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Territory, northwestern Canada. Area: 186,272 sq mi (482,443 sq km). Pop. (2009 est.): 33,442. Capital: Whitehorse. It is bounded by the U.S. state of Alaska to the west, and the Canadian Northwest Territories to the east and British Columbia to the south. Drained by the Yukon River system, it has some of the highest mountains in North America, notably the Saint Elias Mountains and Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak. It was originally settled by American Indians and the Inuit (Eskimo). The first European visitor (1825) was British explorer John Franklin, who was seeking the Northwest Passage. Sporadic settlement occurred thereafter. The discovery of gold in the 1870s later resulted in the Klondike gold rush. In 1898 it was separated from the Northwest Territories and given territorial status. The economic boost from the gold rush soon abated, and the exploitation of other minerals expanded and continued throughout the 20th century. Its economic mainstays, though, are government services and tourism.
Variants of YUKON
Yukon formerly Yukon Territory
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Yukon, visit Britannica.com.