Trail #2 - Ridge Road Heritage Trail, Km. 35

Upper Bonanza Trailhead

Photo from Upper Bonanza Trailhead

The Ridge Road Heritage Trail

The Ridge Road, the Yukon's first wagon road, was built in 1899 by the new Yukon Government. The road was built above the heavily populated, but marshy creeks. Bonanza miners called it "the parachute road" and fought its construction, but it was valued by miners on the outlying creeks. During 1899, it was the only freight route from Dawson City into the gold fields.

In 1901, an efficient road network was constructed in the valleys and this section of the road to Dawson was abandoned. The part of the old Ridge Road that connects with this upper trailhead and leads over the King Solomon Dome is still used today.

McCarty's Roadhouse

Although it possessed a good dry roadbed, the Ridge Road still presented a challenge for the freighters. Near this spot, a tramway was built from the Upper Bonanza valley floor to the ridge. The Ridge Cable Company successfully operated during the winter of 1900, winching heavily loaded wagons to the top.

J.L. McCarty had an early roadhouse on the Ridge Trail before the road was built. McCarty moved to this location in 1900 after pioneering a new section of road up from Bonanza Creek to meet the Ridge Road. The government agreed with McCarty's judgment and made this section a permanent part of the road system.

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