Thu, Jun 1, 2017
Carol and I are in Whitehorse and it’s the biggest town we’ve seen in a while. Some 27,000 residents compared to 450 at our last stop and 824 at tomorrow’s town.
Whitehorse sits on the banks of the Yukon River where rapids once raged. They’re gone now that the local power company dammed the river to generate hydroelectric power. But their presence made the city possible as the river is navigable downstream all the way to the Bering Sea.
Whitehorse, so named for the appearance of the rapids, was a important stop during the 1898 Klondike God Rush. The gold was discovered down the Yukon in Dawson City. Prospectors would sail to the port cities of Dyea or Skagway in southeast Alaska and then hike to Whitehorse. From there it was an easy riverboat ride down river to the gold fields around Dawson.