Start your visit to Whitehorse with a tour of this National Historic Site—the largest stern-wheeler ever to ply the waters of the Yukon, the SS Klondike, which is dry-docked along 2nd Avenue at the south end of town (867/667-3910, mid-May–mid-Sept. daily 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., $6.05 per person for the tour).
Launched in 1929 and rebuilt after it sank in 1936, the Klondike made 15 round-trips a season, requiring one and a half days and 40 cords of wood for the downstream trip to Dawson, four and a half days and 120 cords back to Whitehorse.
The Klondike is beautifully and authentically restored, right down to the 1937 Life magazines and the food stains on the waiters’ white coats. Bridges erected along the road to Dawson in the mid-1950s blocked the steamer’s passage and she has sat in the same spot since her last run in 1955.
The best way to learn about the vessel and her colorful history is by joining a tour that runs every 30 minutes, proceeding from the boiler, freight, and engine deck, up to the dining room and first-class cabins, and finally up to the bridge.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition