Trail #1 - Klondike Goldfields, Km. 26

Hunker Summit (Hunker Road)

Photo from Hunker Summit (Hunker Road)

Six of the richest creeks in the Klondike radiate from King Dome. The first discovery of gold in the Klondike region was made in 1894 on Quartz Creek, a tributary of the Indian River. When Skookum Jim Mason (Keish), Dawson Charlie (Kaa Goox) and George Carmack found gold on Bonanza Creek two years later, the Klondike Stampede ensued and the region changed forever.

As the region developed, roadhouses sprang up about every tenth claim. Fournier’s Roadhouse at the Hunker Summit was connected to Dawson by a telephone line as early as 1902. Communities often developed at the site of the roadhouses as services and businesses moved to the creeks to supply the miners.

Every significant creek had a major community, consisting of at least a roadhouse, a general store, police station, post office, church and sometimes a school. The creek communities were dependant on regular stage service for mail delivery.

Because the richest creeks flowed from this high point of land, King Solomon Dome was thought to be the “motherlode”, the source of all the Klondike gold. Miners have searched its slopes since the turn of the century, even working hard-rock claims, but the motherlode – if it exists – has yet to be found.

“After lunch we continued our journey up the creek until we arrived at a steep pass which divides Hunker from Dominion Creek. The ascent was almost precipitous for about 1000 feet, but an enterprising person had arranged a windlass and a long rope at the top, operated by a small boiler and engine, and on payment of a dollar and a half our sleigh was hauled up to the summit, while we clambered up the steep mountain side to the best of our ability.” (Stratford Tollemache, Reminiscences of the Yukon, 1912.)

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