Klondike Highway

Driving the scenic Klondike Highway

The Klondike Highway is a challenging and scenic drive with a length of 438 mi (705 km). It links the Alaskan coastal town of Skagway to Yukon's Dawson City, heart of the Klondike.

The route is mostly paved. It follows the route used by prospectors in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. Beginning at Skagway, near the Alaska/Canada border the road climbs for 14 miles/22.5 km to the 3,292 foot/1.003 m forbidding Chilkoot Pass, before crossing into stunning alpine scenery on the way to Carcross. Between Skagway and the border the road roughly parallels the old White Pass Trail, an alternate to the Chilkoot Trail. The journey is divided into two sections: the South Klondike Highway (from Skagway to Whitehorse) and the North Klondike Highway (from Whitehorse to Dawson City).

Due its unique location and the climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and passing through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared.  For much of its length, the road generally follows the Gold Rush Trail, the route of the Klondike prospectors. You'll have a much easier time of it than they did. North of Whitehorse, the road passes through often-gentle terrain that has been scorched by wildfires through the years. Signs showing the dates let you chart nature's recovery. The route includes the Alaska Route 98 (USA) and Yukon Highway 2 (in Canada) and originally was built for tourist traffic. Along the way you’ll see unique landscapes, beautiful lakes, even some old mining structures.

 

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