Carmacks is a village in Yukon on the Yukon River along the Klondike Highway, and at the west end of the Robert Campbell Highway from Watson Lake. The population is 493 (Canada Census, 2016). It is the home of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, a Northern Tutchone-speaking people.
The area around Carmacks has abundant mineral resources, including coal, copper, and gold. Various mining activities are taking place on mineral sites around Carmacks. There is a small zinc-copper mine in production near Carmacks operated by Western Silver and a gold property northwest of Carmacks currently in the exploration stage operated by Northern Freegold Resources based out of Whitehorse.
Carmacks is situated at the confluence of the Nordenskiold and Yukon rivers, approximately 180 km (112 miles) north of Whitehorse and 360 km (224 miles) south of Dawson City on the North Klondike Highway. It is the site of one of the four bridges over the Yukon River. The Campbell Highway also intersects the community and carries on to Faro, Ross River and Watson Lake, providing a gateway to the Canol Road and some of Yukon's most spectacular scenery.
The name of the settlement comes from George Washington Carmack who, in 1891, found coal nearby. He created a trading post and began by engaging in commerce with local people, before opening a coal mine in the south bank of the Yukon River. The focus of his entrepreneurial energy switched a few years later when he discovered gold near Dawson City.
Carmacks is the only place in Yukon to enjoy the status of a Designated place.
The community consists of the Village of Carmacks and the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and was named after George Washington Carmack, who found coal near Tantalus Butte (locally called Coal Mine Hill) in 1893. Carmack built a trading post and traded with locals near the present site of Carmacks and also started a coal mine on the south bank of the Yukon River. Carmack soon discovered gold in the Dawson region with Skookum Jim and Tagish Charlie a few years later, starting the Klondike Gold Rush. Carmacks became incorporated as a village on November 1, 1984.
Carmacks is served by Klondike Highway by cars and Carmacks Airport by air.
The Carmacks Recreation Centre is at the east end of River Drive between the nursing station and visitor centre, and is a community focal point for youth. There is a youth drop in daily with a computer access, video games, table games and other activities, often funded by Yukon grant programs. The gymnasium is host to adult floor hockey and other sports. The Recreation Center also holds a 3 lane curling rink, fully loaded fitness gym and a full Kitchen for all occasions.
Carmacks also has an indoor swimming pool that is open to the community from June to September.
Every February, Carmacks hosts a checkpoint for both the long-distance Yukon Quest sled dog race and the Yukon Arctic Ultra foot/ski/bike race.
Carmacks is the only community in Yukon which has the status of designated place in Canadian censuses.
Carmacks has a 91.4% First Nations Population the majority of which belong to the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nations. The local language of the LSCFN community is Northern Tuchone, which is carried on both by the elders and taught to all students at the local Tantalus Elementary/high School.