Yukon River Photos

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Overview

Yukon River, interior Alaska, between the towns of Circle and Eagle. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Yukon River, interior Alaska, between the towns of Circle and Eagle. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

The Yukon River is a major watercourse of northwestern North America. Over half of the river lies in the U.S. state of Alaska, with most of the other portion lying in and giving its name to Canada’s Yukon Territory, and a small part of the river near the source located in British Columbia. The river is 3,700 km (2,300 mi) long and empties into the Bering Sea at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Aerial of the winding channels of the Yukon River in interior, Alaska.

Yukon river, interior, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Yukon river, interior, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

The average flow is 6,430 m³/s (227,000 ft³/s). The total drainage area is 832,700 km² (321,500 mi²), of which 323,800 km² (126,300 mi²) is in Canada. By comparison, the total area is more than 25% larger than Texas or Alberta. Many of Alaska’s larger Interior rivers like the Tanana and Nenana rivers eventually flow into the Yukon.

Villages and Subsistence Fishing

Fishermen in a boat check the gill net while subsistence fishing for King salmon on the Yukon river, interior Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Fishermen in a boat check the gill net while subsistence fishing for King salmon on the Yukon river, interior Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Several villages are located along the Yukon River in Alaska. Eagle is one that is also accessible via roadway. Both in summer and winter, the river serves as a major transportation route for the villages, and Alaska’s early history is intricately tied to the river system, the Yukon in particular. Subsistence fishing on the Yukon river is available to all Alaskans who meet certain qualifications and yields Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon.

Log cabin church along the Yukon River, Native village, Eagle, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Log cabin church along the Yukon River, Native village, Eagle, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Yukon Quest Dog Sled Race

Musher crosses overflow on Ptarmigan creek near mile 101 checkpoint during the 1000 mile Yukon Quest sled dog race 2006, between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon. Dubbed the toughest dogsled race in the world. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Musher crosses overflow on Ptarmigan creek near mile 101 checkpoint during the 1000 mile Yukon Quest sled dog race 2006, between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon. Dubbed the toughest dogsled race in the world. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

The 1000 mile Yukon Quest dog sled race runs between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The race derives its name from the Yukon river and is considered to be one of the most extreme dog mushing races. It follows the river for much of the race, passing through rugged mountain passes as both mushers and dogs endure bitterly cold temperatures.