WR I: Yukon River

The Yukon River rises in the Canadian province of British Columbia and then flows through the territory named after it, Yukon, before flowing into the Bering Sea in the U.S. state of Alaska. Because of its size and importance, the river was most often referred to as the “Big River” or “Big Wide River” by most indigenous peoples living in its river system.

You will fly downriver in a Cessna 172, following the stampede of 1897, when the Klondike Gold Rush lured as many as 100,000 prospectors to Dawson City. To reach the gold fields, most prospectors took the route via the ports of Dyea and Skagway in southeast Alaska. Here, the “Klondikers” could follow either the Chilkoot or White Pass routes to the Yukon River and then sail down to the Klondike.

You start in Cargross, a stopover for gold prospectors. The White Pass Railway was completed here in 1900, connecting Skagway with Whitehorse, and was discontinued in 1982.

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