13 Amazing Things to do in Dawson City Yukon

Anisha Lifestyle Places to Visit
22 Min Read

Visiting Dawson City Yukon is pretty amazing as this small town is full of wonderful things to do. The city is always busy, therefore, you will have several activities to do. The Klondike Goldrush is very famous and to know about that you can go with gold tourist tour guides who lead tourists on a walking tour of downtown Dawson City, Yukon and lets you know about the places around.

A fascinating history of the area can be found in the Dawson City Museum and to taste the Yukon culture, the Dänojà Zho Cultural Center is worth a visit. If you are looking forward to knowing about this place, then there are many cultural centres and national historic sites which will help you dive into the history and culture of the place.

If you love driving along the scenic route, then Top of the World Highway is your route.  It was built in 1955 and connects Dawson City, Yukon with Alaska. Opening from May to September, this paved road takes the best driver up the mountains, creating spectacular views on all sides. Driving is especially good in the fall.

Dawson City, Yukon is lively and it is not only famous for the gold dust and related history, but this place also has many fun cultural events and festivals where they organize contests like races and gold panning. There are also some cheapest places to live in Canada if you feel like settling here.

Places to Explore to do in this Beautiful City 

1. Visit the Dawson City, Yukon for Klondike Gold Rush

The Dawson City, Yukon Territory is famous for the Klondike gold rush, therefore Klondike goldfields are worth visiting and this is among the fun things you can do in Dawson City, Yukon.

Dawson City, Yukon is well known for the world-famous Klondike Gold Rush. On 16 August 1896, three Yukon “Sourdoughs” named George Carmack, Dawson Charlie, and Skookum Jim discovered the gold in Rabbit Creek (now known as Bonanza Creek) that flows into the Klondike River.

The report of the findings spread quickly to about 1,000 inspectors, miners, Northwest Police, missionaries, and others who called Yukon’s home at the time. The accommodation was quickly abandoned as it began to rush to find the best location.

Joseph Ladue and Arthur Harper, both of these locals, have been working in Yukon for a long time. They quickly bought, encrypted and established the Dawson township (named after Canadian Geologist George Mercer Dawson) where the Yukon and Klondike Rivers meet, about 20 miles from the Discovery Claim.

In-depth Information about the Goldrush

When the renowned “Ton of Gold” and the prosperous workers from the season prior arrived on board the merchant ships Excelsior and Portland in Seattle and San Francisco accordingly, in July 1897, word of the discovery swept the globe.

News spread like wildfire as “novels could not be dragged down the stream” to a land of poverty and caused unprecedented tensions of an estimated 100,000 people heading for Klondike.

People without any idea what to do next will follow treacherous routes that include rugged terrain, snow-capped mountains, and icy rivers to lodge a claim of good fortune in Klondike. Many will need to travel more than 5000km to reach Dawson City.

As thirty thousand (others claim fifty) axes and shovels, adventurers, store owners, saloon owners, merchants, gamblers, and adventurers seized control of the town in 1898, Dawson experienced a rapid population increase. Money was not a problem in Dawson, as gold was plentiful, and businesses catering to gold miners were booming because of gold mining.

2. Observe The Yukon River

Observe The Yukon River
Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Riders ride beautiful rowing wheels to experience the great Yukon River in style. Walk the length of the most iconic Yukon River in an old tandem boat. In 1898, traces the trail of thousands of gold-seeking to Klondike.

With a small team and an experienced guide, you will paddle all 730 miles on the Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City- a two-week trek across the Yukon proportions.

In addition to a one-day vacation to be relocated to the town of Carmacks, you will be camping on rocky outcrops and in deforested areas along the river.

Sharing campfires and hot food in the well-equipped camps. The trip is to visit the Big Salmon, Hootalinqua, and Fort Selkirk are old ghost towns where people of the Selkirk First Nation freely exchange information and expertise.

3. Visit the Museums of Dawson City, Yukon

(a) Jack London Museum

Photo by Pexels on Pixabey

Located in the quiet corner of Dawson City, Yukon, this amazing museum is entirely dedicated to the life of White Fang American author, one of America’s most famous American writers. London’s books and short story collections, such as Call of the Wild, frequently mention Dawson City as well as the neighboring ghost town Forty Mile.

Inside the Museum

London entered the renowned Klondike Gold Rush in 1897, and the museum contains ancient records and plaques that allow guests to understand London’s happenings before, during, and following the Klondike Gold Rush.

The museum allows visitors to experience how people lived during the infamous Klondike Gold Rush, including in London as well as other cities. It is complete with materials and objects that are up to date. This statue is built from half of the wood of the original London Cabinet.

(b) Dawson City Museum

Visit the Dawson City Museum and go to the well-renovated Dawson City building for the Territorial Administrative Building. Once you arrive, prepare yourself for thrilling stories of adventure, survival, mysteries and industry.

Check out the galleries and exhibitions, and follow the regional growth from its original location of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to the amazing city that exists today. Featuring a wide variety of museums, artifacts, and exhibits, the Dawson City Museum is a ‘must-see’ place for every history lover.

Friendly and knowledgeable staff will answer all your questions while providing you with a series of programs from interactive exhibitions to exciting gold pouring shows.

4. Explore The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre

On the shores of the Yukon River, all across the street lies the Dänojà Zho Culture Center (old home). This place holds the history of Dawson City, Yukon, so you can come here and meet the locals who have a story to tell.

The Dänojà Zho Cultural Center is the gateway to the epoch of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. A center is a gathering place for sports, events, and activities that promote culture and contemporary life.

More About This Cultural Centre

Dänojà Zho is open year-round with guest programs and summer season activities. From May to September, people are offered a guided tour of the Hammerstone Gallery to share their vision during the gold rush.

Each summer the Meeting Room hosts a new exhibition, showcasing the healthy and rich culture. Visitors can take part in the pride by taking part in river walks, theme shows, art exhibitions and a variety of film presentations.

The locals carry a large collection of music, art and literature that reflect and celebrate the First National Culture.

5. Enjoy Dawson City Music Festival

music festival
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

As of 1979, the Dawson City, Yukon Music Festival (DCMF) has been the most well-liked musical occasion in the territory. Over the years, it has grown into a world-class exhibition of North American artists of various genres, as well as a great launch party. The festival is popular among well-known artists and music lovers all over Canada.

More about the Dawson City Music Festival

In the center of Yukon’s Klondike, take in the lovely music, welcoming people, and authentic ambiance.

Since 1979, the event has grown from being a weekend barbecue in the field to a mid-summer Yukon. Despite its modest start, it has grown to be a local icon, among the most eagerly awaited occasions in the north, and the gold standard for program effectiveness.

DCMF regularly receives national and international media coverage, from the Toronto Star to the San Francisco Post-Examiner; from Saturday’s magazine to The Walrus: from CBC Radio to ExclaimmMagazine.

The subject of the term “a modest, entire Canadian festival,” presented by Georgia Straight of Vancouver, is in the most recent Canadian edition of Trivial Pursuit.

6. Relax in Sourtoe Cocktail Club

Sourtoe Cocktail is an alcoholic toe-decorated cocktail for the past 48 years, which has served as a way for visitors to share the Church’s vision of proving Dawson City, Yukon. Captain Dick Stevenson is said to have discovered a chopped toe in the home of erstwhile rumrunner and miners Louie Liken in 1973.

Stevenson threw a toe at Yukon Jack and allowed others to gain membership in the Sourtoe Cocktail Club for a small fee and this continued and became popular among tourists and people who reside here. You can know the full story behind it when you visit this place or read about it before coming here.

They also give a member who drinks the cocktail and the toe in it touches the mouth and the certificate is given which is presented to all graduates as proof of their membership in this special club. Those who eat the cocktail become the “real Captain Yukon”.

7. Look at The Midnight Dome

A trip to the beautiful Dawson City, Yukon is incomplete without taking your picture over Midnight Dome. Drive or ride in this amazing place and take a panoramic view of the region.

Outside the city, turn onto Dome Road, and follow the winding road for about 10 to 15 minutes, which will take you straight up. Access to the viewing area may be limited by weather and conditions. There are numerous methods to hike a mountain, ranging from light to heavy, so organize your journey appropriately. Locate the entrance (unmarked) via Ninth Avenue Path and King Street.

According to where you begin, the total margin is about 1700 feet, and the return trip is about 5 kilometres away.

8. Catch The Northern Light and The Aurora Borealis

The Northern Light
Photo by Leonard Laub on Unsplash

Dawson City, Yukon is an amazing place to witness the amazing Aurora Borealis. They start in late August, so you can have an amazing vacation there.

This vacation goes from September to October, and then in the cold months of January to March. September is an excellent month to visit the Yukon due to the lovely weather and autumn colors.

The best time to look at the northern lights is when the nights are long and dark: from November to March.

But if you’re lucky, you might get a good look at the lights in the Yukon in the middle of August when it’s still hot outside or in the middle of April when the snowfall starts to melt.

If you can travel farther north, the sight of aurora borealis will be much clearer. In the Yukon, you can see dance lights almost anywhere because of the low light pollution.

Whitehorse for the Aurora

The Yukon River, three summits, and Whitehorse are all nearby. It has many beautiful views of mesmerizing northern light. Fish Lake is located at an altitude of 4658 ft (1420 m), with a beautiful hiking trail and a beautiful view of the aurora.

On the eastern end of the Yukon River near Whitehorse, Chadburn Lake Park is renowned for its Aurora. The capital city of Yukon also offers many exciting activities during the northern lighting season: wild cabinets, dog skiing, snow skiing, and even the thrill of a night sky in the tropical heat of the lake.

9. Walkthrough of The Tombstone Territorial Park

Tombstone Territorial Park is a 2,200 square kilometer area of pure wilderness with beautiful rocky peaks, permafrost formations, and a diverse range of unusual flora and fauna.

You may get assistance from the kind employees at the Tombstone Interpretive Center with anything you need, such as trail maps and camping licenses- they will guide you through everything you need.

Driving through the dumpster Highway is an experience like never before. The 737-kilometre-long all-weather dirt road winds across Tombstone Territorial Park and offers spectacular views of the world that change with each curve.

Drive your way from downtown Dawson City, Yukon, and take the North Klondike Highway for about 40 minutes. After making a left exit onto the Dempster Highway, continue for another hour until you see the Tombstone Interpretive Centre.

There are a lot of hiking paths and camping areas, ranging from wilderness and overnight hikes including Talus, Grizzly, or Divide Lake to easy novice routes like the North Klondike route or Goldensides.

These are accessible from May to September.

Tombstone Territorial Park is a remote park, so you should be cautious even for day hikes and prepare for rough lands, very sudden changes in weather, and not to forget animal encounters.

Although animal incidents are frequent in this area, check in with the Parks Interpretation Centre first. If you want to carry bear spray, you can acquire it from the visitor center.

Snowshoeing in Tombstone Territorial Park

If you want to experience winter wilderness on another level, then Tombstone Park at this time of year is a destination for you.

Carry your equipment and traverse the wide icy tundra on skis or snowshoes even if the tourist amenities are closed during the winter. The Dempster Highway is still open.

Keep a check on the road conditions before heading out as the weather may change and be sure to have warm winter clothes with you as the weather is a bit chilly.

10. Observe the Diamond Tooth Gertie

Diamond Tooth Gertie
Image Source: Google

This is Canada’s oldest gambling hall. If you want to explore a casino in Dawson, make a plan to visit Diamond Tooth Gertie’s, Gambling Hall. The Klondike Visitors Association launched it for business in 1971, marking it as Canada’s first casino. Gertie’s, as it is known, and much of Dawson City reminds you of the local history of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Sponsors enjoyed a daily exhibition of vaudeville, Gertie Lovejoy, one of Dawson’s most well-known dance hall performers during the gold rush days, who wore a diamond in two of her middle front teeth, served as inspiration.

Gertie’s is unique as it is the sole casino in northern Canada and the only location where patrons may bet, consume drinks, and enjoy live entertainment all in the same space.

Revenue is re-invested in the city to help preserve historic sites, produce local events, and promote Klondike. In 2015, it was renamed the Municipal Heritage Site.

11. Wander around the City Street

Walking on the streets of Dawson City, Yukon and admiring all the old buildings is indeed a treat to the eyes. Dawson City’s valuable buildings are owned by Parks Canada, which means they do their best to keep them looking the way they always are, rather than making them more modern.

You can easily spend a few hours wandering around and photographing vintage buildings, exploring the madness of some of them (due to permafrost and the inability to build the right foundations) and chatting with friendly local people.

The Dawson City Museum is the best place to learn all about Dawson City’s history if you like that. The Robert Service Cabin is a Klondike National Historic Site and is the former cabin of the famous Yukon poet.

12. Experience Dog Sledging

Dog Sledging
Image by Robin Bertolini from Pixabay

Dog sledding is well known northern transport mode and it is still very popular with tourists of Dawson City, Yukon and locals alike.  Most tour operators are close enough to the city so it is easy to get on a half-day trip if that is your schedule that allows it.

But there is a list of options, including a night trip where you will help take care of the dogs, sleep in a remote desert camp and watch the magical northern lights.

Now, if you finally decide to take the reins, ordering six dogs in front of an identified dog is not W-A-L-K in the park. You need to know how to communicate with these peppy puppies without using the words, “sit,” “sit” and “move the paws.” To get the best ride results, follow the tips from these rides for your life.

13. Look at The S.S. Keno

S.S. Keno was designated as Canada’s national historic site because it represents the Yukon lake and river-steam steam locomotives. The priceless S.S. Keno occupies the entire structure and serves as a model sternwheeler steamer, illustrating the waterways of the kind of boat designed for Yukon water transportation.

In 1937, S.S. Keno was divided in half so that three meters could be extended to its span, expanding the number of goods it could hold. It retired at the end of the river roaming in 1953, was rehabilitated in 1960 and sailed to Dawson where it was treated as a public open space.


It is not just the history of the Klondike gold rush and gold panning that attracts people this way. There are more than enough things to explore in Dawson City, Yukon.

The Dawson City, Yukon landscape is one of the most spectacular in the world, and the people who visit this place can find more friendliness and acceptance which makes your visit to Dawson City, Yukon a memorable one.

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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