Carmacks is a community in the Yukon with about 500 year-round residents. Visitor services include hotel rooms, a service station, a convenience and grocery store, and a government campground.
Carmacks is located at the confluence of the Nordenskiold and Yukon Rivers. It's 180 kilometres north of Whitehorse and 360 kilometres south of Dawson City on the North Klondike Highway. Passing through Carmacks will take you across one of 4 bridges that cross the Yukon River. From Carmacks you can also drive the Campbell Highway which takes you to the communities of Faro, Ross River and eventually south to Watson Lake.
Named after George Washington Carmack, one of the co-discoverers of the gold that sparked the Klondike Gold Rush, Carmacks is located on the shore of the Yukon River 175 kilometres north on the Klondike Highway from Whitehorse. The community got its start when Carmack found two seams of coal nearby––one at Five Finger Rapids and the other near Tantalus Butte. He built a cabin and dallied in a little mining and fur trading before quitting the place for the venture that eventually led to the discovery on Bonanza Creek in 1896. The cabin at Carmacks was reportedly equipped with an organ that Carmack was fond of playing, many volumes of classical literature, and back issues of Scientific American and other journals.
With the onset of the Klondike Gold Rush, Carmacks prospered as a riverboat fuelling stop because it was roughly midway between Whitehorse and Dawson. It also served as a major stopping point on the Overland Trail that linked the two communities.
Carmacks is situated near the ancestral home of the Ts’awlnjik Dan First Nation and the approximate boundary between the Northern and Southern Tutchone First Nations. The history of these peoples stretches back more than 10,000 years. Archaeological sites in the Carmacks area have yielded fossils and tools related to the so-called “Microblade Peoples” who lived here after the last Ice Age ended between 8,000 and 4,000 years ago. Most of the tool implements dating from this era utilized small, replaceable blades called microblades that were inserted into tools made of bone or antler.
Today, the population of Carmacks numbers approximately 500. It is an important service stop and recreational jumping-off point for travellers on the Klondike and Campbell highways.