The Silver Trail Region in the central-eastern part of the Yukon is home to a rich history of First Nations heritage and mining.
The Silver Trail region lies within the traditional territory of the Na-cho Nyäk Dun Nation, the most northerly Nation of Northern Tutchone speaking people. Historically, these first people lived trapping, hunting, and fishing on the land and rivers of the modern-day Silver Trail region. They developed trade relationships with coastal First Nations and , later, with explorers and traders entering the area.
Changes to the Na-cho Nyäk Dun arrived once prospectors and missionaries did in the early twentieth century. When prospectors arrived to Dawson only to find that all the prime land had been staked, explorers moved back down south, eventually finding gold in Duncan Creek, just west of modern-day Keno. In 1919, continuing exploration projects revealed rich deposits of silver and lead ore near Keno Hill, and mines and settlements sprang up over the next few decades in response. The Na-cho Nyäk Dun relocated to a more permanent village site south of Mayo, and mining projects defined the population and industry levels for the rest of the twentieth century.
The Silver Trail Highway was built to provide access to the Keno Mine and other silver, lead and zinc mining projects in the region. Mayo, Elsa, and Keno City owe their existence to the mining projects that continued throughout the twentieth century. Although the mines at Keno and Elsa have since closed due to lowered mineral prices, the area is a popular destination for visitors due to its access to stunning mountain ranges, famous mining museum, and opportunity for wilderness adventures. Mayo remains the hub for services and transportation.