green pine trees near lake under blue sky
gold mining, yukon

The Ultimate Yukon Gold Mining Bucket List: Must-Visit Sites and Attractions

Howdy there, it’s Terry again! If you’re anything like me and have a passion for gold, history, and adventure, then I’ve got a treat for you. Here’s my Ultimate Yukon Gold Mining Bucket List of must-visit sites and attractions:

1. Klondike Gold Fields

Start your adventure in the heart of the Yukon, where the great Klondike Gold Rush began. Here, you can visit the Discovery Claim, walk in the footsteps of the Stampeders on the Chilkoot Trail, and try your hand at panning for gold at Claim No. 6.

Visit Klondike Gold Fields

2. Dawson City

This vibrant town was the epicenter of the Klondike Gold Rush and is a treasure trove of history. Check out the Dawson City Museum, Jack London Museum, and Robert Service Cabin. And don’t miss Diamond Tooth Gerties, Canada’s oldest casino, where the Gold Rush spirit lives on.

Explore Dawson City

3. Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site

Just outside of Dawson City, you’ll find the colossal Dredge No. 4. Once a key gold mining machine, it’s now a National Historic Site offering guided tours that reveal the inner workings of gold dredging.

Visit Dredge No. 4

4. Goldbottom Mine Tour

Experience the modern day gold mining operations and try panning for gold at Goldbottom Mine. It’s an active placer gold mine with rich history and beautiful landscape.

Book Goldbottom Mine Tour

5. The SS Klondike National Historic Site

In Whitehorse, you can explore the SS Klondike, a sternwheeler that once transported gold miners and their precious cargo. Walk its decks and imagine the bustling activity it saw during its heyday.

Visit SS Klondike

6. Kluane National Park

Although not directly related to gold mining, no trip to the Yukon would be complete without visiting this breathtaking park. With its stunning glaciers, high mountains, and abundant wildlife, it’s pure Yukon gold.

Explore Kluane National Park

7. Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre

Take a prehistoric detour at this amazing interpretive centre in Whitehorse, where you can learn about Yukon’s ice-age history and the people who mined the land long before we did.

Visit Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre

These are just a few of the gold nuggets that Yukon has to offer. So pack your adventurous spirit, and embark on the ultimate Yukon gold mining bucket list journey. You won’t be disappointed!

treasure hunting, yukon

The Biggest Gold Finds in Yukon History

Hey there, fellow gold enthusiasts, Terry here again! Today, we’re taking a trip back in time to revisit some of the biggest gold finds in Yukon history. Grab your pickaxe and let’s dig in!

1. The Discovery Claim

Our first stop is Bonanza Creek, formerly known as Rabbit Creek, where it all started in 1896. This is where George Carmack, Dawson Charlie, and Skookum Jim found gold nuggets while fishing, kicking off the legendary Klondike Gold Rush. The claim they staked became known as the Discovery Claim. This site, now a National Historic Site, yielded over 25,000 ounces of gold in the first year alone.

Source: Klondike Visitors Association

2. King Solomon’s Dome

One of the earliest and most persistent legends in the Yukon gold lore is King Solomon’s Dome. This rounded hill visible from Dawson City has been associated with stories of immense gold deposits since the gold rush days. Although the hill itself has not yielded any notable gold finds, it is considered the source of the gold found in the creeks below.

Source: Yukon Archives

3. The Irishman’s Find

In 1989, an amateur prospector and mechanic named Normandy Peever, also known as “The Irishman,” discovered a gold nugget weighing over 72 ounces in the Fortymile mining district. This was one of the largest gold nuggets found in the Yukon in the 20th century.

Source: ExploreNorth

4. The White Gold District

In 2009, prospector Shawn Ryan discovered significant gold deposits in the White Gold District, leading to a modern-day gold rush. Ryan’s findings have led to several commercial mining operations in the area that continue to unearth substantial quantities of gold.

Source: Yukon Gold Mining Alliance

Yukon’s history is rich with tales of monumental gold finds, and who knows—you could be the next person to strike it big! If these stories of success have you itching to start your gold prospecting journey, remember to always respect the land, the laws, and the rights of others. Happy hunting!

metal detecting

Best metal detectors for gold prospecting in 2023

Howdy, Terry here again. If you’re looking to join us prospectors in our quest for gold, having the right tools is a game-changer. One of the most critical tools in a prospector’s arsenal is a good metal detector. So, here are my top picks for the best metal detectors for gold prospecting in 2023:

1. Minelab GPZ 7000

Buy on Amazon

The Minelab GPZ 7000 is the cream of the crop when it comes to gold prospecting. It’s built with advanced Zero Voltage Transmission technology that offers extreme depth and sensitivity in mineralized soils.


  • Maximum gold sensitivity
  • Precise ground balance
  • Waterproof coil


  • High price point
  • Quite heavy, which can lead to fatigue over long periods

2. Garrett AT Gold Waterproof Metal Detector

Buy on Amazon

Garrett’s AT Gold is a highly reliable, all-terrain metal detector optimized for gold nugget prospecting. It’s waterproof, making it a great option for use near streams or in wet environments.


  • All-terrain versatility
  • Iron audio function to avoid junk
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet


  • Not as sensitive as some higher-end models
  • No volume control

3. Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector

Buy on Amazon

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro provides excellent value for money. It’s lightweight, highly sensitive to small gold nuggets, and offers real-time ground balancing.


  • Light and ergonomically designed
  • Visual target identification
  • Continuous ground condition readouts


  • Not fully waterproof
  • Limited depth compared to higher-priced detectors

4. Nokta Makro Gold Kruzer

Buy on Amazon

The Nokta Makro Gold Kruzer is built with gold prospecting in mind. This metal detector is waterproof, operates at a high frequency to find small nuggets, and offers impressive depth.


  • High operating frequency for small nuggets
  • Waterproof up to 16.4 feet
  • Extra search coils included


  • Ground balance can be tricky for beginners
  • No automatic ground balance function

Remember, the best metal detector for you depends on your budget, the areas you’ll be prospecting, and your level of experience. Any one of these detectors could be a great choice to kickstart or enhance your gold prospecting journey. Happy hunting!

gold mining

Yukon Gold Mining Regulations: What You Need to Know

Hello, folks! It’s Terry, your resident Yukon gold miner.

While gold mining and prospecting in the Yukon is an exciting endeavor, it’s crucial to remember that it is a regulated activity under Yukon law. Whether you’re an amateur prospector or planning to start a full-scale operation, it’s essential to know and understand the regulations that govern gold mining in this region. Today, I’m here to break down some of the basics:

1. Claim Staking: To mine gold in the Yukon, you must first stake a claim on a piece of land. Claim staking involves physically marking the land and then recording the claim with the Yukon’s Mining Recorder’s Office. Before staking a claim, you should ensure the land is open for staking, as not all lands in the Yukon are available.

2. Permission and Permits: If you’re planning to prospect on someone else’s claim, you must first obtain the claim owner’s permission. In addition, depending on the scope and scale of your mining activities, you may need to secure various permits before you can start operations. For example, a Water License and Land Use Permit are required for any work that will cause significant disturbance to the land or use large volumes of water.

3. Environmental Considerations: Mining activities must be conducted with respect for the environment. The Yukon government has guidelines in place for minimizing environmental impact, such as those related to waste management and water use. You may also be required to post a financial security to ensure reclamation (restoration of the land after mining) is carried out.

4. Respect for First Nations Lands: Much of the land in the Yukon is owned by or subject to the rights of First Nations. Always make sure you’re aware of and respect any agreements in place regarding First Nations land and rights.

5. Royalties: If you extract gold or other minerals from your claim, you are required to pay royalties to the Yukon government. The royalty rate depends on the value of the gold or other minerals you extract.

Please remember this is just a general guide. The actual regulations are more detailed, and you should make sure you’re familiar with them before you begin mining. You can find more information on the Yukon government’s Energy, Mines, and Resources website.

Gold mining in the Yukon can be a thrilling adventure, but it’s important to do it responsibly and legally. Always respect the land, the laws, and the rights of others while pursuing your golden dreams. Happy mining, folks!


Most beautiful places to visit in the Yukon

Howdy, folks! Terry here.

The Yukon is so much more than gold mines and prospecting – it’s a land of breathtaking natural beauty and historical significance that can stir the soul of any traveler. Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in the Yukon:

1. Kluane National Park and Reserve: Home to Canada’s highest mountain, Mount Logan, Kluane National Park is a stunning wilderness area filled with rugged peaks, vast glaciers, and a diverse range of wildlife. Don’t miss the chance to explore the park’s trails or enjoy a bird’s-eye view with a flightseeing tour.

2. Emerald Lake: As the name suggests, Emerald Lake is famous for its vibrant, emerald-colored waters. It’s one of the Yukon’s most photographed sites, and you’ll understand why once you see it in person. Pack a picnic and enjoy the peaceful scenery.

3. Miles Canyon: Carved by the mighty Yukon River, Miles Canyon offers scenic walking trails that offer spectacular views of the river’s turquoise waters against stark basalt cliffs. The Robert Lowe Suspension Bridge adds a touch of historical intrigue to the natural beauty.

4. Dawson City: This charming town is a living testament to the Klondike Gold Rush era, with well-preserved wooden buildings, vintage boardwalks, and old-time saloons. Its location along the Yukon River, against the backdrop of the surrounding wilderness, adds to its allure.

5. Tombstone Territorial Park: Known as the “Patagonia of the North,” Tombstone Territorial Park is breathtakingly beautiful with its rugged peaks, tundra landscapes, and vibrant autumn colors. Don’t forget your camera when visiting this place!

6. Southern Lakes Region: This region is home to some of the Yukon’s most picturesque lakes, including Tagish, Marsh, and Atlin Lakes. They’re perfect for kayaking, canoeing, or simply soaking in the tranquil beauty.

7. Takhini Hot Springs: Surrounded by the serene beauty of the Yukon wilderness, Takhini Hot Springs is the perfect place to relax after a long day of adventures. Enjoy the therapeutic, mineral-rich waters while admiring the beautiful natural surroundings.

8. Carcross Desert: Yes, you heard it right! The Yukon is home to the world’s smallest desert. Just outside the quaint village of Carcross, these unique sand dunes provide a beautiful and unexpected landscape to explore.

9. Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis): Last, but certainly not least, no visit to the Yukon would be complete without witnessing the magic of the Northern Lights. They’re visible from many parts of the region, but for a truly unforgettable experience, consider a guided night tour.

The Yukon is a place of diverse, raw beauty that’s just waiting to be explored. Each of these sites offers a unique way to appreciate it. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, and I’ll see you in the Yukon!


Yukon adventure travel tours 2023

Hello, adventurous souls! Terry here.

While I usually talk about gold prospecting, I thought I’d take a detour and share about the other wonders of the Yukon, my home turf. It’s not just about the glint of gold here; the Yukon is a treasure trove of exciting adventures waiting to unfold. Today, I’m highlighting some of the best adventure travel tours that will let you experience the true spirit of the Yukon. Let’s dig in!

1. Yukon River: Classic Canoeing Adventure (with Yukon Wide Adventures)

The Yukon River, the third-longest river in North America, is a significant part of our region’s history and landscape. Yukon Wide Adventures offers a 20-day canoeing adventure that takes you on a historical journey following the route of the 1898 Gold Rush. You’ll paddle past relics of the past, enjoy wildlife viewing, and camp under the midnight sun.

2. Kluane National Park: Flightseeing Tour (Kluane Glacier Tours)

Kluane National Park is home to Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kluane Glacier Tours offers flightseeing tours, an adventure not to be missed. Soaring over glacier-filled landscapes and stunning peaks is an unforgettable experience.

3. Dempster Highway: Self-Drive Adventure (Arctic Range Adventure)

For those who prefer the thrill of driving, Arctic Range Adventure offers a self-drive tour along the Dempster Highway, Canada’s only all-season road across the Arctic Circle. You’ll see breathtaking tundra landscapes, witness wildlife in their natural habitat, and visit indigenous communities along the way.

4. Dawson City: Gold Panning and Historical Tour (Klondike Experience)

If you’re a history buff like me, Klondike Experience’s tour in Dawson City is a must. You’ll visit historic sites, try your hand at gold panning, and even enjoy a traditional sourdough pancake breakfast. Dawson City, known as the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush, is like a living museum.

5. Yukon Wildlife: Animal Viewing Adventure (Yukon Wildlife Preserve)

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve offers guided bus tours through their 700-acre property where you’ll get up close with 13 species of northern Canadian mammals in their natural habitat, including caribou, lynx, and muskoxen.

6. Northern Lights Viewing: Aurora Borealis Adventure (Northern Tales Travel Services)

One of Yukon’s most magical experiences is witnessing the dance of the Northern Lights. Northern Tales Travel Services offers aurora viewing packages that include photography lessons, ensuring you capture this celestial spectacle beautifully.

7. Takhini Hot Springs: Relaxation and Adventure (Takhini Hot Springs)

Finally, after all those thrilling activities, why not relax and soak in the Takhini Hot Springs? These mineral-rich hot springs offer a serene setting amidst nature’s beauty, a perfect way to end your Yukon adventure.

The Yukon, with its pristine landscapes, rich history, and exciting adventures, truly has something for every traveler. As always, remember to travel responsibly and respect the land, wildlife, and communities you visit. Happy adventuring, folks!

panning for gold

Experience Gold Panning in Yukon: An Unforgettable Family Adventure

Hello again, folks!

I’m Terry, your friendly Yukon prospector. If you’ve ever dreamed of striking it rich or simply want to step back in time to the gold rush days, I invite you to join us on a thrilling family adventure: gold panning in the Yukon.

Our family’s plot of land has seen its fair share of golden discoveries and still harbors untold secrets. We believe every grain of our soil tells a story, and what better way to uncover those stories than by rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands a little dirty?

From the moment you arrive, you’ll be swept up in the rugged beauty of the Yukon wilderness. The crisp, clean air, the rush of the river, and the towering pines will serve as the perfect backdrop for your gold panning adventure. You’ll be experiencing the Yukon just as the prospectors of old did.

We’ll start our day with a hearty miner’s breakfast – trust me, gold panning is hungry work! Then, we’ll head out to our gold-bearing creek, where I’ll give you a crash course in panning techniques (Don’t worry, beginners are more than welcome).

You’ll learn how to properly fill your pan, shake it to allow the heavier gold to sink, swirl the water to separate the gold, and finally, the most exciting part – spotting that gleaming yellow pebble or flake amongst the sediment. And the best part? You get to keep what you find!

But our tour isn’t all work. We’ll break for lunch by the riverside, perhaps try our luck fishing, and share stories of the Yukon and its golden past. Post lunch, you can choose to pan some more or relax and soak in the peaceful surroundings.

As the day winds down, we’ll gather around a roaring campfire, roast marshmallows, and I’ll teach you how to determine the value of your find. Nothing ends a day in the Yukon wilderness like a warm fire and tales of the golden nuggets that were and those that await discovery.

A visit to our Yukon claim isn’t just a gold panning tour – it’s a journey back in time, an education in geology, an adventure in the wilderness, and most importantly, a heap of fun for the whole family.

So, pack your adventurous spirit, bring along your curiosity, and come experience gold panning in the Yukon. We can’t wait to share our golden heritage with you!

Until next time, keep those pans shaking!

gold mining

Day in the Life of a Yukon Gold Miner

Hello everyone, it’s Terry!

Gold mining isn’t just a job; it’s a way of life that’s been handed down in my family for generations. I know many of you are curious about what a day in the life of a Yukon gold miner looks like, so I thought I’d give you a peek into my typical day.

Morning: The Yukon wilderness doesn’t come with a snooze button. My day usually begins with the rising sun, the call of the loons on the river, and a cup of strong black coffee. The first order of the day is a hearty breakfast because mining is energy-intensive work. After breakfast, I do a quick check of my gear, ensuring everything is in working order.

Mid-Morning: This is when the actual mining work starts. Depending on the day, I might be prospecting for new potential gold hotspots, running soil through the sluice box, or panning in the river. The work is physical, and the weather can be challenging, but there’s an indescribable joy in working the earth, knowing it might reveal its golden secrets to you.

Lunch: Around midday, I break for lunch. Sometimes, if the weather is good and the fish are biting, I’ll catch a fish from the river to grill over an open fire.

Afternoon: Post lunch, it’s back to work. If I’m onto a good spot, the hours fly by in a blur of dirt, water, and the occasional glint of gold. On a good day, the sight of a gold nugget or even just a few flakes can make all the effort worthwhile.

Evening: As the sun dips low, it’s time to wind down the mining operations. I clean and store the equipment and take stock of any gold found during the day.

Dinner: Dinner is a simple affair, often a hot stew, cooked over the fire, and a slice or two of sourdough bread, a staple in any miner’s diet. Post-dinner, I might record my findings and thoughts in my journal or spend some time stargazing.

Night: By nightfall, I’m usually ready to turn in. A miner’s day starts early, and a good night’s sleep is vital. I fall asleep to the sounds of the Yukon wilderness, ready to rise and repeat it all over again.

It’s not an easy life, but it’s a fulfilling one. Each day brings its own challenges and rewards, and there’s a certain romance to chasing the gleam of gold. Stay tuned for more glimpses into the life of a Yukon gold miner, and remember – not all that glitters is gold, but in the Yukon, you never know!

Until next time, keep digging!

Gold Mining Around Whitehorse Yukon

Many of you seem intrigued by the ins and outs of being a gold miner in the Yukon, so I’m back with a closer look at my daily life, spiced up with a hilarious tale from the heart of our local town, Whitehorse.

Morning routines in the Yukon wilderness, as I’ve mentioned before, involve the rising sun, a strong cup of black coffee, and gearing up for a full day of mining. The middle part of my day revolves around working the earth, seeking its golden treasures.

Now, let me take you on a brief detour to Whitehorse. Roughly once a month, I venture into town to stock up on supplies. Whitehorse, fondly referred to as ‘the Wilderness City,’ provides a much-needed connection to civilization and the occasional wacky encounter.

One such day, I walked into a local hardware store to pick up some mining supplies. A shiny object in the corner of the store caught my eye. It was a state-of-the-art metal detector, the kind that could find a gold tooth in a haystack from a mile away. An excited salesperson saw my interest and launched into a sales pitch about its ability to detect gold deep underground.

Intrigued by the prospect of easing my gold hunting endeavors, I asked, “Just how effective is this gadget?”

The salesman, ever so enthusiastic, guaranteed it was foolproof and would pay for itself with the gold I’d find. Unable to resist, I purchased it, thinking of all the undiscovered gold on my plot.

Eager to try out my new toy, I returned to my claim and started scanning. After about an hour of incessant beeping and digging, all I had found were rusty nails, bottle caps, and an ancient, half-eaten sandwich (the detector apparently had a setting for detecting ‘organic matter’).

Feeling a tad disheartened but still hopeful, I decided to give it one last shot. Suddenly, the detector started beeping furiously. This was it; I was sure. I dug feverishly, and there it was – an old, rusty horseshoe. No gold, no hidden treasures, just a reminder of a horse that once roamed these parts.

Needless to say, the metal detector now resides in my shed, occasionally brought out as a party trick to find lost keys. Meanwhile, I’ve gone back to the tried-and-true methods of gold panning. The incident served as a reminder that in gold mining, as in life, there are no shortcuts.

I’ll sign off for now, but stay tuned for more tales from the Yukon wilderness and the life of a gold miner. Until then, keep your pans shaking, and beware of fool’s gold and over-enthusiastic salespeople!

Until next time, happy prospecting!

gold mining

The History of Gold Mining on Our Family’s Land in Yukon

Hello folks, Terry here again!

Gold and my family, we go way back, all the way to the 1890s during the Klondike Gold Rush. Our ancestral land here in the Yukon has been home to many dreams, stories of triumph, and the occasional heartbreak. So, sit back, pour yourself a hot cup of coffee (or a stronger brew if you prefer) and journey back in time with me to the golden era of our family’s land.

Our saga begins with my great-great-grandfather, Patrick “Panning Patty” O’Reilly. Patty was a young Irishman when the Klondike Gold Rush beckoned, promising riches and adventure. With little more than hope and a sturdy pan, he sailed from Ireland, crossed the American continent, and ventured into the wild Yukon.

Patty staked his claim right here, where our family plot stands today. With patience, resilience, and a bit of Irish luck, he struck gold. The first significant find was a nugget the size of a hen’s egg, a story that’s been passed down through generations.

By the early 1900s, Patty had established a successful mining operation. My great-grandfather, Sean O’Reilly, took over the reins from Patty. Sean was an inventor at heart and introduced hydraulic mining to our claim. This innovation significantly increased their yield and cemented our family’s legacy in the Yukon’s gold mining history.

Then came the mid-1900s, and with it, my grandfather, Michael O’Reilly. He saw the value in sharing our family’s heritage and started offering tours of our claim. Visitors could try their hand at panning and learn about the rich history of the Klondike Gold Rush. It was during this time that our family’s land became not just a site for gold mining but also a living, breathing testament to history.

My father, Patrick O’Reilly II, kept the tradition alive, modernizing operations where necessary but preserving the spirit of the original gold rush pioneers. Now, I, Terry O’Reilly, am proud to continue this legacy, not just as a miner, but also as a custodian of the rich tapestry of our family’s history and the broader Yukon gold rush era.

Every grain of soil on our land, every sparkle of gold, carries the weight of stories that span over a century. It’s not just about the gold; it’s about the dreams of countless miners, the perseverance in the face of odds, the triumphs, the disappointments, and above all, the relentless human spirit that the quest for gold embodies.

When you visit our claim, you’re not just embarking on an adventure or a potential gold find. You’re stepping into a slice of history, a legacy that my family and I are proud to share with all of you.

Stay tuned for more tales of gold, grit, and glory from the Yukon wilderness. Until next time, remember, the truest gold is found in the stories we carry forward.

Until then, happy prospecting!

prospecting equipment

Gold prospecting for Beginners: Equipment and Tools Needed

Stepping into the world of gold prospecting is an exciting journey, and like any great adventure, it’s vital to pack the right gear. As a beginner, you might be wondering what tools are essential for your golden venture. I’m here to break it down for you. Let’s look at the necessary equipment and some tips on how to use them:

1. Gold Pan: The heart of any prospector’s toolkit is the gold pan. It’s a simple tool, but it’s also the most critical. A good gold pan is durable, lightweight, and features riffles (grooves) that help trap the precious gold. A 14-inch pan is a good start for beginners. When you’re panning, a bit of a shake and a swirl will help bring any gold to the bottom of your pan.

2. Classifier: This is a handy tool that fits over your gold pan. It’s essentially a sieve that filters out larger rocks and debris, leaving behind the smaller, gold-bearing dirt and gravel. You’d be surprised how much more efficient your panning becomes with this simple addition!

3. Shovel and Pickaxe: You’ll need a reliable shovel for digging and a pickaxe for breaking apart tougher materials. If your prospecting site is a hike away, consider lightweight or collapsible options.

4. Snuffer Bottle: Also known as a ‘sucker bottle,’ this handy piece of equipment sucks up the tiny gold flakes you’ve discovered in your pan. It’s much more efficient than trying to pick up each flake with your fingers!

5. Tweezers: For those larger nuggets (fingers crossed!), a pair of tweezers makes it easy to pick them out of your pan.

6. Sluice Box: If you’re ready to upgrade your gold hunting game, a sluice box is the way to go. It allows you to process more material faster. Water flows through the box, washing away lighter materials and leaving the heavier gold behind.

7. Metal Detector: This is a bit of an investment, but if you’re serious about prospecting, a metal detector can help you find gold deposits more easily. Go for a model designed for gold prospecting – they operate at higher frequencies suitable for detecting small nuggets at shallow depths.

Remember, prospecting isn’t just about the tools. It’s about patience, observation, and enjoying the great outdoors. Start with these basics, and over time, as you gain experience and knowledge, you can add more specialized tools to your kit.

Happy prospecting, folks! And remember, every day prospecting is a good day. Whether or not you find gold, you’re sure to find joy in the journey.

Until next time!