The historic S.S. Klondike sternwheeler rests on the banks of the mighty Yukon River, on the south edge of downtown Whitehorse. Now a national historic site, the vessel spent its early years navigating a 500 mi (805 km) stretch of the river between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The largest ship in the White Pass fleet, the S.S. Klondike had the capacity to carry more than 300 tons of ore, which it did until it sank in 1936 after colliding with a rock bluff.
White Pass rebuilt the vessel the following spring, and the Klondike II was put into service in June 1937. The end of river freighting came in 1950, when a road was built from Whitehorse to Mayo, and then extended three years later into Dawson City. The S.S. Klondike wasn’t finished, though.
After receiving some much needed upgrades, including a lounge and a bar, the vessel began carrying tourists into Dawson City. In 1966, it was retired from the river and moved to its present home, where every summer tourists can visit and relive the bygone era.
The S.S. Klondike National Historic Site is open for visitors from the Victoria Day long weekend through Labour Day. During the visitor season, daily tours are given from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, with free admission. Access is easy with a pedestrian trail that winds along the Yukon River and takes you right to the vessel. Alternately, you can get to the site with Whitehorse Transit bus or by taking the Waterfront Trolley that operates during the summer. If you choose to drive, you will find ample parking space including room for RVs and campers.