March 07, 2011

Tantalus Butte

Just north of the Village of Carmacks, stands Tantalus Butte. If you're traveling up the North Klondike Highway to Dawson City, you can't miss it.

While it may not look like much here, it has made its mark on Yukon history. And it may continue to do so. You see, Tantalus Butte is on fire.

Off and on over the past century, the mountain was worked for its coal. The coal heated cabins, powered river boats, and fueled mines. In 1978, an abandoned section of the workings caught fire and the Butte has been burning ever since.

On occasion, you can see evidence of the burning.

Today, sections of the mountain are collapsing into the burning seams. The coal that once heated homes and powered river boats is now fueling the collapse of its mountain home.

As Tantalus Butte burns, I cannot help but wonder what role it will play in the future of the Yukon.

For more on the history of Tantalus Butte, swing by Murry's blog at

1 comment:

Nemmy said...

Cool!! There's a city in the US (Centralia, PA) where that happened too... apparently, that's what the movie "Silent Hill" was based on. Really a very sad story, because it destroyed the whole town.

Very interesting that there is one up North too. Would love to see it some day.