Following Gold on the Klondike Kluane Loop Canada

It’s amazing what the attraction for gold will do.

Between 1897 and 1899 an estimated 100,000 people headed to the then remote Klondike region of Yukon in north western Canada pinning all of their hopes on their ability to discover gold. Actually making a strike in the goldfields was difficult due to the type of terrain, the fact that the gold was scattered over a large area, and that the permafrost made digging very difficult. Still, many people tried, some were successful, but many more prospectors failed.

Travelling in the region was difficult, thanks to the terrible state of the roads and the harsh winters which deposited enough snow and ice to make movement hazardous.

Fortunately, transiting the region is now much easier, and one of the popular drives for tourists is to complete the Klondike Kluane Loop.

The Klondike-Kluane Loop is a scenic drive that takes visitors along the historic gold panning route from Whitehorse to Dawson City, connecting with the Top of the World Highway and returning on the Alaska Highway and along the outer edges of Kluane National Park. With a total distance of 1435 kilometres (891 miles), it is best to allow a week or more to complete the drive, particularly as there are many highlights along the way.

At the heart of the Loop is Dawson City, which was created in the early days of the Gold Rush to cater for the many prospectors who were arriving in the area. At its peak, Dawson City boasted a population of 30,000, but as the gold ran out, so did the prospectors. Today is has a population of about 1,500 and the streets of this authentic frontier town are lined with wooden boardwalks and colourful storefronts.

Another feature is the Kluane National Park and Reserve which has magnificent landscapes where valleys have been scoured out of the rock by glaciers and where you can enjoy the world’s largest non-polar icefields. This vast wilderness park in southwest Yukon is home to grizzly bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves and mountain goats. Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan (5,959 metres), is a massive presence in the heart of Kluane National Park and Reserve.

The drive is spectacularly beautiful and has mostly been preserved to that visitors can enjoy the purity of an environment they may have remained hidden if gold hadn’t attracted prospectors with its allure and promises of untold riches. Today those riches are still present, except they are represented by the sheer beauty of this magnificent and majestic place.

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