Teslin is a small village in Yukon, located at 1244 km (804 Mile) on the Alaska Highway. The name Teslin comes from the word Teslintoo that means ‘long narrow water’ in Tlingit. The term Teslintoo represents the long and narrow Teslin lake. During the Gold Rush (1898), the village of Teslin boomed because of its location on the Candian route to Klondike. In 1889, the Hudson Bay Company opened its trading post in Teslin to target travelers and surrounding villages. Hudson Bay’s post only survived a few years and was closed in 1903. Tom Smith and George Geddes opened a new trading post, know as Nisutlin Trading Post.
The Teslin Tlingit people are descendants of the Taku Qwan. They moved from the coastal region of Southeast Alaska and settled along the salmon-rich upper Taku River in the 18th Century. By the onset of-20th century, Tlingit people continued to move inland and settled in the Teslin Lake area.
The current population of Teslin is 124 (2016 census), and the village has a lot to offer to visitors interested in their history. The village has a trading post and motel (Gas available), Yukon Motel and RV Park, and a museum.
How to get there
Teslin is located at 1244 km (804 Mile) of the Alaska Highway. From Watson Lake, you have to drive for about 3 hours to reach Teslin (260 km).
Fun Fact: Teslin Bridge is the last original steel bridge remaining on the Southern Yukon stretch of the Alaska Highway.
Stops of Interest: You can visit two interesting places in Teslin, and get unique stamps on your Yukon Gold Explorer’s passport.
George Johnston Museum
The George Johnston Museum is on the Alaska Highway just one km past the bridge. It is named after Tlingit elder, trapper, fur trader, entrepreneur, and photographer. We highly recommend visiting this museum; it was an excellent opportunity to learn about history and broaden our knowledge. We enjoyed the visit.
Admission: Adult $5, Seniors/Students $4, and Family $15.
The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre
The Déslin Haa Kusteeyí Dàkhakhwân Hit (Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre) is located along the shores of Teslin Lake, only 5 km north of the village. The Centre showcases exhibits from the modern and traditional Tlingit arts and culture, and a canoe exhibit. The gift shop offers gift items made by local artisans.
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