George Black Ferry at Dawson City, Yukon

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The George Black Ferry located in Dawson City, Yukon is done transporting for the 2020 season.

For the winter, the George Black Ferry is being transferred to dry dock. Residents are waiting for the ice bridge to form on the Yukon River to connect Dawson with Sunnydale and West Dawson. Until then, people across the river are in freeze-up mode for groceries, mail, pub visits, etc., without direct links to the outside world. Now is the time they spend reconnecting with neighbours and loving the quiet that brings solitude.

You reach Dawson City, Yukon by driving north on the Klondike Loop Highway, approximately 325 miles from Whitehorse. The highway ends at the Yukon River at the western edge of the city. Here, for a 6 to 7 minute journey across the Yukon River to the western shore and the beginning of the Top of the World Highway to the Yukon-Alaska border, you line up to board the George Black Ferry.

The George Black Ferry runs from around May to October across the Yukon River, completed its last sailing on 20 October 2020. It is usually pulled from the water between Oct. 15 and 18, because it is a safety factor for cars entering and exiting the ferry because of the ice starting to form in the river. The George Black Ferry is part of the Department of Yukon Highways and Public Works and is a free passenger service. It runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except for Friday morning from 5am to 7am when maintenance is performed.

George Black Ferry
Ice Bridge. Photo Credit: Kyler Mather

This winter, Sunnydale and West Dawson may be separated again from the main part of Dawson City without the Yukon government constructing an ice bridge, as it has been doing in the last years. However, with a chainsaw, some adventurous Dawson City residents built their own “ice bridge” in 2019.

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Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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