the

Scenic highway 395 near Bishop, California.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Bishop, California.

Where are they going next? South, towards Death Valley National Park.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The things you see in Keno City, Yukon

We went exploring in Keno City yesterday morning. Keno City is a derelict mining town whose heyday is long over. But the official population of 20 people (although we were told it's 12 right now) refuse to let go.

As a tourist though, it's worth a visit!

They even have a walking tour map, so we set off to see what there is to see in Keno City, Yukon...

Love the doors on this old shed.

A typical Keno City home.
You don't need much to live here. You do need lots of firewood though!


House built with stubby brown beer bottles.

The things you see in Keno City.

There used to be a gas station.

Victor Grant built this cabin in 1922 while he was Territorial Agent in Keno City. It has had various owners and tenants over the years including a liquor vendor, a schoolteacher, miners, hippies, and even a bootlegger. The floor has been replaced, but the rest of the cabin remains as it was built.

Across the street was Alteration Annie's cabin. Anne Janice ran a legitimate business as a seamstress out of this cabin. But that was just a sideline. It was common back then for prostitutes to supplement their income with either laundry or sewing!

Lots of history lying around.

Stuff hanging on the wall.

I guess there used to be two gas stations!

Hmm. Well, at least there's somebody standing guard!

We're not sure.


The hotel entrance.

Ruth, at the bar. We spoke to the owner, Leo. 
He arrived here as a young man in 1980, and just never left!

Ruth, at the library. Nobody was using the church as a church, so they made it the library. They have a ton of good books and DVDs for the locals.

The Keno City Snack Bar. Apparently Mike makes the best pizza in the Yukon, but he's taking it easy right now due to health reasons.


Interesting stuff wandering around these old towns. We walked 3.5 kms (2.2 miles) just wandering around town. Talked to the locals and got some ideas of what to see. Most people drive up to Signpost Hill (because you can actually drive) but we wanted to do a hike and Signpost Hill was 11 kms (7 miles) each way.

We chose to walk up Sourdough Hill, which was only about 6 kms (3.5 miles) each way.

It was only 6 kms, but it was uphill every step of the way!

Can you see the road heading up towards the snow to the left above Ruth?

I zoomed in on a couple of campers there. What a fantastic campsite! 
Probably prospectors, but who knows.

Still heading uphill on the old mining road.

Lots of wildflowers in bloom.

Love the little garden growing on top of this old stump.

Me, and the view!

Made it to the top!

Looking down on Keno City.

We are above the snow.

Spotted this grouse on the way down. Actually, she spotted us. She had little ones with her, and squawked and hissed when we got too close. I was just walking by, and it scared the crap out of me!

Keno City, with the hill we climbed in behind.

We ended up doing 12 kms (7.5 miles) on the hike, plus of course we had done 3.5 kms (2.2 miles) in town in the morning. We were beat! We had planned on doing Haldane Mountain this morning, but we need a day of rest, so we will do some driving instead. There will be other hikes! No idea where we will be tonight, but we will make it to Dawson City tomorrow afternoon!

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And in Canada...



24 comments:

  1. love this post, I hope one day we can do what you are enjoying now.

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    1. Thank you! We hope that some day you can too! :-)

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  2. Love seeing all the old trucks!
    I get tired just looking at that hill climb. Good for you guys.

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    1. There were so many old trucks and cars up here in Keno City that it could keep you busy for a while. :-)

      It was definitely a good climb, thought we were never going to get to the top. Nice thing though, is that it was all downhill after that!

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  3. Thanks for the tour! Great old town.

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    1. You're welcome, we enjoyed showing it to you.

      You and Norma need to do this trip some summer. :-)

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  4. I would have loved to see the mining museum. I lived in a silver mining town (Georgetown, Colorado) in the 1970s. Georgetown boomed in the 1880s and died when the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed in 1893.

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    1. I am sure that you would love it! We actually didn't go in but it looked like a good one. We are starting to get museumed out and several of the museums that we have visited lately all had a section about mining, instead we wandered around the town and saw all the neat old stuff and then went for a nice hike we have been wanting to do. Plus we knew that we would be hitting Dawson City and that we would learn lots about mining there.

      Yep, we remember all the history stories of the people heading west in search of gold in the States as well. People are always wanting to "strike" it rich, even today! They just find different ways to try and do it today that aren't hard and dirty work like all the old prospectors did. ;-)

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  5. Looks like Ward, Colorado! They have a lot of funky places, too, though more than 20 people live there. We used to eat at a restaurant in Ward that had great blueberry pancakes, and multiple hummingbird wars at the feeders outside. An interesting place.

    I am loving your day-by-day memoir, but am curious...is there a reason you don't generally stay more than a day (or max two) in the same place? Seems like you could experience a lot of more of the places if you did. Just wondering.

    Also, are you having any trouble finding gas? (You're using diesel, right?)

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    1. We have never been to Ward, Colorado! I guess one day we will need to make it there.

      Yes and no to your question about staying longer. We don't tow a vehicle so we drive a little and then stop and check out places. Sometimes there isn't much to see so we move on that day or the next. Most people have a vehicle that they can drive around in to do little tours so they stay in a park for a few days and use their tow or towed vehicle to do these little trips whereas we do them as we drive along. I think we actually see more of places doing it the way we do than many others. For instance, the drive from Whitehorse to Dawson City has taken us almost a week, many others do it in one or two days and don't take the time to see the little towns that we have stopped in, especially taking the side trip up to Mayo and Keno City.

      When there is enough stuff to see we stick around a while like in Whitehorse, we were there almost one full week, the majority of people only spend a couple of days there. So honestly, I don't think we could experience much more than we already are. Everybody is going to miss something during their travels, it just can't all been seen! Hope that helps to answer your question. :-)

      No we are not having any problems finding fuel, and no we aren't diesel we are gas.

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  6. What a fun read!!!!!!! Love the pic of Ruth standing at the bar - reminds us of our Wilderness Lodge. The sign at the bar entrance made us laugh. “All our visitors bring us happiness. Some by coming. Others by going.”

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    1. Thanks Connie and Barry, it was a fun place to explore. Yes, it sort of is like the Wilderness Lodge except this one is a bit weird inside, more along the lines of zombies. ;-)

      Yep, they had some funny signs both inside and outside the hotel.

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  7. What a cute little town! Beautiful views on your walk!

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    1. It's a very unique and quirky kind of town, almost a ghost town but not quite. Definitely interesting to visit.

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  8. I didnt see you going to the museum

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    1. We didn't go in. It looked like a good museum to visit but we have had our fill of museums lately and they have all had some exhibits on mining although I am sure that this one was more complete. Plus we knew we were going to be in Dawson City and we certainly find out even more about mining here. We also just wanted to get out and get a good hike in and see some beautiful views of the area we we certainly got by hiking up Sourdough Hill. :-)

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  9. Nice little hike (eyebrows raised)!!

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    1. Ok, it was a little longer than a "little" hike! ;-)

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  10. Great tour thanks guys. Love all the old cars and trucks so interesting. Hard to believe these small towns still exit and keep going. You both do so much hiking and it is a great way to see spots most people never get to see. Enjoy your relaxing and driving day. Cannot wait for your next post. Stay safe.

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    1. As you know we love hiking and most of the time you get to see things that others in a car will never get to see, plus we love the fresh air and exercise. :-)

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  11. Love those kind of towns, even if I would not want to live there:)

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    1. We love them too! Not every day that you can experience little places like this, but we are with you, we won't want to live there!

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  12. I’m continuing to be thrilled by your adventures. I know I will never be able to do the hikes you do ...so, I’m vicariously living it through your pictures and blogs. Loved the bear and grouse photos....btw, was that a moose calf you spottedby the river?

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    1. We are happy to do the hikes and then be able to bring them right to your computer, so that you can feel like you did the hike too.

      No, that wasn't a moose calf but a full sized female moose, at least we assume that it was because we saw no sign of antlers on it.

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