive there, turn onto Dome Road just outside of town. Follow the winding road for approximately 10-15 minutes and you will arrive at the top. 

If you prefer to hike, pick up a trail map and talk to someone at the Visitor Information Centre or get directions from the AllTrails app.

Midnight Dome, Dawson City

More To See and Do

  • Cemeteries – (Mary McLeod Rd) A 15-minute walk up King Street and Mary McCloud Road near town leads to 10 cemeteries filled with great Dawson characters including Father Judge and Percy DeWolfe.
  • Crocus Bluff – (off Mary McLeod Rd) near Dawson’s cemeteries, a short trail with interpretive panels leads to Crocus Bluff where you get great views of Dawson City and Klondike and Yukon Rivers.
  • Goldbottom Mine Tours – Take a tour of an actual working mine and try your luck at some gold panning.
  • Dredge Number 4 – (Bonanza Road) Tour the Klondike’s legendary gold Dredge No. 4, some 13 km off the Klondike Hwy
  • Bonanza Creek Discovery Site – (Bonanza Road) About 1.5 from Dredge No 4, this national historic site is where gold was first found in 1879.

Sign up for AllTrail for FREE and check out the trails around Dawson City.

Entertainment and Nightlife

Daimond Tooth Gertie's

Diamond Tooth Gerties

Diamond Tooth Gerties is a historic gambling hall with a honky-tonk piano and dancing girls; Canada’s first legalized gambling hall. The casino helps promote the town and fund culture. Each night there are three different floor shows with singing and dancing at 8:30 pm, 10 pm, and midnight. Visitors must be 19 or older.

Westminster Hotel

The Westminster is a must-see if you are visiting Dawson and want to get a real taste of the Klondike. Known as the bar in Dawson City, the Westminster is also referred to as “The Pit” by locals. The original 1898 building has sloping ceilings, crooked floors, and always interesting clientele. Apparently, there are more tales in this building than anywhere else in the Klondike. Stop in for a weekday drink special or for the live music Friday and Saturday nights.

Sourdough Saloon

Dare yourself to sip a Sour-toe Cocktail garnished with a real, pickled human toe and officially become a “Sourdough”, a true Northerner. I missed out on this occasion during my first visit to Dawson.

Special Events

Yukon quest – dawson city layover.

The Yukon Trail follows historical Gold Rush and mail delivery dog sled routes from the turn of the 20th Century. The trail comes alive each February with hundreds of sled dogs and their Mushers who attempt the 1000-mile race. Dawson City is the halfway point and it is a mandatory stopover for each mushing team. I sure would enjoy getting some of the action!

Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race

The Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race is a 210-mile (338 km) international dog sled race, running from Dawson City, Yukon to Eagle, Alaska, and back! The race follows the Yukon River along the same historic mail route once travelled by Percy DeWolfe.

Trek over the Top

Trek over the Top is an international snowmobile run from Tok, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon. This event happens in March. Riders travel over 200 miles of groomed trail through an amazing lonely landscape to arrive in Dawson City. The event is organized by the Klondike Tourism Association.

Dawson’s Accommodation

Accommodations have come a long way in Dawson City since the early days of the gold rush. Wall tents and old cabins have been replaced by comfortable hotel suites and off-the-grid campsites in great locations.

Dawson City has really got it all. Fortunately, they’ve managed to keep their accommodation in the rustic, frontiers-like style that makes this town so great.

Check out Booking.com for the cheapest accommodation.

Yukon River Campground

This is a Government Campground km 0.3 on the Top of the World Highway. From Dawson, you take the ferry across the Yukon River and the campground is located on the right-hand side when you head up the hill.

This campground has 98 shady sides and is perfect if you like privacy and less noise. It’s suitable for RVs as well as for pitching a tent. Some sights are right on the river.

Bonanza Gold RV Park and Campground

They are located right at Bonanza Creek Road south of town at km 712 Klondike Highway and they offer powered RV sites. Check out their website for more information.

Even if you don’t stay at the campground, they offer hot showers, car wash and laundry facilities. Bring loonies or get coins at the office.

Dawson River Hostel

Located on the west bank of the Yukon River, this delightful and eccentric hostel offers the best views of Dawson City. Take the ferry from town and the hostel is five minutes up the hill from the ferry landing. It has cabins, platforms for tents, and a communal bathhouse. Meet people from all over the world as you share in this rustic experience at this beautiful spot.

Hotels, B & B, Cabins

Klondike Kate Dawson City

Reservations are a good idea during the busy times in July and August. Many places will pick you up from Dawson Airport. Many are open all year round.

  • Backcountry Accommodation Guide
  • How to find free camping
  • Check for Budget Accommodation
  • Dawson City has a sub-Arctic climate with pleasantly warm summer temperatures averaging 16°C during the long days of July.
  • In winter, January temperatures average about – 27°C and there is usually snow from October through to April.
  • Learn more about local weather information and weather patterns.

Road Trips from Dawson City

Tombstone Territorial Park

A day or overnight trip to Tombstone Territorial Park should be on your destination list unless you do it en route to Inuvik .

From downtown Dawson, take the North Klondike Highway for approximately 40 minutes. Turn left onto the unpaved Dempster Highway and continue your drive for another hour, until you reach the Tombstone Interpretive Centre.

Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon

  • Take a road trip to Tombstone Territorial Park for a day or hiking or a backpacking trip
  • Continue from Tombstone and cross the Arctic Circle towards the Arctic Ocean on the famous Dempster Highway .
  • Drive the amazing Top of the World Highway into Alaska.
  • Take the day-long drive on the Klondike Highway to Whitehorse , Yukon’s capital city.
  • Don’t miss a detour to the historic Keno City along the Silver Trail .

Visitor Information

  • The Dawson City Visitor Centre – is a friendly place with great and helpful people. Ask them whatever you want to know and they will make you feel welcome. You can use their Wi-Fi for free, unlimited, and like me, leave the camera overnight for charging the battery. Here you find out about the activity schedule and available walking tours. The visitor centre is located on Main Street near the waterfront. Phone: (867) 993 6768; Website: www.dawsoncity.ca
  • Northwest Territory Visitors Centre – Stop here if you plan to drive the epic Dempster Highway. The friendly and helpful staff will provide information and tips for your Dempster Highway Road trip. Here you get the current road and weather conditions for your trip further north. Phone: (867) 993 6167.

Yukon Travel Information

  • Yukon Travel Guide

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

Visit Dawson City, Yukon – The Quirkiest Town in Canada

Written By: The Planet D

Updated On: February 8, 2024

Dawson City is a town located on the Yukon River in Yukon, Canada. It is one of three territories in Canada sharing its border with Alaska and the Northwest Territories. It was a hot spot during the gold rush of the 19th century and visiting Dawson City feels like you have stepped back in time to the klondike days and the wild west.

Dawson City hit the world stage in August 16, 1896 when three Yukoners discovered gold on a tributary of the Klondike River known as Rabbit Creek. (Today it is called Bonanza Creek) Soon thousands of prospectors were flocking to the Yukon Territories to claim their stake.

Table of Contents

The Dawson City Gold Rush

gold rush monument in Dawson City Yukon

By 1897 more than 100,000 people set out to seek their fortune in Dawson City Yukon. Many didn’t make it facing hardships they never even dreamed of. But a few struck it rich and Dawson City was thriving for a short moment in time.

Dawson City, Yukon – Today

Today, Dawson City feels like a Klondike town from the 19th century. It has kept its heritage buildings looking as they were more than 100 years ago with colourful facades recreating an old west feel.

Dawson City Yukon Canada

The entire town is a National Historic site with 17 significantly historic buildings, theatres, restaurants and bars just waiting to be explored.

People live in Dawson City, but the entire town comes alive with actors walking through the streets dressed in period costumes leading tours through the dirt road streets. A visit to Dawson City, in the Yukon is a visit you’ll never forget.

Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon

So what can you do in Dawson City, Yukon? A lot. Let’s get started. These are the must see attractions and things to do in Dawson City. Watch our video below to get some inspiration before you start.

video of the best things to do in Dawson City

1. Experience the Midnight Sun

During the summer, it is light 23 hours a day so you’ll definitely be tempted to stay out late to get to know the locals. And trust me, they’ll want you to come out with them!

midnight sun dawson city

We were out until 2 am and it was like it was 2 in the afternoon. The sun was shining and we were wide awake. If you haven’t experienced the midnight sun, make your way up to Northern Canada and see what it’s like.

Midnight Dome

midnight dome overlooking Dawson City and Yukon River

You can drive or hike up to the midnight dome to see panoramic views of the Yukon River, Klondike Valleys, A view of Dawson City, and the Ogilvie Mountain Range. It’s called the Midnight Dome because Dawson City is the land of the midnight sun.

The Ogilvie Mountains are located just north of Dawson City, and it is worth getting out to explore the remarkable views. I don’t think I have ever seen such a wild vast landscape.

Drink the Sour Toe Cocktail

canadian fun facts sour toe cocktail in Dawson City Yukon

The Sour Toe cocktail is a tradition dating back to the 1920s when moonshiners Loui and Otto Linken ran into a blizzard during one of their deliveries. Loui stepped into icy Water causing his big toe to freeze and turn black. His brother promptly amputated it and put it in alcohol.

Our certificate proving we drank the sour toe cocktail

Years later when Captain Dick Stevenson found the toe in a cabin, he came up with the idea to serve it in a bar downtown Dawson City.

drinking the sourtoe cocktail in Dawson City Yukon

There have been more than a dozen toes donated over the years and ours was a recent anonymous gift which we reluctantly tried. The Sourtoe Cocktail is served at the Downtown Hotel and costs $5 CAD

Read all about it here: The Sourtoe Cocktail – Dawson City’s Dead Toe Cocktail

Diamond Tooth Gerties

can can dancers at Diamond Tooth Gerties

Diamond Tooth Gerties was the first casino in Canada dating back to 1899. During the height of the Gold Rush it was the hottest places in town. But with the depression and world wars it quieted down and over the years it had been everything from a community centre to an Eagles hall. but all that changed in 1971, when it was converted back to a Casino.

While you are gambling your blues away, the lively Can Can show plays in the background and it feels like a 19th century saloon.

Stay at a Brothel

bombay peggy's brothel in Dawson City

Nothing says the wild west more than a brothel. Dawson City is filled with historic buildings and old brothels have been turned into boutique hotels. We stayed at Bombay Peggy’s.

parlour of bombay peggy's

The restored brothel has rooms like the Lipstick Room and the Green Room. Be sure to pop into the parlour for a glass of sherry. So refined.

Check out rooms and rates at Bombay Peggy’s

Visit Claim 33

Calim 33 dawson city yukon

Dawson City was the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896, a visit to Claim 33 is a fun way to learn about the history and try your hand at panning for gold.

panning for gold at claim 33 in the yukon

This family owned museum traces the history of the Klondike Gold Rush in and around Dawson City and the Yukon. It is interesting to browse the artifacts in the museum and explore the buildings and surrounding area.

Discovery Claim

discovery claim national historic site dawson city yukon

Discovery Claim is a national historic site that is a lovely riverside walk through the place where gold was first discovered in 1896. It was here that the gold rush started. The Yukon Gold Rush started it all, a year before people started to head to Alaska for the Klondike Gold Rush. It is amazing to see such a historic place that truly changed the world.

The gold rush didn’t last long though. In just a matter of a couple of years, every creek and and hillside in the area was mined. By 1899 all the gold was gone and people were migrating to Alaska .

dredge 4 gold mine dawson city

Dedge #4 was the largest wooden hull gold mine in North America. After people migrated to Alaska, large companies moved in to start dredging the rivers. The Canadian Klondike Mining Company in 1905 and the Yukon Gold Company were using hydroelectric power to haul and move gold. By 1912 Dredge #4 was built and it was used until 1959. Today it is a national historic site commemorating the gold industry in the Yukon from 1899 to 1966.

See the Estate of Pierre Burton

childhood home of Pierre Burton

Dawson City attracts many artists and each year the estate of famous Canadian Pierre Burton hosts aspiring playwriters, poets, and nonfiction writers on a three-month retreat.

Pierre Burton was a national treasure in Canada. He was the managing editor of Maclean’s Magazine and was a staple on the CBC. His family lived in the Yukon where his father moved to during the Gold Rush in 1898. This is his childhood home in Dawson City.

Today writers can apply for a grant to immerse themselves in their craft. Wouldn’t that be a dream?

Explore the Jack London Museum

jack london museum dawson city yukon

Visitors can also visit the Jack London Museum to peek inside the home of the author of White Fang, who resided in the area during the gold rush days. Jack London was a famous writer, but he was also a fortune seeker and spent his time in the Klondike seeking gold. This museum is the house where he lived during the winter of 1897 in Dawson City.

Gold Rush Cemetery

cemetery above dawson city

Dawson City was booming in its day with 40 thousand residents at the height of the Gold Rush, the Cemeteries above the town are worth a visit to see the characters that live in this isolated town. Take a hike above Dawson City and you’ll stumble across this plot of land dedicated to early settlers.

gold rush cemetery dawson city grave of Jan Wetzl

The cemetery has a map where you can look up the people buried. While not as ornate or as massive, it reminds me of the Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris where interesting people are celebrated by visitors to their graves.

There are 10 historic cemeteries to explore in Dawson City and you can follow this walking tour to see them all.

Tour the Heritage Buildings

downtown hotel dawson city

Dawson City is a designated national historic site that has restored much of its original structures.

You can take a walking tour of the heritage buildings to see the restored architecture dating back to 1896. The facades were made to give simple buildings the illusion of grandeur and importance and to allow for advertising.

heritage buildings of Dawson City Yukon

It’s a quick and easy yet very interesting self-guided tour around town.

paddlewheel the SS Keno

The SS Keno is a preserved paddle wheeler that pushed everything from Gold dust to passengers. These boats were retired in the 1950s, but you can take a tour of this beauty that’s located on the Yukon River.

Paddleboat Tour of the Yukon River

paddleboat on the yukon river

You can also take a paddle boat tour along the Yukon River. The Klondike Spirit is the only paddlewheeler operating on the Yukon. Take a tour to learn about the Klondike History of Dawson City and life on the Yukon River.

The Paddle Wheel Graveyard

If you continue along the Yukon River you’ll discover a graveyard containing all the Paddlewheel ships of the Yukon River’s glory days. The SS Keno was the final paddle wheel to run the Yukon and the other ships aren’t so lucky to be on display. They are falling apart just a few minutes walk from the Dawson City campground.

Walk the Waterfront Trails

waterfront trail of dawson city

The waterfront trail runs from dawson city to where the Klondike and Yukon Rivers Meet. And it’s a beautiful scenic walk. There are many trails around town so be sure to get out and explore.

Explore the Dempster Highway

crossing the arctic circle of the Dempster Highway

If you can rent a car to explore a bit of the Dempster highway it is worth it. We drove 736 km down the Dempster from Inuvik, North West Territories to Dawson City Yukon. It is truly one of the great drives on earth crossing the Arctic Circle, going through the Tombstone Mountains, the Mackenzie River, and spotting caribou and grizzly bears along the way.

But you can do a short day trip out to the Tombstone Mountains which are only 90 minutes away. It is the most beautiful landscape you will ever say.

Dempster highway video from Inuvik Northwest Territories to Dawson City Yukon

The two-day journey from Inuvik to Dawson City was incredible, so if you do visit Dawson City, we highly recommend it. You can rent one-way SUVs from Dawson City or Inuvik NWT for your journey. An overnight at Eagle Planes hotel is just as historic and interesting as the touring the buildings in Dawson City.

Stop in at the Visitor’s Centre

Dawson City Yukon visitor's centre

The people of Dawson City are a friendly bunch and the people at the visitors centre know everything. They can tell you road conditions on the Dempster highway, water conditions on the Yukon River and what shenanigans are going on in town. But it’s also worth visiting to see the artifacts leftover from the days of the Gold Rush.

A Trip to Dawson City is something you’ll never forget. By the time you leave, you’ll make new friends and memories to last a lifetime.

And that my friends, is a tour of Dawson City, Yukon. When are you going to visit?

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Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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visit dawson city

Marilyn Monroe's former Brentwood home declared historic cultural landmark

T he former home of Marilyn Monroe is officially a Los Angeles historic cultural monument, as city officials confirmed the designation Wednesday after previously delaying the vote to address concerns from the property owners and neighborhood residents.

In a 12-0 vote, council members approved a motion -- introduced by Councilwoman Traci Park, who represents the 11th District, which includes Monroe's former home at 12305 West Fifth Helena Drive -- to preserve the home following an attempt by the property owners to demolish it last year.

Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Eunisses Hernandez and Kevin de León were absent during the vote.

"We have an opportunity to do something today that should have been done 60 years ago,'' Park said prior to the vote. "There is no other person or place in the city of Los Angeles as iconic as Marilyn Monroe and her Brentwood home.''

The actress died on Aug. 4, 1962, at the age of 36 as a result of an overdose inside her home. Monroe had been one of the most popular Hollywood stars during the 1950s and early 1960s.

"Some of the most world-famous images ever taken of her were in that home, on those grounds and near her pool. Marilyn tragically died there -- forever ties her in time and place to this very home,'' Park said. "There is likely no woman in history or culture who captures the imagination of the public the way Marilyn Monroe did. Even all these years later, her story still resonates and inspires many of us today.''

In September 2023, in response to concerns from residents, fans and historic preservationists, Park moved to save the home by designating it as a historic cultural monument. The councilwoman said it would be a "devastating blow'' for historic preservation and for a city where less than 3% of historic designations are associated with women's heritage.

Residents in proximity to the Brentwood home have expressed concerns about privacy and safety with the designation. Park noted that she has balanced those concerns as the designation moved through the Historic Cultural Commission and the council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

In a move to further that effort, Park introduced a motion during Wednesday's council meeting to evaluate tour bus restrictions on West Fifth Helena Drive and surrounding streets.

"My team and I will continue working closely with the community to address any future concerns that arise,'' Park said. "I also understand that access is an important component of preservation, which is why throughout this process, my team and I have worked closely with the property owners to assess potentially moving the home to a place where the public might actually be able to visit and spend time.''

Those conversations have yet to be held, but the councilwoman expressed her hope that it can be done in the future.

Councilmembers were set to consider Park's motion on June 12.

However, Park requested the item be extended until Wednesday to continue discussions with the property owners, who had challenged the designation, suing the city for an injunctive relief. On June 4, a judge tentatively denied their attempt.

Attorneys for real estate heiress Brinah Milstein and her husband, producer Roy Bank, previously filed court papers with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant in which they said the city was violating the law by trying to give the home historical recognition. The pair bought the residence last July for $8.35 million and had obtained a demolition permit from the city -- which was later revoked.

According to the Milstein-Bank court papers, the couple will suffer irreparable harm without a preliminary injunction. The petition sought a court order blocking the monument designation and allowing the plaintiffs to move forward with their planned razing so they could demolish the structure to expand their current home, which is adjacent to the property.

The judge issued a tentative ruling in favor of the city, calling the Milstein-Bank motion an "ill-disguised motion to win so that they can demolish the home and eliminate the historic cultural monument issue.''

The couple would not suffer the irreparable harm they claimed by being denied a preliminary injunction because the City Council would address the issue, according to Chalfant.

Bank and Milstein filed the petition May 6, alleging "illegal and unconstitutional conduct'' by the city "with respect to the house where Marilyn Monroe occasionally lived for a mere six months before she tragically committed suicide 61 years ago.''

Copyright 2024, City News Service, Inc.

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The 26 best things to do in D.C. this weekend and next week

Explore Indigenous culture at the Folklife Festival, celebrate the last weekend of Pride Month or get an early glimpse of fireworks.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is underway, and while it might be shorter than usual, expect a mix of music and dance, demonstrations of cooking and traditional handicrafts, and some unexpected fun, like workshops focused on lacrosse and skateboarding. This weekend marks the end of Pride Month, bringing festivals on both sides of the Potomac. Also, you have the chance to tour dozens of Montgomery County historic sites, catch fireworks before the Fourth, learn about black holes and space, or just relax with a Taylor Swift tribute band.

Thursday, June 27

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the National Museum of the American Indian , and the Smithsonian’s beloved Folklife Festival is celebrating with a program honoring “Indigenous Voices of the Americas.” Through Monday, the National Mall comes alive with cultures spanning two continents. Visit tents and outdoor structures to listen to master storytellers and musicians; watch chefs share professional tips and traditional foodways; and learn how craftspeople are keeping their knowledge of weaving, ceramics and other art forms alive for future generations. Families can try a variety of hands-on crafts and attend performances for young people. You might not expect to find a group of Bolivian women hosting skateboarding workshops on ramps on Jefferson Drive, or a field with lacrosse and archery games, but that’s the kind of thing that makes coming to Folklife an annual tradition for so many Washingtonians, despite the sweltering heat. No matter what catches your eye, stick around for the evening concerts, which include Indigenous hip-hop ranging from Florida to Chile (Friday) and a contemporary take on traditional Inuit dance and music (Saturday). Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Monday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free .

Presidential debate viewing parties

The first presidential debate takes place at 9 p.m., and there are viewing parties across D.C., whether you want drinking games (Union Pub), themed cocktails like the Dark and Stormy Daniels (the Dirty Goose), discounted beers and shots (Red Derby), or an all-you-can-drink deal (Dirty Water). Read our roundup for all the details .

Spacing Out at DC Brau

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for NASA, being involved with missions like the James Webb Space Telescope? Join Mike Menzel, the mission systems engineer for the James Webb Space Telescope at the Goddard Space Flight Center, and Shawn Domagal-Goldman, an astrobiologist who serves as the deputy director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at Goddard, in DC Brau’s taproom to talk about their careers, recent discoveries and current topics in space exploration. 5:30 p.m. Free .

Chamber Dance Project at Harman Hall

Performing in the summer, Washington’s contemporary ballet company can often be relied on for a bold conceptual gamble. The troupe’s 2024 season, titled “Ramblin’,” boasts live performances by the Red Clay Ramblers, the Tony Award-winning string band. The band’s tunes will accompany “Book of Stones,” a world premiere choreographed by Christian Denice, and the Washington premiere of “Ramblin’ Suite” by Diane Coburn Bruning, Chamber Dance’s founding artistic director. Additional repertoire rounds out the program, so ramble on by. Through Saturday. $65-$80.

Friday, June 28

Taylor Swift Tribute Band in Chevy Chase

Maybe you couldn’t get time off to travel to Europe to see the Eras Tour in person. Maybe you’re just looking for something to do on a Friday night. In either case, the Collection at Chevy Chase — the collection of shops and restaurants just across the D.C. line from Friendship Heights — is hosting a Taylor Swift Tribute Band, for everyone who wants to end their week by shaking it off. Getting there early? The nearby Clyde’s Chevy Chase has happy hour until 6 p.m., with $6 beers, $8 wine and cocktails, and discounted oysters. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Free .

Bats at the Byrd at Songbyrd Music House

The NoMa venue is replacing last year’s influx of Taylor-themed bashes with something a little more Gothic. This dance party is spinning dark-wave, industrial and post-punk, courtesy of aptly named DJs Vampyre Noire, Vlad and Sara Vox. 11 p.m. Free.

Raging Red at Shakers

Unleash some inner rage about that situationship or ghost at Shakers’s dance party dedicated to breakup songs. Expect new pop hits like Tate McRae’s “Exes” and Ariana Grande’s “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait For Your Love)” spun by award-winning DJ Alex Love, plus pop-up drag performances throughout the night. 10 p.m. Free.

Saturday, June 29

Montgomery County Heritage Days Festival

More than 30 historic museums and parks across Montgomery County open to the public free this weekend as part of the 25-year-old Heritage Days Festival. The two-day celebration includes guided tours of the National Capital Trolley Museum, the Woodend Nature Sanctuary and a C&O Canal lock house; a bluegrass jam at the Sandy Spring Museum; a documentary screening and free carousel rides at Glen Echo Park; and farm animals and hands-on family activities at the Agricultural History Farm Park. A map and schedule are available on the Heritage Montgomery website and app. Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Free; some locations may charge extra for activities .

Arlington Pride at Long Bridge Park

The third Arlington Pride festival moves to Long Bridge Park for a day of music, drag performances, country and salsa dance lessons, vendors, food and drinks — even “Puppy Pride.” Noon to 7 p.m. Free .

SummerFest at Bohrer Park

Get an early start on your Independence Day celebrations with SummerFest at Gaithersburg’s Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm. Miniature golf starts at 11 a.m., and the skate park opens at noon. The real action takes place later: The District — a party-pleasing band that covers Lizzo, Bruno Mars, the Killers and the Beatles — takes the stage at 6 p.m., while local craft breweries and cideries, including Waredaca and Lone Oak, and food trucks sell refreshments. (Picnics are also welcome.) Fireworks begin at about 9:20 p.m. and are followed by a SummerGlo party with more live music and entertainment from LED-lit Hula-Hoopers and stilt walkers. 6 to 11 p.m. Free .

New Balance Appreciation Day at Metrobar

Some people might consider New Balance to be dad shoes, but if you’re from the D.C. area, you know that the brand, known for its 990s and 995s, has been a staple of D.C. streetwear since the 1980s. Celebrate New Balance’s importance to locals at New Balance Appreciation Day at Metrobar. Killa Cal of Rare Essence is the host, and the centerpiece is a panel discussion with Anwan “Big G” Glover of Backyard Band, Mustafa Tariq of the throwback Instagram account DC Decades, and Brandon Bull of Beats, Bars and Bourbon discussing their memories of New Balance and its role in D.C.’s signature look. DJ Biggs provides the beats, Adrenaline Lifestyles brings hot cars and bikes, and food trucks including Who Want Smoke and KC Kitchen Plug serve up the grub. Note that an RSVP doesn’t guarantee admission, which is first come, first served. 2 to 7 p.m. Free .

Chinatown Park Festival

The Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs organized this lunchtime festival in Chinatown Park, promising live music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, face painting, hands-on arts and crafts, a clothing swap, and other activities to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month. (This festival, originally scheduled for June 22, was postponed due to heat.) 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free .

Broadway in the Park at Wolf Trap

Signature Theatre and Wolf Trap join forces once again for Broadway in the Park, a night under the stars dedicated to tunes from beloved musicals both new and old. This year, Broadway stars Laura Benanti and Jordan Fisher grace the stage at the Filene Center along with performers familiar to Signature’s audiences. Expect to hear standards from “My Fair Lady,” “Cabaret,” “Pippin” and “Les Misérables” as well as newer smash hits like “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Hamilton.” 8 p.m. $33-$153 .

Sunday, June 30

Pride in the Plaza at Veterans Plaza

Montgomery Pride wraps up a month of celebrations with Pride in the Plaza in Silver Spring’s Veterans Plaza. The main event is the finals of Drag Duels, an ongoing competition that features drag performers going head-to-head and stacked-heel-to-stacked-heel. There’s also live music, DJs and a Pride Ball that allows talented dancers to strut their stuff. New this year: the Community Stage, which organizers say features diverse, family-friendly entertainment. Noon to 8 p.m. Free .

Books & Booze Fair at Red Derby

When the book fair came to your elementary school, it brought scented pencils, glow-in-the-dark erasers and the new Percy Jackson novel. When the book fair comes to Red Derby this weekend, it’ll bring spicy-smooth drinks from Chacho Distillery, conversation with book sellers, and rows of bestsellers and underrated must-reads from Lost City Books and Loyalty Bookstores. A ticket will get you a Chacho drink, but the full bar at Red Derby (which was recently voted by Post readers as one of the city’s best dives ) is also available. 6 to 9 p.m. $10.

Republic Cantina anniversary party

Tex-Mex joint Republic Cantina marks five years in Truxton Circle this weekend with a day-long party. Get an early start with breakfast tacos at 9 a.m. before the block party in the alley, which features Joe Neuman of Sloppy Mama’s BBQ and Rob Cain of the Red Hen serving as guest pitmasters. Human Country Jukebox and the swaggering Heaven Forbid provide classic country covers throughout the day. Look out for a piñata, birthday cake, a kolache happy hour — Republic Cantina’s owners got their start as Republic Kolache — and DJs spinning country vinyl. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free .

Land Conservation Day at Hellbender Brewing Company

Casey Trees, a nonprofit that seeks to restore and protect Washington’s tree canopy, is teaming up for the second year with Hellbender Brewing Company for an afternoon dedicated to urban forests in the nation’s capital. Casey Trees holds a conservation easement on a patch of forest located near the brewery, and you’ll be able to tour this green space nicknamed “Hellbender Hill” during the event. Join a tour of Hellbender Hill at 2:30 or 4:30 p.m. to see the work — like invasive-vine pulling or cleanups — that’s being done as part of the land conservation program. Besides tree tours, the day will include food trucks, live music, raffles and a chance to hear from like-minded organizations. Hellbender’s taproom and the outside patio are open during the event, and a seasonal beer will be promoted in honor of Casey Trees. 2 to 7 p.m. Free; registration requested online .

‘Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity’ at Rock Creek Park Planetarium

Rock Creek Park Nature Center has so much to offer in the summer, including its own planetarium, where you can escape the heat with some virtual stargazing. The last Sunday in June is the last chance to take a simulated space flight to a supermassive black hole, courtesy of the film “Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity.” Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, the 30-minute presentation, aimed at audiences age 14 and up, is all about the science behind black holes. The planetarium’s domed screen will feature immersive animations of phenomena like star birth and death and the collision of giant galaxies. 4 p.m. Free .

‘Salute to Divas’ Drag Brunch at Surreal

Arlington Pride wraps up Sunday with the Salute to Divas Drag Brunch at Surreal in National Landing, hosted by Shi-Queeta Lee and featuring the 2024 Miss Arlington Pride Queenie Iman Glamazon. 11 a.m. $25 .

Country Night at Pitchers

The D.C. Rawhides support country dancing in the LGBTQ+ community by hosting parties with line dancing, partner dancing and dance lessons most Saturdays in Eastern Market’s North Hall. They’re spreading out this weekend and heading to Pitchers, too, where you can learn the Canadian Stomp line dance before open dancing. 4:30 to 7 p.m. Free .

Pride Art Market at Atlas Brew Works

The brewery’s Ivy City location is celebrating the last day of Pride Month with a makers market featuring works from LGBTQ+ artists. Masks are encouraged and will be provided. 1 to 7 p.m. Free.

Crate Convention at Anacostia Arts Center

The Crate Convention is a celebration of culture, combining vendors selling records, magazines, comics and clothing; music from DJs and producers; and works by local artists and makers in one room at the Anacostia Arts Center. Food and drinks are available. Noon to 5 p.m. Free .

Orville Peck at the Anthem

For the last few years, the yeehaw agenda has been in full effect. From Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” and Kacey Musgraves’s pop crossover to Beyoncé’s latest album and Post Malone’s latest transformation , musicians outside the mainstream of country music have taken cowboy culture for a ride and found comfort in the saddle. The rise of Orville Peck has come alongside this cultural shift, and the 36-year-old singer-songwriter — who performs under a pseudonym and wears a mask — is making country music that recalls outlaw traditions and has found fans in collaborators Willie Nelson, Elton John and Kylie Minogue. The artist, who is gay, also serves as a reminder that neither America nor Americana is as homogenized and heteronormative as it may seem. 7 p.m. $59.50.

Monday, July 1

Hiatus Kaiyote at the Fillmore Silver Spring

If you think you haven’t heard of this band, you’re probably wrong, especially if you listen to rap. The band has been countlessly sampled by various artists — most notably by rap superstars Kendrick and Drake. Hiatus Kaiyote’s maximalist sound lends itself well to being reused in a genre like hip-hop that’s always innovating how sampling works. Singer Nai Palm attributes the sampling to their attention to detail, referring to her and her bandmates as “nerds” when it comes to production. “Instead of just, ‘Oh, we’ll just put that down, it doesn’t matter,’ everything is perfectly curated textually,” Palm says. 8 p.m. $53-$72.50.

Tuesday, July 2

Vienna’s Independence Day Celebration

The town of Vienna’s annual party fills George C. Yeonas Park with a mix of live music — Latin American from Cantaré, pop and funk from Thunderball — as well as family activities, food trucks and picnicking on baseball fields. Fireworks begin around 9:30. Free parking is available off-site. 6 to 10 p.m. Free .

Wednesday, July 3

‘National Treasure’ at the National Archives

Nicholas Cage’s 2004 action-adventure film “National Treasure” has a preposterous plot: stealing the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives to find a map on the back, leading to a secret treasure hidden by Freemasons? No wonder it’s become a cult classic. (At the time, Post reviewer Stephen Hunter called “National Treasure” “ the movie equivalent of comfort food .”) On the eve of Independence Day, what could be more appropriate than watching a film about the theft of the declaration at the place it was allegedly stolen from? The National Archives Foundation is the sponsor of this free screening in the William G. McGowan Theater. Just don’t get any big ideas on your way out. 2 p.m. Free; registration required .

visit dawson city

IMAGES

  1. 12 Fascinating Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon

    visit dawson city

  2. A Place That Matters To Me: Dawson City

    visit dawson city

  3. Dawson City Yukon: Why this Remote Canadian Town is Worth a Visit

    visit dawson city

  4. Visit Dawson City on a trip to Canada

    visit dawson city

  5. The 17 BEST Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon (2024 Guide)

    visit dawson city

  6. Visit Dawson City: Canada's Most Famous Gold Rush Boom Town

    visit dawson city

COMMENTS

  1. Dawson City Yukon

    Get Our Newsletter! Inspiration for your next trip delivered right to your inbox four times a year!

  2. 17 Unique Things to do in Dawson City, Yukon

    The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre is a beautiful space next to the river. Long before the Klondike Gold Rush made Dawson City famous around the world, the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nations people lived and thrived here for generations. Today, the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in people are self governing and continue to steward the land and culture for modern people and those in the future.

  3. See & Do

    Visitors are always stunned by the variety of activities available in Dawson City. For a small, northern town, Dawson has something to see and do for everybody. However long you've planned on coming, we assure you, it's not long enough. In fact, we bet you can't find a place in the Yukon that has as much to do in such a small area as our ...

  4. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Dawson City

    Discover the rich history and culture of Dawson City, a former gold rush town in Yukon, Canada. See the best attractions, museums, landmarks and activities that this charming destination has to offer. Read the reviews and photos of other travelers who have visited Dawson City and plan your perfect trip today.

  5. Dawson city

    Seeing the iconic landscape by any means possible is how you like to travel; car, hiking, dog sledding, horseback riding, mountain biking, you'll do it all. Plus, you're not shy to ask locals for recommendations. ... Dawson City was the Yukon's capital from 1898 until 1953. Discover Dawson city from $4000 Jul. 5 2022 - Oct. 5 2024.

  6. Discover Dawson

    Dawson City is an eclectic and vibrant northern community on the banks of the Yukon River. We boast a mixture of First Nations Heritage and Gold Rush History blended with an active Gold Mining and Tourism Industry as well as a thriving Arts scene. In brief, we've got everything you're looking for in a northern town! Dawson's past is ...

  7. Dawson City Yukon

    Dawson City Yukon - Home of the Klondike Gold Rush - visitdawsoncity.com

  8. The 13 Best Things to Do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

    Keep an eye out for eagles in trees, and moose on the banks if you're really lucky. 6. Visit the S.S. Keno. Another experience along the Yukon River, the SS Keno is a beautifully preserved relic of the importance of the river itself - you might also visit the SS Klondike in Whitehorse as a companion to this experience.

  9. 27 FUN things to do in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

    The most popular (and most would probably say most pleasant) time to visit Dawson City is the summer. The days are long and the temperatures are very pleasant. These long days give you tons of time to explore all the things to do in Dawson City that are outdoors like hiking, gold panning, and checking out the historic sights in and around town.

  10. 34 Interesting Things to Do in Dawson City, Yukon

    Here's what I would do during a quick visit to Dawson City: Day 1: Wander the streets of Dawson City on a self-guided tour (get a map at the Visitors Centre) or join one of the Parks Canada tours. Choose between visiting two of: the S.S. Keno, Commissioner's Residence or Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre. Consider taking in a show at the Grand ...

  11. 17 Awesome Things to Do in Dawson City, Yukon

    The Best Things to Do in Dawson City. Join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club. Visit the Jack London Museum. Try Your Luck at Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall. Take a City Tour with Klondike Experience. Gold Panning. Head Up the Midnight Dome for Epic Dawson City Views. Wander the Streets.

  12. Discover the golden history of Dawson City

    Experience the remarkably historic period of the Klondike Gold Rush frozen in this authentic city. This legendary event caused a global movement of people that was unprecedented at the time. Although it lasted just a few short years, it left a rich historic legacy with stories of triumph, defeat, bravery and the peculiar madness of gold fever. Dawson City became the biggest city west of ...

  13. Dawson City

    1 Dawson City River Hostel, Take ferry from Dawson City to the west side of the river, ☏ +1 867 993-6823, [email protected]. Seasonal monthly tenting available. Bike and canoe rentals and van tours by demand. Owner is author of the "Yukon Travel Adventure Guide" and "The Saga of the Sourtoe". Dorms from $20 (members), $22 (non-members ...

  14. Dawson City travel

    Dawson City. Canada, North America. If you didn't know its history, Dawson City would be an atmospheric place to pause for a while, with a seductive, funky vibe. That it's one of the most historic and evocative towns in Canada is like gold dust on a cake: unnecessary but damn nice.

  15. Plan Your Trip

    And with so many options to travel to Dawson City, you can plan your perfect adventure for yourself and your family. Did You Know? Dawson City is named after George Mercer Dawson, director of the Geological Survey of Canada and leader of the expedition that explored the region in 1887, with the purpose of surveying the Alaska boundary at the ...

  16. Dawson City Travel Guide

    Dawson City, a place where men and women found and lost fortunes, inspired writers such as Jack London and Robert Service to pen captivating stories, and pushed stampeders to their limits in search for gold. These days, the tens of thousands of prospectors have long left the fading riches around the mighty Yukon and the Klondike River.

  17. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Dawson City

    Discover the best things to do in Dawson City, Yukon, with Tripadvisor. Explore the history, culture and nature of this unique destination. See the top-rated and must-see attractions, from gold rush sites to scenic trails. Read the reviews and photos of other travellers and plan your perfect trip today.

  18. Dawson City Yukon: Why this Remote Canadian Town is Worth a Visit

    The center is open seasonally between May 1 and September 30. If you're planning a trip within those months, reach out beforehand at 867-993-5566 or email at [email protected]. If you want details during the off-season (Oct 1 - April 30) you'll want to call the Klondike Visitors Association at 1-867-993-5575.

  19. Dawson City Visitor Information Centre

    Dawson City Visitor Information Centre; ... Main telephone. 867-993-5566. About / Services . Visit us in Dawson City and find out how to make your experience in Yukon even more memorable. Manager: Peggy Amendola. Email us. Opening times. May 1 to September 30. Daily. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  20. Dawson City Travel Guide

    From Whitehorse: Dawson City is 533 km from Whitehorse on the North Klondike Highway. Travel time is approximately six hours, depending on the season, road conditions, and weather. The road is paved all the way and is in good condition with odd potholes. From Alaska: The Top of the World Highway is only open in summer.

  21. Reasons to Visit Dawson City, Yukon

    Dawson City was the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896, a visit to Claim 33 is a fun way to learn about the history and try your hand at panning for gold. Dave panning for gold in Dawson City's Claim 33. This family owned museum traces the history of the Klondike Gold Rush in and around Dawson City and the Yukon.

  22. Art shows to peak views in Dawson City , Yukon

    Art shows to peak views in. Dawson City. , Yukon. A three-day guide on what to do, where to stay and how to make the most of your time in the vibrant northern community of Dawson City. Jun 24, 2024. 664 words. 3 minutes. By Maryam Siddiqi. Dancers perform the cancan at Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall.

  23. Dawson in a Day

    Drop by the Visitor Information Centre and grab a Dawson City map to plan your route. Or join one of the many Parks Canada Walking Tours and be guided around town by a historic Dawson character. Snap photographs amid our picturesque buildings or visit our shops and take home a one-of-a-kind Dawson treasure.

  24. Educator's work explored in kids' book, 'The Dawson Legacy'

    PROVIDED PHOTO BY MISS MEOW STUDIOS. In the new children's book, "The Dawson Legacy," author Kevin McQuarn tells young readers the story of John S. Dawson — and how his name is forever etched in ...

  25. Marilyn Monroe's former Brentwood home declared historic cultural ...

    Story by City News Service. • 14h • 3 min read. The former home of Marilyn Monroe is officially a Los Angeles historic cultural monument, as city officials confirmed the designation Wednesday ...

  26. TV Shows

    In the ruthless world of The Challenge, this newest group of non-champion, next-gen players must work together to win the grand prize -- but it's still anyone's game.

  27. Travel Guide

    View Our Travel Guides. *Click on the images to look at their online versions. View More Yukon Guides. Getting Here. Packages.

  28. The 26 best things to do in D.C. this weekend and next week

    A ticket will get you a Chacho drink, but the full bar at Red Derby (which was recently voted by Post readers as one of the city's best dives) is also available. 6 to 9 p.m. $10. Republic ...