The same characteristics that made the Taiya and Skagway valleys attractive to Tlingit traders and gold rush stampeders also contribute to the ecological importance of the Klondike Gold Rush NHP area. Lynn Canal is a saltwater fjord that pierces deep into the heart of the coastal mountain range. The Taiya and Skagway valleys provide short pathways to glacier-free mountain passes connecting to the interior. Thus, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park area is the northernmost, interior-most conduit for ecological exchange between the coastal rainforest ecosystem and the interior continental ecosystem. It has been an important avenue for plant and animal expansions in the past, and continues to be the site of species interchanges today.
The deep valleys, stream channels, snowpack, and stunning views that make up Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park's physical landscape provide a compelling stage for the gold rush story. The valleys, the plants and animals that use them, and the ecological processes constantly at work changing the landscape - these are the natural resources of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
Last updated: January 15, 2016