Ross River | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Ross River

Ross River, Yukon, settlement, population 293 (2016 census), 352 (2011 census). Ross River is located at the confluence of the Ross and Pelly rivers. It is on the Canol Road (seeCanol Pipeline) at the halfway point on the Campbell Highway. Ross River is 360 km by road northeast of Whitehorse.

History and Economy

In 1843, Robert Campbell named the river after Donald Ross, a chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Tom Smith established a trading post there in 1902–03 but soon sold it to Poole Field and Clement Lewis. Field and Lewis were traders from the Nahanni district of the Northwest Territories. As a number of Indigenous peoples had followed them and settled in the vicinity, the new owners called the site “Nahanni House.” Subsequent owners, including the Whitehorse firm of Taylor and Drury, reverted to the original name of Ross River. This predominantly Kaska settlement has a landing strip and is a service centre for travellers on the Campbell Highway. Ross River is also a jumping off point for hunting, fishing and mineral exploration in the area.

Donate to The Canadian Encyclopedia this Giving Tuesday!

A donation to The Canadian Encyclopedia today will have an even greater impact due to a generous matching gift from an anonymous donor. Starting November 28 until December 5, 2023, all donations will be matched up to $10,000! All donations above $3 will receive a tax receipt. Thank you for your support of The Canadian Encyclopedia, a project of Historica Canada.