The Klondike Gold Rush

Snapshots of Canada’s Past: History is more than just words on a screen or from a textbook; this series is a thematic look back at Canadian history through visual imagery.

If you were alive during the 1890s and heard about the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of the Yukon, would you drop everything and head up north? From 1896 to 1899, roughly 100,000 individuals from Canada and the United States did exactly that. It wasn’t easy though. Check out the pictures below to see the step-by-step process for becoming a Klondiker.

The Klondike Gold Rush came to an end in 1899 when gold was discovered up in Nome, Alaska. Those who had not given up already left the Yukon in droves. During the three-year rush, only 25% (around 4,000) found some form of gold, but only a few hundred became wealthy. As such, most Klondikers left disappointed and more poor than they started.


Berton, Pierre. Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush 1896–1899. Toronto: Anchor Canada. (2001).
Porsild, Charlene. Gamblers and Dreamers: Women, Men, and Community in the Klondike. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. (1998).
Alaska Digital Archive
Library and Archives Canada
National Park Service, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
University Library Washington
Yukon Archives, E.A. Hegg collection


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