Trail #2 - Ridge Road Heritage Trail, Km. 30

Soda Station

Photo from Soda Station

The Klondike Mines Railway was built in 1906 from Klondike City to the Sulphur Springs Station near King Solomon's Dome. A boxcar from the railway served as a depot here at Soda Station. Freight was unloaded at the two stations along the ridge and taken down to the mines by horse and wagon.

There are no placer deposits of gold along the ridge between Hunker and Bonanza creeks. Far more valuable in some eyes were the outcroppings of quartz indicating hardrock gold deposits. The search for the mother lode and the source of all the placer gold was concentrated along the ridge. Evidence of these old mines can be found nearby.

A Northern Refuge

The deep, V-shaped valleys of the plateau country were cut by water, not sheets of ice. During the last ice age, the Klondike Plateau was part of Beringia, an unglaciated land that extended west to Siberia.

When the glaciers covered most of the continent, Beringia was a cold, treeless plain. Animals such as woolly mammoths, bison, camels and wild horses took refuge here and their fossilized remains are often found by miners.

The Klondike was an ice-free sanctuary for gold as well as mammoths. Glaciers would have dispersed the incredibly rich deposits of placer gold found in these creeks and there would not have been a gold rush.

The Ogilvie Mountains can be seen to the north. On a clear day in the spring or fall, the steep and rocky Tombstone Mountain shows as a black marker among the other snow-covered slopes. In 1896, Robert Henderson, one of the first men to prospect on these creeks, was working on Gold Bottom Creek, which can also be seen from this vantage point. As Henderson worked out a small amount of gold from Gold Bottom, Skookum Jim, Dawson Charlie and George Carmack found the world's richest gold deposit on Bonanza Creek, just on the opposite side of this ridge.

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