Fort Yukon

Contact Us

Phone: (907) 662-2581
Fax: (907) 662-2222

Health Clinic: (907) 662-2460
Fax: (907) 662-2709

Address:
P.O. Box 126
Fort Yukon, AK 99740

Quick Facts

Pronounced (YOO-kawn)

Current Population 586
(2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)
Community’s Senate District T
Community’s House District 39
Community’s Judicial District 4

Latitude: 66.5647
Longitude: -145.2739

Jobs

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Location

Fort Yukon is located at the confluence of the Yukon and Porcupine Rivers, about 145 air miles northeast of Fairbanks.

Climate

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.

History

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.

Culture

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.

More Contact Info

    • City of Fort Yukon
    • Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, Incorporated
      • P.O. Box 33
        Fort Yukon, AK 99740
      • 907-662-2581
      • catg.org
    • Gwitchyaa Zhee Corporation
      • P.O. Box 329
        Fort Yukon, AK 99740
      • 907-662-2933
    • Native Village of Fort Yukon

Community profile data provided by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.