All of Dawson City and much of the surrounding area is preserved as a National Historic Site, and it's easy to spend a day wandering the boardwalks, looking at the old buildings, shopping the boutiques, and exploring vintage watering holes. About half of the buildings in the town are historic; the rest are artful contemporary reconstructions. Dawson Historical National Historic Site Complex (tel. 867/993-7200 or 867/993-7237; www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/yt/dawson/natcul.aspx) preserves 8 blocks, and sites in and around Dawson City. The Parks Service fees are usually C$6 for each guided tour. A variety of tours are available, and combination tickets are available; tours are available June through mid-September. For current Parks Canada program information and tickets, head over to the Visitor Information Centre at Front and King streets.
Between the town and the mighty Yukon River is a dike channeling the once-devastating floodwaters. A path follows the dike and makes for a nice stroll. The SS Keno, a Yukon riverboat, is berthed along the dike (near Front and Queen sts.). Built in Whitehorse in 1922, it was one of the last riverboats to travel on the Yukon -- there were once more than 200 of them.
Tours & Excursions
From June to mid-September, the National Park Service offers C$6 daily walking tours of Dawson City; check for hours and sign up for the tours at the Visitor Information Centre, at Front and King streets (tel. 867/993-5566). Up to eight different tours are offered in high season.
The Yukon Queen II is a "fast cat" catamaran that can carry 104 passengers over the 173km (107-mile) stretch of river from Dawson City to Eagle, Alaska. Tickets include meals; mid-May to mid-September, the 1-day round-trip journeys run daily. Adults pay C$90 each way. (Travelers can also fly back.) Book the boat trip and return flights through Gray Line Yukon/Yukon Queen River Cruises (tel. 867/993-5599) on Front Street (First Ave.) near the Visitor Information Centre; tickets go quickly, so reserve well in advance in high season; at all times, you'll need to reserve 1 day in advance for U.S. immigrations preapproval. If paying in cash, only U.S. dollars are accepted, even in Dawson City. If you want to stay overnight in Eagle, you'll have to make arrangements separately.
If you just want to get out on the Yukon River without the trip to Alaska, Fishwheel Charters (tel. 867-993-6237) offers a fascinating 2-hour river journey into the traditional Hän culture that existed here long before the Klondike Gold Rush. The tour operator, himself a member of the Hän First Nation, provides background on traditional lifestyles and takes visitors past the Hän village of Moosehead, historic Fort Reliance, and a traditional fish camp. On the way back, the tour stops at Dog Island for tea and bannock. During high season, three trips daily are offered; cost is C$32 adults, C$10 children 10 and under. Inquire at the Visitor Information Centre for the location of ticket office.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.