The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Yukon River

The Yukon River is a watercourse of northern North America. Over half of the river lies in Alaska, USA, with the other portion lying in and giving its name (meaning great river in Gwich'in) to Canada's Yukon Territory. The longest river in Alaska and the Yukon, it was one of the principal means of transportation during the Yukon Gold rush in 1898 to 1899.

Yukon means big river in Athabaskan. The river was called Kwiguk, or large stream in Yupik.

The generally accepted source of the Yukon River is the Llewellyn Glacier at the southern end of Atlin Lake in British Columbia. Others suggest that the source is Lake Lindeman at the northen end of the Chilkoot Trail. Either way, Atlin Lake flows into Tagish Lake, as eventually does Lake Lindeman after flowing into Lake Bennett. Tagish Lake then flows into Marsh Lake. The Yukon River proper starts at the northern end of Marsh Lake, just south of Whitehorse. Some argue that the source of the Yukon River should really be Teslin Lake and the Teslin River ,which has a larger flow when it reaches the Yukon at Hootalinqua. The upper end of the Yukon river was originally known as the Lewes River until it was established that it actually was the Yukon. North of Whitehorse, the Yukon River widens into Lake Laberge, made famous by Robert W. Service's The Cremation of Sam McGee. Other large lakes that are part of the Yukon River system include Kusawa Lake (into the Takhini River) and Kluane Lake (into the Kluane and then White River).

The river passes through the communities of Whitehorse, Carmacks, and Dawson City in the Yukon Territory, and into Circle, Fort Yukon, Stevens Village, Alaska, Tanana, Ruby, Galena, Naruto , Grayling, Holy Cross, Russian Mission, and Ohogamut in Alaska.

Despite its length, there are only four bridges across the river: the first north of Marsh Lake on the Alaska Highway, another connecting the Whitehorse suburb of Riverdale to the downtown area, a third in Carmacks on the Klondike Highway, and another north of Fairbanks on the Dalton Highway. There is a cable ferry in Dawson City, replaced by an ice bridge over the frozen river during the winter, but the construction of a permanent bridge is currently contemplated. There is a dam across the river and a hydroelectric generating station in Whitehorse. The construction of the dam flooded the White Horse rapids, which gae the city its name.

The river flows into several parklands and refuges including:

The river ends in the Yukon Delta


Yukon Territory

  • Takhini River
  • Big Salmon River
  • Nordenskiold River
  • Teslin River
  • Pelly River
  • Stewart River
  • White River
  • Sixtymile River
  • Indian River
  • Klondike River
  • Fortymile River


      • Anaconda Creek
  • Beaver Creek
  • Kandik river
  • Charley River
  • Tetlin River
  • Porcupine River
    • Black River
      • Mountain Creek
      • Bear Creek
      • Wood River
    • Chandalar Creek
    • Sheenjek River
      • Eskimo Creek
      • Sheenjek River East Fork
  • Chandalar River
    • East Fork Chandalar River
    • West Fork Chandalar River
    • Marten Creek
    • Christian River
  • Big Salt River
  • Hess Creek
    • Mastodon
  • Fish Creek
    • Garnet Creek
  • Coal Creek
  • Texas Creek
  • Tanana River
  • NC Creek
  • Tozitna River
    • Bluebell Creek
    • Bandanna Creek
  • Lynx Creek
  • Bering Creek
  • Nowitna River
  • Big Creek
    • Beaver Creek
    • Glacier Creek
  • Melozitna River
    • Whakatna Creek
    • Black Sand Creek
    • Melozitna Creek
  • Ruby Slough
  • Yuki River
    • East Yuki River
  • Yuki River
    • East Yukli River
  • Kala Creek
    • Kelly Creek
  • Galena Creek
  • Bishop Creek
  • Koyokuk River
    • Workyard Creek
    • Gisasa River
    • Houdaic River
      • Huslia River
        • Nulitna River
        • Tom Cook Slough
        • Billy Hawk Creek
    • Cutoff Slouch
    • Hogatza River
        • Clear Creek
    • Batza River
    • Matthews Slough
    • Kanuti River
    • Alatna River
      • Siruk Creek
      • Discovery Creek
    • South Fork Koyokouk River
      • Jim Creek
    • Jane Creek
    • John River
  • Naruto River
  • Innoko River
    • Iditarod River
      • Flat Creek
      • First Chance Creek
      • Yetna River
    • Tolstoi Creek
      • Coffee Creek
      • Madison Creek
      • Hurst Creek
    • Taft Creek
    • Finland Creek
    • Scandinavian Creek
    • Nixon Creek
      • North Fork Innoko River
        • Tango Creek
        • West Fork Innoko River
    • Colorado Creek
  • Reindeer River
  • Kako Creek
  • Engineer Creek

See also

Last updated: 02-07-2005 12:53:43
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55