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Carcross in the past, History of Carcross

Map of Carcross

Carcross, originally known as Caribou Crossing, is an unincorporated community in Yukon, Canada, on Bennett Lake and Nares Lake. It is home to the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. At the 2016 census it had a population of 301.


Carcross in the past, History of Carcross

It is 74 km (46 mi) south-southeast by the Alaska Highway and the Klondike Highway from Whitehorse. The south end of the Tagish Road is in Carcross. Carcross is also on the White Pass and Yukon Route railway.


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Caribou Crossing was a fishing and hunting camp for Inland Tlingit and Tagish people. 4,500-year-old artifacts from First Nations people living in the area have been found in the region.

Caribou Crossing was named after the migration of huge numbers of caribou across the natural land bridge between Lake Bennett and Nares Lake. That caribou herd was decimated during the Klondike Gold Rush, but a recovery program raised the number of animals to about 450.

The modern village began in 1896, during the Klondike Gold Rush. At the time, Caribou Crossing was a popular stopping place for prospectors going to and from the gold fields of Dawson City.

Caribou Crossing was also a station for the Royal Mail and the Dominion Telegraph Line, and it served as a communications point on the Yukon River.

In 1904, Caribou Crossing was renamed Carcross as a result of some mail mix-ups with the Cariboo Regional District in nearby British Columbia.

Silver mining was promoted nearby in Conrad, Yukon in the early 1900s, but there was little to be found and mining efforts soon ended. Mineral exploration continues today, but tourism is far more important to the economy of the community. The book Fractured Veins & Broken Dreams by Murray Lundberg details a nearly complete history of Conrad.

In 2016 the Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visited Carcross for a day trip.

Community population over time

  • Population as of the Canada 1996 Census: 196
  • Population as of the Canada 2001 Census: 152
  • Population as of the Canada 2006 Census: 331 (280)
  • Population as of the Government of Yukon 2008 estimates: 431
  • Population as of the Canada 2011 Census: 289
  • Population as of the Government of Yukon 2012 estimates: 436
  • Population as of the Canada 2016 Census: 301
  • Economy

    Carcross relies on tourism to support the local economy. It lies on the Klondike Highway between Whitehorse and Skagway, Alaska and offers a variety of historic attractions and outdoor activities. Popular with road traffic including tour buses and RVs, in 2007 the White Pass railway also resumed service to Carcross railway station.

    Just north of the town is the Carcross Desert, often referred to as the "world's smallest desert." There are two small airports located in the area, Carcross Airport is adjacent to the town and Carcross Water Aerodrome located on Tagish Lake.

    Alaska cruises stopping in Skagway will offer day tours to Carcross. The day tours offer stops at the Yukon sign, the Caribou Crossing Wildlife Museum, Dog Sledding Zoo and the actual town of Carcross.


    Carcross lies on the popular Klondike Highway.

    The city is served by Carcross Airport, which has no scheduled commercial flights. The closest Canadian airport with large airline service is Whitehorse Airport, which has domestic airline service as well as flights to Europe and the United States.

    Notable people

  • Louise Profeit-LeBlanc
  • Keish (Skookum Jim)
  • Angela Sidney
  • Kevin Barr
  • Media

  • FM 90.5 - VF2039, First Nations community radio
  • FM 97.5 - CIKO, school radio
  • FM 105.5 - VF2360, TIS/weather
  • References

    Carcross Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    Carcross Airport
    Carcross Desert
    Carcross Water Aerodrome