Yukon River Watershed

The Yukon River is the third longest river and the fourth largest drainage basin in North American, stretching nearly 2,000 miles from the Yukon to Alaska. Although around 126,000 people live within the basin, it is the least traveled and populated of all the major rivers in the United States. It is the longest free-flowing river in the world while being the world’s longest inland Pacific Salmon run!


The Yukon River was used as one of the main modes of transportation during the Klondike Gold Rush. Even today, many watershed communities are inaccessible through the road system and the river is still utilized for transportation. The Yukon River means “great river” in Gwich’in while in Yupik it is called Kwig'pak or “large stream.”