Ross River, Yukon Territory Canada

Discover Ross River, Yukon: A Rich Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Ross River is a charming unincorporated community nestled in the heart of Yukon, Canada. This quaint settlement is situated at the junction of the Ross River and the Pelly River, along the Canol Road, and is just a stone's throw away from the Campbell Highway.

Accessibility to Ross River, Yukon

The primary access to Ross River is via a nine-mile access road that leads to the Campbell Highway. In the past, a six-mile Canol Road section, which is no longer maintained, was the main route. The community is serviced by the Ross River Airport, which is primarily used for charter and scheduled flights to and from Whitehorse and Watson Lake.

Ross River is also the proud home of the Ross River Dena Council, a First Nation in eastern Yukon.

The Historical Journey of Ross River, Yukon

The confluence of the Ross and Pelly rivers has long been a gathering place for First Nation peoples, particularly in the late summer. The first permanent settlement was established in 1901 when Tom Smith started a small fur trading post on the north bank of the Pelly and named the spot Smiths Landing.

By 1903, a second trading post was set up on the south bank of the Pelly, opposite Smiths Landing. The settlement attracted an increasing number of people, mostly the Kaska but also many First Nation people from the Mackenzie River region. By 1914, over 1,000 people were gathering at Ross River in the late summer.

However, a severe influenza epidemic in 1916 hit the community's First Nation people hard, and increasing economic activity and new trading posts along the Mackenzie River reduced the population.

World War II and the years immediately following brought massive changes to Ross River. The building of the Canol Road and pipeline between 1942 and 1944 brought a massive, but temporary, influx of newcomers and the new road made the community more accessible.

By the mid-1960s, the community of Ross River assumed the shape it has today.

The Geography of Ross River, Yukon

The Climate of Ross River, Yukon

Ross River experiences a subarctic climate (Dfc) characterized by long, severely cold winters and short but mild summers.

The Demographics of Ross River, Yukon

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Ross River had a population of 355 living in 160 of its 184 total private dwellings, a change of 21.2% from its 2016 population of 293. With a land area of 20.48 km2 (7.91 sq mi), it had a population density of 17.3/km2 (44.9/sq mi) in 2021.