Dawson City "Paris of the North"

Klondike National Historic Sites

Lean against the Red Feather Saloon’s long bar imagining the ramped-up ruckus when miners came to town. The Bank of British North America’s polished tellers’ wickets frozen in time and the ornate woodwork throughout the Old Post Office offer glimpses into a wealthy boomtown.

Dawson City’s historic buildings come to life with fun and engaging interpreters on guided tours. Self-guided tours of Dawson’s downtown are also available.

Interpretive programs

Guided walking tours

Historic Downtown Walking Tour

It’s all about the gold…or is it? Dawson City captured the world’s attention with the Klondike gold rush and stampede north, but people have been calling this place home since long before the Bonanza strike. Explore historic downtown Dawson with a costumed guide who will regale you with tales from Dawson’s past and provide a glimpse into what makes Dawson such a unique spot to live today.

Tickets available at the Visitor Information Centre.

Palace Grand Theatre

The Palace Grand Theatre opened in gala style July 1899. The theatre was a combination of a luxurious European opera house and a boomtown dance hall. It was built by "Arizona Charlie Meadows", a wild west showman who came to Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush. The Palace Grand played host to a variety of entertainment, from wild west shows to opera. When the show got slow "Arizona" himself would get on stage and perform shooting tricks for the audience.

Guided tours

Tours recount the dramas and dreams of stars, dancers and miners determined to spend their gold dust at all costs. Star on the stage and explore the nooks and crannies behind the scenes with your guide.

Tickets available at the Visitor Information Centre.
Location: Palace Grand Theatre

Commissioner's Residence

A huge influx of stampeders raced to the Klondike after gold was discovered in 1896, leading the Government of Canada to create the Yukon Territory in 1898 and send a commissioner to Dawson City to take charge. Built in 1901 by Thomas Fuller, the Commissioner's Residence represents the strong government presence that followed the Gold Rush, and showed the world that Dawson City was here to stay.

Red serge, red tape - Interpretive program

Red Serge, Red Tape takes a critical look at the impacts of a colonial government on the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, and encourages participants to consider their individual responsibility to reconciliation and building a better future.

Tickets available at the Visitor Information Centre.

Robert Service Cabin

British born Robert William Service, often referred to as the "the Bard of the Yukon", was one of the most commercially successful poets of the Twentith Century. Arriving in the Yukon as a bank clerk in 1905, he turned the vivid tales told to him by veterans of the great gold rush into such classic poems as “The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee." Service arrived in Dawson City in 1908, and continued to write about his northern adventures until his departure from Dawson, and the Yukon, in 1912.

The Adventurous Life of Robert Service - Interpretive program

Robert Service cabin interior detail

Service lived in a cozy two-room cabin nestled amidst the willows and alders. It is a must-see—a spot to contemplate an intriguing life through the man’s own poetry and unexpected life story. Meet a costumed guide who will enthral you with Service’s lilting verse and fascinating tidbits about the humble yet extraordinary man’s life. Ask questions, and step into Service’s cabin.

Tickets available at the Visitor Information Centre.

S.S. Keno

For many years paddle wheelers plied the Yukon River, pushing cargo-laden barges carrying everything from gold dust to passengers, evening gowns to dynamite. Burning wood to create steam, these riverboats used thousands of cords of wood that were stacked at riverside wood camps. They were the lifeline to the outside world, until improved roadways retired them in the 1950s. The S.S. Keno, a riverboat typical of that era, is located on the Dawson City waterfront.

Guided tours

The river has long been integral to life in the Klondike and this little paddle wheeler has quite a story to tell. A guided tour of the SS Keno will leave you with insights on how important river boats were to towns along the Yukon River, and what was lost with the completion of the highway. Climb aboard and explore this steam-powered stern wheeler, and learn how life here has always been connected to the Yukon River

Tickets available at the Visitor Information Centre.

Escape Rooms

Catching the Klondike killers

Location: Commissioner's Residence

Challenge yourself and your friends! Get locked in a room at the Commissioner’s Residence for 1 hour and solve the puzzles to get out! Can you solve the murder?

What makes this Escape room different from all others? Everything in the room is TRUE!

Kid's version

We have created a version of our popular Escape Room for a younger audience. We designed it for 9+, but we've had some groups be successful with younger kids with a little more help from the adults in the room. Parent or guardian must be present.

Register your team of 2 – 6 people at the Visitor Information Centre.

Memento Mori

open book displaying caskets on a table with antique chemical bottles    

Location: Lowe's Mortuary

The spell of the Yukon has worn off and there’s no way you can survive another cold, hard winter working at Lowe’s Mortuary here in the Klondike. Lucky for you, the latest “customer” at Lowe’s left behind a gold poke and a one-way ticket out of Dawson on the last sternwheeler before winter – but you only have 1 hour to follow the clues and escape from the mortuary before the frozen river keeps you here for good.

Can you find the tickets and the gold in time?

This escape room is spooky – not scary – and is appropriate for kids over the age of 8.

Register your team of 2 – 6 people at the Visitor Information Centre.

Self guided

Dawson Historical Complex
Walking tour booklet

A new town site-guide can accompany you on your guided walking tour of Dawson or just as a classy souvenir of Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site. It will provide you with historic images, additional information and additional sites within the Historical Complex.

Available at the Visitor Information Centre on Front Street during the operational season.

Dawson City
Audio walking tour

For in-depth information about the wealth of historic buildings in the Dawson town core, taken at your own pace, this is the tour for you. An audio player leads you through town to hear stories and details about almost all of the Dawson Historical Complex buildings. This tour is available in English, French and German.

Available at the Visitor Information Centre on Front Street during the operational season.

Xplorer booklets for kids
Dawson City

Do your children like a challenge? Are they budding artists, dreamers or promising journalists? Then they are a perfect candidate to become a Parks Canada Xplorer. The Dawson City Xplorer Booklet will take you through the Dawson Historic Complex and the S.S. Keno National Historic Sites.

Pick up a booklet at the Visitor Information Centre on Front Street in Dawson City. When five activities are completed, return it to the Parks Canada desk at the Visitor Information Centre to collect a prize and their official Xplorers certificate.


Did you know that there are geocaches placed by Parks Canada within the town of Dawson City? Each cache contains information about locations and people commemorated in the Klondike, as well as a secret question.

If you bring the correct answers to FOUR of the secret questions, you can receive a small token from the Parks Canada desk at the Visitor Information Centre.

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