In less than three weeks, figure skaters will be spinning, lugers sliding, and skiers racing cross-country and whizzing down-mountain for gold. That metal – even when not in the form of a medal – can inspire people to leave home, travel great distances, and perform Olympian feats like climbing a snow-covered slope with a bundle of supplies strapped to one’s back. The gold discovered in 1896 in the valley of Canada’s Yukon River prompted “stampeders” to do just that. Thousands of these men and women poured into Seattle in the last years of the 19th century, and today a national park commemorates their experiences.This week’s National Park Getaway provides more information about the Seattle component of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, which also has a location in Skagway, Alaska.
The National Park Getaways series helps people find new places to reconnect with nature, history, family and friends. This week’s feature plugs you into American history, taking you back more than a century and preparing you to visit Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. At the park, your imagination can fill in the bustle and sensory overload of Seattle’s streets in the 1890s. This city formed a point of departure for many northbound gold rushers. Some of them found lodging in the Cadillac Hotel, which is situated in the Pioneer Square National Historic District and now houses the park museum and visitor center. In the hotel, you can take advantage of the park’s interactive features, view exhibits about the gold rush, and trace the stories of several men and women who sought gold. Touch-screens show visitors passages from the journals and personal accounts of gold rushers. If you will be following the footsteps of 19th-century stampeders – arriving in Seattle and then heading north – with the difference that your destination is Vancouver and the Winter Games, rather than Canadian gold fields, stop by Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, the 33rd park featured in the National Park Getaways series. To journey backward in time and strike the intangible gold of a great experience, come visit the Seattle branch of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. From National Park Service