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Yukon River

From Academic Kids

The Yukon River is a watercourse of northern North America. Over half of the river lies in Alaska, USA, with the other portion lying in and giving its name (meaning great river in Gwich'in) to Canada's Yukon Territory. The longest river in Alaska and the Yukon, it was one of the principal means of transportation during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898 to 1899. Paddle-wheel riverboats continued to ply the river until the 1950s, when the Klondike Highway was completed.

Yukon means big river in Athabaskan. The river was called Kwiguk, or large stream in Yupik.

The generally accepted source of the Yukon River is the Llewellyn Glacier at the southern end of Atlin Lake in British Columbia. Others suggest that the source is Lake Lindeman at the northen end of the Chilkoot Trail. Either way, Atlin Lake flows into Tagish Lake, as eventually does Lake Lindeman after flowing into Lake Bennett. Tagish Lake then flows into Marsh Lake. The Yukon River proper starts at the northern end of Marsh Lake, just south of Whitehorse. Some argue that the source of the Yukon River should really be Teslin Lake and the Teslin River,which has a larger flow when it reaches the Yukon at Hootalinqua. The upper end of the Yukon river was originally known as the Lewes River until it was established that it actually was the Yukon. North of Whitehorse, the Yukon River widens into Lake Laberge, made famous by Robert W. Service's The Cremation of Sam McGee. Other large lakes that are part of the Yukon River system include Kusawa Lake (into the Takhini River) and Kluane Lake (into the Kluane and then White River).Total drainage area - 840,000 square kilometers (327,600 square miles). Of that, 323,800 square kilometers (126,300 square miles) is in Canada. As a comparison, the total area is more than 25% larger than Texas or Alberta.

The river passes through the communities of Whitehorse, Carmacks, and Dawson City in the Yukon Territory, and into Circle, Fort Yukon, Stevens Village, Alaska, Tanana, Ruby, Galena, Naruto, Grayling, Holy Cross, Russian Mission, and Ohogamut in Alaska.

Missing image
Patton_Yukon_River_Bridge.jpg
The E. L. Patton Yukon River Bridge carries the Dalton Highway over the Yukon north of Fairbanks.

Despite its length, there are only four bridges across the river: the first north of Marsh Lake on the Alaska Highway, another connecting the Whitehorse suburb of Riverdale to the downtown area, a third in Carmacks on the Klondike Highway, and another north of Fairbanks on the Dalton Highway. There is a cable ferry in Dawson City, replaced by an ice bridge over the frozen river during the winter, but the construction of a permanent bridge is currently contemplated. There is a dam across the river and a hydroelectric generating station in Whitehorse. The construction of the dam flooded the White Horse rapids, which gave the city its name.

The river flows into several parklands and refuges including:

The river ends in the Yukon Delta

Contents

Tributaries

Yukon Territory

Alaska

See also

de:Yukon (Fluss) ja:ユーコン川 pl:Jukon (rzeka) pt:Rio Yukon

External links

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