referred to as Grand Canon, Fredrick Schwatka renamed
it in July of 1883 Miles Canyon after General Nelson
Miles. Schwatka wrote, "Through this narrow
chute of corrugated rock the wild waters of the great
river rush in a perfect mass of milk-like foam, with
a reverberation that is audible for a considerable
distance." Although accounts differ as to the
ferocity of the rapids, there is no question that
they were very dangerous. During the Gold Rush, hundreds
of boats loaded with precious supplies were lost
(as well as several lives) before the Northwest Mounted
Police arrived to regulate traffic.
Eventually a wooden rail system around the canyon
eliminated the need to battle this hazard. The hydroelectric
dam constructed to provide power to Whitehorse has
tamed Miles Canyon, but drifting through its 50-foot
high basaltic walls is still a thrill.
Robert Lowe Bridge
The suspension bridge across Miles Canyon was built in 1922 and dedicated by
Governor General Lord Byng. Lowe came to the Yukon in 1899 and had mining
interests in the Whitehorse Copper belt and a successful cartage business.
Robert Lowe became a long serving local and territorial politician.