The S.S. Keno is a historic sternwheeler attraction and interpretive tour located on the banks of the Yukon River in the community of Dawson City, Yukon Territories, Canada. The sternwheeler once transported people and supplies up and down the Yukon River and Stewart River connecting the villages of Dawson City, Whitehorse and Mayo.
It was a time in the Yukon when there were no highways, no railways just waterways. For over 6 decades the sternwheelers were the main mode of transportation in the Yukon. At one time there were over 200 sternwheelers traveling the lakes and rivers of the Yukon transporting people and supplies.
The SS Keno was the smallest sternwheeler in the fleet operated by the British Yukon Navigation Company. At that time, sternwheelers came in all sizes so to be able to access all the main transportation rivers, big and small, in the Yukon.
The SS Keno was designed for shallow water so it could navigate on the smaller rivers. It was an ability which also entitled the SS Keno to often be the last sternwheeler operating on the rivers before the rivers were covered over with ice.
The SS Keno was more of a supply ship than a passenger ship. It often was used for transporting silver ore from Mayo to Whitehorse. From the silver mines in Mayo the SS Keno would travel the Stewart River to the Yukon River and then to Whitehorse.
The last sailing of the S.S. Keno was in 1960. It set sail from Whitehorse to Dawson City . In Dawson City the SS Keno was beached on the shores of the Yukon River destined to become a sightseeing attraction.
The SS Keno is a Historic Site of Canada. During the summer months in Dawson City there are interpretive tours. The tours are hosted by actors dressed in attire from the Klondike Gold Rush era. Or take a self guided tour outside the SS Keno and you will find interpretive signs which provide detail about the sternwheeler.
The Dike Walkway connects with the SS Keno. The walkway is a popular community path for walking, sightseeing and biking. Just down the walkway from the SS Keno are some viewpoints overlooking the Yukon River, picnic tables, viewing benches and grass lawns for lounging.