The Yukon Territory covers 483,450 square kilometers in the far northwestern part of mainland Canada. It became famous during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 and mining remains a mainstay of the economy. It covers more than 200,000 square miles.
The earliest evidence of human activity was found in caves on the Bluefish River near Old Crow in northern Yukon. Stone tools and animal bones found at this site were estimated to be 20,000 years old.
The territory's name comes from the native name "Yu-kun-ah" for the great river that drains most of this area. The first visitors to the northwest were Russian explorers who traveled along the Alaskan coast in the 18th century. In March 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States.