After a rather lazy morning at Jim’s cabin, Dani and I drove back to Dawson City. We had driven into camp along Hunker Creek on one side of the loop and drove out along Bonanza Creek on the other.
Along the way we stopped at Discovery Claim along Bonanza Creek which is the site where gold was first discovered. In mid-August of 1896, George Carmack with his wife Kate, Skookum Jim and Tagish Charlie found gold in what was then known as Rabbit Creek. They quickly staked their claim and this claim started to Klondike Gold Rush of 1896. By November of 1986, 338 claims had been recorded in the Klondike.
News of the discovery didn’t actually reach the outside world until the following year when the ship “Excelsior” arrived in Sn Francisco with a half million dollars worth of gold. Three days later the “Portland” arrived with more than a ton of gold worth a million dollars. However, when these outsiders actually arrived in the Yukon, most of the rivers and creeks were already claimed.
The trip to the Yukon was incredibly difficult….remember that famous scene at Chilcoot Pass where there is a long single file line of men (and women) trudging up the mountainside? Now imagine that each one of those people had to have a year’s supply of food (approximately 1000lbs. and 3lbs. a day) plus another 1000 lbs. of equipment. They had to shuttle all of this cargo and made several climbs to get through the pass. Then they had to hire space on a river boat to transfer them and their cargo down to Dawson City.
The site has been very well developed by Parks Canada. Along the paths through the park, there are interpretive signs and old mining equipment.