Category Archives: Dawson City

Yukon Quest: Yukon River landscape


Here’s Vebjorn Aishana Reitan, a 21 year old Yukon Quest rookie shown on the Yukon River in Dawson City.


Yukon River Quest 2016

DSC_0304DSC_0328DSC_0335DSC_0337DSC_0349DSC_0360DSC_0378DSC_0389DSC_0391DSC_0474DSC_0459DSC_0458DSC_0457The Yukon River Quest starts in Whitehorse and ends in Dawson City. People use canoes, kayaks and even stand-up paddle boards.

The total distance is more than 700 kilometres. There are enforced breaks along the way but teams and solo paddlers continue through the nights.

This year there were 94 teams from 14 countries. The #1 team (this year, two people in a canoe) finished after about 46 hours in the water.


The Sourtoe: Whiskey in Dawson City with a human toe

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It’s one of Dawson City’s most bizarre and endearing traditions.

The world-famous “Sourtoe cocktail” is a shot of strong whiskey containing a human toe.

The goal is to drink the whiskey and have the toe slide down the glass and touch your lips. For $5 a Toe Captain will read you the story of its origin when local eccentric Captain Dick Stevenson found the toe in a jar and decided to set up this dare.

“You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow…must your lips must touch the toe,” goes the saying.

Like any club’s initiation the SourToe endures because people love a good rite of passage.

Drinking the sourtoe might take a few beers to “build up courage.” There is dread, building up to one unforgettable second followed by relief and high-fives, pats on the back and common stories about how people almost threw up.

Such are the things that make friends out of strangers and create good stories told years later.

Today on the news it was revealed that an American traveller went to drink the toe and have it touch his lips, instead decided to swallow it. The reaction was loud and many people aound the web have learned about the “sourtoe” today.


Neat place to stay in Dawson: White House Cabins (and tents)


DSC_0035Generations of people have used these canvas tents as temporary shelters and sometimes homes.

During the gold rush entire cities were built using these. Today it’s common to see people using these tents on the land as a type of mobile cabin with a small wood stove.

Many people call them Fort McPherson tents due to the local factory along the Dempster Highway in NWT.

In Dawson City you can choose to stay at the White House Cabins, which has a variety of cabins and tents for rent. This “miner’s tent” has electricity, a mini-fridge…everything to be comfortable.

All aboard the Klondike: Whitehorse’s old sternwheeler

DSC_0284_1024x768fixed DSC_0329_1024x768 DSC_0328_1024x768 DSC_0317_1024x768 DSC_0316_1024x768 DSC_0312_1024x768 DSC_0309_1024x768 DSC_0307_1024x768 DSC_0306_1024x768 DSC_0301_1024x768 DSC_0300_1024x768 DSC_0297_1024x768 DSC_0294_1024x768 DSC_0291_1024x768 DSC_0289_1024x768 DSC_0286_1024x768 DSC_0285_1024x768In the 1930s when you wanted to get to Dawson City you could sail in luxury on a sternwheeler.

The S.S. Klondike was built in 1936 and first traveled in 1937.

This historic ship is preserved in Whitehorse and includes clothing, furniture and on-board details that could be found in the late 1930s and early 1940s including the dinner menus.

(Note: this post originally had an error saying the ship was from the 1890s gold rush.  Oops! Thanks to staff at Parks Canada Yukon for the correction)

What a view!

DSC_0052This house in Dawson City seems like a dream house. It’s perched on the side of a large mountain.

Walking tour in Dawson City

DSC_0150 DSC_0151 DSC_0152 DSC_0153 DSC_0161 DSC_0162 DSC_0171 DSC_0173 DSC_0179If you pass through Dawson City in summer, take the walking tour offered by Parks Canada.

Our guide had some excellent stories about the Gold Rush era and it’s great fun to see things in context.

The tour stops at the community’s old bank, newspaper, post office and of course the old bar.