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Klondike Highway

klondike highway, klondike highway map
The Klondike Highway is a highway that links the Alaskan coastal town of Skagway to Yukon's Dawson City Its route somewhat parallels the route used by prospectors in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush

In Yukon, the Klondike Highway is marked as Yukon Highway 2 In Alaska, the Highway is marked as Alaska Route 98 as in "route of 1898"1 Until 1978, the unopened section between the Yukon–BC border and Carcross had no official highway number, while the section north of Carcross to the Alaska Highway was Highway 5, and the section from Stewart Crossing to Dawson was Highway 3 The BC section is now maintained by the Yukon government as a natural extension of Highway 2


  • 1 Route description
  • 2 History
    • 21 South Klondike Highway
    • 22 North Klondike Highway
  • 3 Major intersections
    • 31 United States
    • 32 Canada
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Sources

Route descriptionedit

The Klondike Highway winds in the state of Alaska for 24 km 15 miles, up through the White Pass in the Coast Mountains where it crosses the Canada–US border to British Columbia BC for 56 km 35 miles, then enters Yukon where it reaches the Alaska Highway near Whitehorse and shares a short section with that highway until north of Whitehorse, where it diverges once more to Dawson City The highway is 712 km 442 miles long


South Klondike Highwayedit

The original 53 km 33 mi section known locally as the Carcross Road was actually made into a part of the Alaska Highway in 1942, until the Marsh Lake route was opened the next year As Yukon Highway 5, it formed a loop road with Highway 6, the Tagish Road now numbered as 8 It was renumbered as Highway 2 in 1978, being incorporated into the Klondike Highway designation The road underwent alignment improvements during the 1980s Residents living as far south as 25 km 16 miles from the Alaska Highway still give their residential addresses as historic mile measurements that start at zero at the Alaska Highway, even though the distances are no longer accurate, and kilometre posts count distance from Skagway's ferry terminal

Construction of the "Carcross-Skagway Road" began in the 1950s, was abandoned partway up a mountain from Skagway, resumed in 1976-1977 and was completed between Skagway and Carcross in August 1978 It was only open for a few weeks before seasonal closure The first full summer season of use was in 1979

The highway originally was built for tourist traffic, but in 1986 became important as a commercial transportation route, coincident with what seemed to be inevitable abandonment of the White Pass and Yukon Route railway WP&YR The new owners of the Faro mine secured government agreement to open the highway for trucking The last winter closure ended in the spring of 1986

The Carcross-Skagway Road portion of the highway underwent substantial rerouting, widening and cold mix paving in the late 1980s and early 1990s Mining ore trucks and fuel tankers are the primary current 2013 commercial users of the highway, which also remains a popular tourist route cars, RVs, buses, and provides a means for the WP&YR to offer economically-priced train excursions connecting at Fraser to buses based at Skagway for the cruise ship industry, or to/from Carcross and Whitehorse to the north

North Klondike Highwayedit

The quality of roads from Whitehorse to Dawson City prior to 1950 was poor and only for the hardiest of travelers and motorized vehicles The "Whitehorse-Mayo Road," Yukon's original Highway 2, extended along today's route from Whitehorse to Stewart Crossing, then turned northeast to Mayo, Elsa and Keno City The last of three bridges was finished in 1960 to replace ferries at Carmacks, Pelly Crossing and Stewart Crossing

Yukon's original Highway 3, the Dawson-Mayo Road, was opened in September 1955 between Stewart Crossing and Dawson City The Dawson-Mayo Road became part of Highway 2 in 1978 and was named the Klondike Highway, while the road northeast from Stewart Crossing became Highway 11, and was later named the Silver Trail

Even as of 1979, the entire Klondike Highway was gravel, but by 1982, some paving had been laid down as far north as Carmacks Rebuilding and some rerouting was completed in the late 1980s

Approximately, the first 30 km 19 mi of the North Klondike Highway are still often known as the Mayo Road to the residents of Whitehorse Although kilometric distance markers have been in place since the early 1980s, residents in this area still identify their residential address as a mile measurement along the Mayo Road

Major intersectionsedit

United Statesedit

The entire route is in Skagway, Skagway Borough

mi km Destinations Notes
0 00 First Street — Skagway Ferry Terminal Alaska Marine Highway
15 24 Canada–US border The Skagway - Fraser Border Crossing is the northern terminus of AK-98, Southern terminus of YT Hwy 2
1000 mi = 1609 km; 1000 km = 0621 mi


Province Location km Mile Destinations Notes
British Columbia 24 15 Canada–US border Klondike Highway continues south as Alaska Route 98
Yukon Carcross 1064 661 Hwy 8 east Tagish Road – Tagish, Alaska Highway, Atlin, BC Western terminus of Highway 8
Carcross Cutoff 1577 980 Hwy 1 east Alaska Highway – Teslin Southern terminus of concurrency with Highway 1 and the Alaska Highway
Whitehorse 1720 1069 Robert Service Way South Access Road
1778 1105 Two Mile Hill Road
1835 1140 Wann Road
1888 1173 Hwy 1 west Alaska Highway – Haines Junction, Fairbanks, AK Northern terminus of concurrency with Highway 1 and the Alaska Highway
Carmacks 3545 2203 Hwy 4 east Robert Campbell Highway – Faro, Ross River Western terminus of Highway 4 and the Robert Campbell Highway
Stewart Crossing 5283 3283 Hwy 11 east Silver Trail – Mayo, Keno City Western terminus of Highway 11 and the Silver Trail
6664 4141 Hwy 5 north Dempster Highway – Fort McPherson, NT, Inuvik, NT Southern terminus of Highway 5 and the Dempster Highway
Dawson City 705 438 To Hwy 9 Top of the World Highway / Dawson City Ferry Terminal Ferry to Highway 9; Northern terminus of Highway 2
1000 mi = 1609 km; 1000 km = 0621 mi
  •       Concurrency terminus

See alsoedit

  • List of Yukon territorial highways
  • List of Alaska Routes
  • List of Canadian highways by province
  • Overland Trail Yukon
  • Skagway - Fraser Border Crossing


  1. ^ An illustrated mile-by-mile guide by ExploreNorth


Route map: Google

Template:Attached KML/Klondike Highway KML is from Wikidata
  • Internet travelog of Jim Teresco Specifically Skagway, June 23, 2001, pictures 11 and 12 and their associated captions Retrieved 2005-02-18

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Klondike Highway

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