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Yukon (river, Canada and the United States)

Yukon (yōō´kŏn), river, c.2,000 mi (3,220 km) long, rising in Atlin Lake, NW British Columbia, Canada, and receiving numerous headwater streams; one of the longest rivers of North America. It flows generally northwest, into Yukon past Dawson and across the Alaska border, to Fort Yukon, thence generally southwest through central Alaska until, in a wide swing north, it enters Norton Sound of the Bering Sea through a delta that is 60 mi (97 km) wide. Its chief tributaries are the Teslin, Pelly, White, Stewart, Porcupine, Tanana, and Koyukuk rivers. The river is incised in the Yukon Plateau; marshy land borders much of its upper course. The Yukon is navigable for river boats three months of the year to Whitehorse, c.1,775 mi (2,860 km) upstream.

The Yukon basin is one of the most sparsely populated and least developed regions of North America. Much of its history, exploration, and development centers on the river system. Its lower reaches were explored (1836–37, 1843) by Russians, and in 1843 Robert Campbell of the Hudson's Bay Company explored the upper course. During the Klondike gold rush (1897–98) the Yukon was a major route to the gold fields. Greater development of the basin occurred in the mid-1900s due to its strategic location, and several military installations were later built.

The Yukon River is a major salmon-spawning ground, and salmon fishing is an important seasonal activity. The Yukon is used to generate hydroelectricity, but it remains one of the greatest undeveloped hydroelectric resources in North America. On the river's banks are fur-trading posts, missions, native villages, and towns with modern airports serving vast areas.

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Yukon Territory

Yukon Territory Small territory in the extreme nw of Canada, bounded by the Arctic Ocean (n), Northwest Territories (e), British Columbia (s), and Alaska (w); the capital and largest town is Whitehorse. The n consists of Arctic waste and is virtually uninhabited. Further s there is spectacular mountain scenery with lakes and coniferous forests. The region is drained by the Yukon and Mackenzie rivers. The climate is harsh, with freezing winters and short summers. The region was first explored by fur traders from the Hudson's Bay Company after 1840. The Klondike Gold Rush brought over 30,000 prospectors in the 1890s. In 1991 the Canadian government recognized the land claims of the indigenous Yukon (First Nation) Native Americans. Farming is extremely limited, but a few cereal crops and vegetables are grown in the valleys. The principal activity is mining, with deposits including lead, zinc and gold. Forestry and tourism are economically important. Area: 483,450sq km (186,675sq mi). Pop. (2001) 28,674.

http://www.gov.yk.ca

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Yukon

Yukon Fourth-longest river in North America, deriving its name from a Native American word for ‘great’. It rises at Lake Tagish on the border of British Columbia, Canada, and flows n and nw through Yukon Territory across the border into Alaska. It then flows sw to enter the Bering Sea. The Russians explored the lower course of the river in 1836–37; Robert Campbell explored the upper course in 1843. It was a major transportation route during the Klondike Gold Rush. It is navigable for c.2858km (1775mi) of its 3185km (1980mi) course, but is ice-bound from October to June. The river teems with salmon.

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Yukon

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