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River of No Return Facts

A Few Factoids Related to This Episode

Matt, Brent, Tyler, Willi, and Marty float down the Yukon River on their hand-built raft.

Matt, Brent, Tyler, Willi, and Marty float down the Yukon River on their hand-built raft. (View larger version)

Photograph by Brian Catalina Entertainment, LLC

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  • The Yukon River, the longest river in Alaska, is the third longest river in North America.

  • The Yukon River is 1980 miles long.

  • Until the completion of the Klondike highway in the 1950s, the Yukon river was the principal means of transportation since the Klondike gold rush.

  • The name Yukon is derived from the Gwich’in language and means “great river.”

  • Whitehorse Fishway on the Yukon River at the Whitehorse dam is the longest wooden fish ladder in the world at 1,200 feet long.

  • The Yukon River is one of the most important salmon-breeding rivers and hosts the largest migrating stocks in the world of Chinook, Chum and Coho Pacific salmon.

  • The Yukon River Quest, at 444 miles is the longest annual canoe and kayak race in the world.

  • Dip nets are a bag net with a handle that is used to scoop fish from the water.

  • Despite being the third longest river in North America, the Yukon only has 4 bridges that cross it.

  • It is believed that the first settlers of the Americas came through the Yukon basin.

  • The settlement of Rampart, Alaska, is 100 miles northwest of Fairbanks, about 75 miles upstream from its junction with the Tanana River.

  • The population of Rampart, Alaska, as of 2011, is 31.

  • Rampart City was established as a river supply point in 1897.

  • A goldrush in 1898 made Rampart grow to an estimated population of 10,000. Back then, the town had its own newspaper, hotel, library and hospital not to mention countless businesses that any mining town of the time would have had as well.

  • The boom in Rampart was short-lived however as by 1903, only a Native community remained along with the abandoned businesses and houses.
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