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The Midnight Dome Road at Dawson City, Yukon

by Murray Lundberg

A Guide to Modern Dawson City, Yukon

Dateline: November 22, 2021

    Seeing the view from the top of the Midnight Dome at Dawson City is generally considered to be one of the must-do activities for visitors. Until 1925 it was a stiff climb on foot, but in 1925 and 1926 a road was built.

    While going through Claude Tidd's wonderful photo albums at the Yukon Archives last week, I came across four photos of the initial construction of the road, which prompted this article. The one below shows Mary Tidd up front in the 4-ton Holt tractor that, towing a grader, volunteers used to rough in the road. They reached the top on Thursday, September 10, 1925, and erected a flagpole.

Completing the road up the Midnight Dome in Dawson in 1925

    The Whitehorse Star only mentioned the new road twice and that was when a request was made by the Yukon Order of Pioneers to the Territorial Council for $500 to improve the road in 1926. Some newspapers Outside however, did report on it.

Nanaimo Free Press (Nanaimo, British Columbia), Saturday, August 7, 1926.

Days of ’98 Gone; Yukon Tourists Are Disappointed, 1926

    Dawson, Y. T., Aug. 6. - Tourists who are crowding into the Yukon country by every steamer, are just a little disappointed by the lack of reminders of the picturesque days of '98, but they soon recover and their disappointments are offset when brought into contact on every hand with the real hospitality and cameraderie of the North.

    Travellers to Dawson find little trace of the noisy dance halls of other days, of gun-toting gamblers, "bearded men from the creeks," made famous by Robert W. Service. They are brought face to face with the fact that these things exist today mainly in the novels and the movies. There are other things to interest them. The Northland will never lose its spell or its fascination.

    The trip to Dome, which rears immediately above the town of Dawson to a height of 2,000 feet, rewards the hardy climber with one of the most magnificent scenic panoramas to be viewed anywhere. The new auto road to the Dome now makes the ascent easy and cars make the trip to the top in a little more than one hour. For the mountaineers there is a foot trail leading to the peak.

    Most of the gold being taken away from the Yukon is mined by dredge and several autos take the tourists to the scene of these operation.

The Daily Province (Vancouver, British Columbia), Monday, October 5, 1926.

Goes by Car Over New Road, Dawson to Dome, 1926

    DAWSON, Oct. 5. - Work has been progressing steadily on the motor road from Dawson to the Dome. Almost everyone who has ever been in Dawson has made the climb on foot, but recently Dr. Lachappelle, in his auto, accompanied by C. Vifquain, navigation agent for the White Pass Company, reached the flag post on the Dome. It is expected that during the tourist season next year there will be a considerable amount of jitney business on the new road.

    Today, you will commonly see mountain bikers and paragliders starting their thrilling descents from the Midnight Dome.

The view over Dawson City from the Midnight Dome