• Artist rendering of Pioneer Square during Klondike Gold Rush

    Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle Unit

    National Historical Park Washington

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Activity 8: Map Day


1. Start by saying:

Now that we have our supplies we're ready to head up north to the Yukon. There are two different routes we can take. We can take the all water route (the Rich Man's Route) for $1,000. This route requires less effort on our part. However, not only is it extremely expensive, it takes so long we would probably get stuck in the ice before reaching Dawson City.

Or, we can travel like most Stampeders did. We can take a steamship ride north through the inside passage and get off at the Alaskan towns of Skagway or Dyea. Then, we'll move our belongings inland and traverse the mountain passes to the Yukon Territory. To reach the goldfields we will have to build boats and sail more than 500 miles down the Yukon River. Since we don't have enough money to buy the all water route ticket nor the time to spare, we're going to have to have to take the route that is more commonly used.

2. Give students a map extending from Washington State to Alaska. Have students glue map(s) into their journals. They will locate and mark significant sites/locations of the region: Seattle; British Columbia; Vancouver Island; Puget Sound; Pacific Ocean; Skagway; Dyea; Lake Bennett; Dawson; Alaska; Canada; Yukon River. This will give students an idea of where they're headed with this adventure.

3. As different legs of the journey are completed have students highlight the area traveled on their maps.

TEACHER NOTES: A possible extension includes having students use the key to calculate the distances of the Rich Man's Route and the inside passage.

OBJECTIVE: To help students see the physical relationship between Seattle and the Klondike; To help develop map reading skills; To help students appreciate the distance traveled by the Stampeders.

1. Copies of a Map of Coastline extending from Washington State to Alaska. (PDF)

2. Highlight markers

TIME: 20 to 30 minutes

Did You Know?

1909 souvineer of the Alaska Yukon Exposition

2109 will be the bicentennial anniversary of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, an event that promoted Seattle as the gateway to Alaska and the Orient.