• Artist rendering of Pioneer Square during Klondike Gold Rush

    Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle Unit

    National Historical Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Closed May 1

    Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park will be closing early May 1, 2014. The visitor center will be closed from 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm and will not be opened for First Thursday evening activities.

Lesson 16: Crisis on the Yukon River

Lesson Description:

1. Gather as a whole group for discussion. Begin the discussion by asking students to recall and describe their journey so far across the lakes and rapids. You may want to remind students of the visual images from the film "Gold! The Klondike Adventure." Then tell students, "While going through the treacherous rapids, a boat overturned!" Don't disclose whose boat overturned. Continue with, "Everyone was able to swim safely to shore. But, all the supplies on the boat are lost! Don't fret because we're all committed to getting to the goldfields together. What should we do?" How are we going to help each other out?"

2. Have students work in small groups to decide what they will do to help. Have them list their ideas on large pieces of drawing paper. This activity is meant to give students an opportunity to empathize and brainstorm how they can help.

3. Gather as a whole group again to share ideas. Assign a recorder to record ideas on a class chart. Students reflect on this experience as they write a journal entry about the crisis and how they helped the victims.


OBJECTIVE: To gain a sense of empathy for the hardships many Stampeders faced on their journey.


  1. Drawing Paper
  2. Markers and Pencils
  3. Students' Journals

TIME: 60 minutes

Did You Know?

Chilkoot pass line of stampeders

Of the 70,000 stampeders who started for the gold fields, around 35,000 would make it to the Klondike region. Few would ever stake their own claims.