Carcross

Population: 504

Visitor Information: Carcross Visitor Reception Centre For southbound travelers, after crossing the railroad tracks, the Carcross Visitor Reception Centre is the first building to your left. It is part of a complex of small buildings called the Carcross Commons. The colourful crests on the fronts of these buildings are representative of First Nations’ clans. The centre is painted with the “Welcome Man” crest and is operated by Tourism Yukon. Open daily May 1 to Sept. 30, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.

Carcross is located 44 miles/71 km south-southeast of Whitehorse and 65 miles north of Skagway, AK, on the South Klondike Highway.

Originally known as Caribou Crossing, because of the large number of caribou that traversed the narrows here between Bennett and Nares lakes, Carcross became a stopping place for gold stampeders during the Klondike Gold Rush. It was a major stop on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad  from 1900 until 1982, when the railroad ceased through train service to Whitehorse. In the early days, passengers and freight transferred from rail to sternwheelers at Carcross.

Lodging in Carcross located in Chilkoot Cabins. The Caribou Hotel, established in 1901 and a Yukon Heritage Site, is currently under renovation.

Camping is available at Carcross government campground near the airstrip and south of town at Conrad Yukon government campground. Montana Services, on the highway, has a food store, RV Park, restaurant and gas/diesel.

Attractions:

  • The White Pass & Yukon Route Railway currently runs a popular trip down to Skagway from Carcross with motorcoach option available on to Whitehorse.
  • Historic attractions here include St. Saviour’s Anglican Church (1902) and the little locomotive Duchess, which operated until 1921.
  • Carcross Desert, the world’s small desert, is located about 2 miles from Carcross at Milepost S 66.6 South Klondike Highway.
  • Caribou Crossing Trading Post at Milepost S 67.2 has a wildlife museum (includes the world’s largest polar bear and a life-size woolly mammoth), dog cart rides and a cafe with soups and sandwiches.
  • Emerald or Rainbow Lake, one of the most colourful lakes in the Yukon is located approximately 6 miles north of Carcross on South Klondike Highway.
  • For mountain bikers, Carcross has become quite a destination. The Carcross Tagish First Nations has constructed singletrack bike trails on the 7,233-foot/2,205m Montana Mountain and it attracts international cyclists.