Dawson Historical Complex

Dawson Historical Complex

Along the wooden boardwalks of Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site, explore the last great gold rush through historic buildings where the past and present mingle.

Activities

Explore the Great Gold Rush Along the Wooden Boardwalks

There are strange things done in the midnight sun

By the men who moil for gold;

The Arctic trails have their secret tales

That would make your blood run cold.

-- Robert Service

There was gold in those hills. And tens of thousands came from far and wide to find it.

From 1896 to 1899 the population of Dawson City boomed while men staked claims and panned for gold. But it didn't take long for the boom to subside and what was once a thriving city almost became a ghost town. (See the entry for Dredge No.4 National Historic Site to find out why it didn’t!)

Walk the streets of Dawson City and meet some of its more colourful characters. Visit the poet Robert Service's two-room log cabin and hear tales of the cremation of Sam McGee and of Dangerous Dan McGrew. The men who moiled for gold built a bustling city on the river and left it for us to explore. There's still gold in those hills but it takes a lot to get it out. From panning to dredging, the history of gold mining in Dawson City is fun and fascinating.

How much time will I need for a walking tour?

  • 1 - 2 hours; the full tour usually lasts around an hour and a half, but you can go at your own pace. There are a lot of tours and activities to do though, so leave yourself at least a couple of days in Dawson City to get it all in!

Do I need any special equipment or gear? What else should I bring?

  • No special equipment is needed, just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera.

Is this activity free?

  • Yes (with your My Parks Pass)

When's the best time to do this?

  • Tours run from Victoria Day to late Labour Day. Check with the Visitor’s Centre in Dawson City for detailed daily schedules.

Also: Take a tour of the Palace Grand Theatre, search out some geocaches, decide on your favourite at the Greatest Klondiker Contest, or make a pressed flower card at the Commissioner’s Residence!

Dont forget! The Klondike has two other great historic sites to visit! Check out the Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site and S.S. Keno National Historic Site.

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