In August 1896, prospectors discovered place gold on a river that flowed into the Klondike River. Things were calm until word leaked out. Soon after 100,000 stampeders were on their way to a remote location and about 30, 000 successfully got there. The quickest yet most expensive way to Klondike was by boat to Alaska, then cross the mountains.
THE MOUNTAIN PASSES
Dalton Trail was one of the easier and less dangerous routes but it was the longest. Chilkoot Pass route was steep and hazardous. If affordable stampeders could hire pack horses to ferry their supplies up the pass. White pass was even more difficult and more than 3000 pack animals died. It was nicknamed " Dead Horse Trail."
" ALL CANADIAN ROUTE"
The route through Alaska was very expensive. Some stampeders tried to make their way to Klondike using: The “All Canadian” Route. This refers to the routes to the Klondike through Edmonton, Alberta, or Prince George, BC. These routes were slow and the trip could take as long as two years.
Stampeders could buy almost nothing along the way so they had to take supplies with them such as navy beans, bacon, flour, rolled oats, vinegar and much, much more. If stampeders did not have enough supplies to last them a year NWMP officers would turn them back so they would not face starvation. In addition to those supplies stampeders also had to carry their clothing and camping equipment.
WOMEN IN THE KLONDIKE
This was even more difficult for women. Customs of that day required women to wear corsets, ankle length skirts and high heeled boots. Women who chose to dress like men were considered immoral. Some women also had children to care for in these harsh conditions.
THE END OF THE GOLD RUSH
Many that made it to Dawson City were disappointed because those that arrived earliest staked the best claims and the claims that remained were an awful lot of work .Soon enough, gold deposits were gone. 1899, gold was found in Alaska. Many stampeders moved on. The Klondike gold rush was over and Dawson City grew smaller.