Today Yukon is celebrating Discovery Day, which is a public holiday in the territory that takes place on the third Monday of August.
The holiday commemorates the anniversary of the discovery of gold in Bonanza Creek in Yukon in 1896. A great number of events are held to celebrate Discovery Day, but the main celebrations take place in Yukon’s Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike gold rush.
Whilst there is lots going on in Dawson City to commemorate Discovery Day, the city is a great place to visit anytime of the year.
So if you want to experience the best Canadian holidays have to offer, read on to find out about the top things you can do in Yukon’s Dawson City.
Find out about the Gold rush at Dawson City Museum
What is the best way to learn about the heritage of a city? The answer in Dawson is simple: visit the Dawson City Museum.
The museum is housed in the stunning Old Territorial Administration Building and really is the perfect place for visitors to start their exploration of the city.
You will find out about the Gold Rush, Dawson City itself and the Klondike region through the museum’s vast array of collections, exhibits and research library.
Visitors can learn about Yukon’s First Peoples and will experience the Gold Rush through the stampeders, entrepreneurs and the visionaries that came in their droves.
Visit Tombstone Territorial Park
If you have taken advantage of car hire services in Canada, another great activity to do whilst staying in Dawson City is to make the short drive to Tombstone Territorial Park.
Those who make the journey will be suitably impressed by the 2,200 km of protected wilderness that boasts enormous peaks, forests and an abundance of wildlife, including black bears and grizzly bears.
The park is also a popular destination for walkers and hikers as the Dempster Highway dissects the park and allows access to a number of hiking routes, as well as giving drivers stunning views of the arctic tundra.
Step into the past on Dredge No. 4
Dredges were brought into Yukon following the discovery of gold, and today one of the two dozen dredges that worked in this area is still based in Bonanza Creek.
Just a 20-minute drive from Dawson City, Dredge No.4 still lies in the area it used to work back in 1960.
During that time, the dredge would have moved along a pond of its own making and would dig up gold-bearing gravel in its front. Then it would recover the gold as it went through its screen-washing plant.
Now visitors can walk on what is the largest wooden hull, bucket-line dredge in North America. The dredge was refloated back in the early 90s and was moved to higher ground to protect it from flooding.
The dredge is now not just an important historical site for locals, but is a very popular tourist attraction.
The Midnight Dome
If you are an outdoor enthusiast or love photography, then no trip to Dawson is complete without taking a photo atop the Midnight Dome.
You can hike or drive to the top of the dome, which is a fantastic vantage point that takes in a panoramic view of the area. Those who do ascend the Midnight Dome will not be left disappointed as the beautiful Yukon River and Klondike Valleys can be seen, while the Ogilvie Mountain Range can be viewed in the distance.
If you decide to hike to the top, then you will walk around five miles to climb the 1,700-foot-high mountain. If you are driving to the top, then it will take just 10-15 minutes in total.
The Fortymile Gold Workshop
The Fortymile Gold Workshop allows you to see jewellery being made from local refined gold. The gold dust is melted down at the mine, based on the famous Fortymile River.
The resulting 20k gold jewellery incorporates Yukon gold nuggets, mammoth ivory, diamonds from the Northwest Territories and other beautiful Canadian gemstones.
The Fortymile Gold Workshop also boasts a gallery of art from local artists. If you are looking to buy something to remind you of your trip to Canada, then this is a great option.
Image Credit: Adam Greig, Glacier Fed, Mike Beauregard, Dave Bezaire, Bureau of Land Management