2nd Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (you' kawn)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
Geography and Climate
- Fort Yukon is located at the confluence of the Yukon and Porcupine Rivers, about 145 air miles northeast of Fairbanks.
- The winters are long and harsh, and the summers are short but warm. After freeze-up, the plateau is a source of cold, continental arctic air. Daily minimum temperatures between November and March are usually below 0 °F. Extended periods of -50 to -60 °F are common. Summer high temperatures run 65 to 72 °F; a high of 97 °F has been recorded. Total annual precipitation averages 6.58 inches, with 43.4 inches of snowfall. The Yukon River is ice-free from the end of May through mid-September.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Fort Yukon was founded in 1847 by Alexander Murray as a Canadian outpost in Russian territory. It became an important trade center for the Gwich'in Indians, who inhabited the vast lowlands of the Yukon Flats and River valleys. The Hudson Bay Company, a British trading company, operated at Fort Yukon from 1846 until 1869. In 1862, a mission school was established. In 1867, Alaska was purchased by the U.S., and, two years later, it was determined that Fort Yukon was on American soil. Moses Mercier, a trader with the Alaska Commercial Company, took over operation of the Fort Yukon Trading Post. A post office was established in 1898. The fur trade of the 1800s, the whaling boom on the Arctic coast (1889-1904), and the Klondike Gold Rush spurred economic activity and provided some economic opportunities for the Natives. However, major epidemics of introduced diseases struck the Fort Yukon population from the 1860s until the 1920s. In 1949, a flood damaged or destroyed many homes in Fort Yukon. During the 1950s, a White Alice Communications System and an Air Force station were established. Fort Yukon incorporated as a city in 1959.
- Most Fort Yukon residents are descendants of the Yukon Flats, Chandalar River, Birch Creek, Black River, and Porcupine River Gwich'in Athabascan tribes. Subsistence is an important component of the local culture.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Fort Yukon
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale by municipality operated license only: Package Store Only
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Laundromat, Septic Pumping, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Cable TV, Liqour Store, Police, Bingo/Pull Tabs, Equipment Rental
- Fort Yukon is accessible by air year-round and by barge during the summer months. Heavy cargo is brought in by barge from the end of May through mid-September; there is a barge off-loading area but no dock. Riverboats and skiffs are used for recreation, hunting, fishing, and other subsistence activities. A state-owned 5,810' long by 150' wide lighted gravel airstrip is available; Hospital Lake, adjacent to the airport, is used by float planes. There are 17 miles of local roads and over 100 automobiles and trucks. The city transit bus system provides transport throughout the town. Snowmachines and dog sleds are used on area trails or the frozen river, which becomes an ice road to area villages during winter.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District