In mid-May, eight-foot thick ice on the world's fifth largest river will grunt, groan and crack before breaking free and beginning the long journey downriver towards the Bering Sea.
By mid-June, both commercial and subsistence fishers ply the Yukon's water as they work to set up seasonal fish camps in preparation for a season of netting the legendary Yukon River King Salmon as they pass by on their 2,000-mile long spawning run.
By late July, adventurers in canoes and rafts pass, retracing the route of gold seekers who rode the waters of the mighty Yukon on their way to gold fields 100 years prior.
By early-September, hunters and their boats descend on the Yukon River en masse, using its extended waterways to full advantage in an intense search for the mighty Yukon moose and the critical food source it will provide for the long winter ahead.
By early-November, cold temperatures have once again formed a thick icy cap over the Yukon's now frigid waters, signaling that winter has settled in once again.
At the center of all this activity is Yukon River Camp, providing food, lodging, fuel and other services to both visitors and residents of the region.
Yukon River Camp is a summer seasonal operation located at mile 56 on the Dalton Highway (Alaska's wilderness highway to the Arctic Ocean) at the north end of the only bridge to cross the Yukon River in Alaska and just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
The focal point of Yukon River Camp is a popular and busy restaurant open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. The diverse menu caters both to the tastes of those guests satisfied by a juicy flame-broiled burger, and to the tastes of those guests who instead wish to indulge in a meal of grilled salmon with melon salsa and three-pepper risotto or horseradish-encrusted halibut with mango salsa and soft polenta (a dish recently featured along with Yukon River Camp in the National Culinary Review). In the winter, Yukon serves a variety of Asian-inspired fare—from Bahn Mi sandwiches to hearty, noodle soups with broths and meats cooked in-house.
The top-notch menu items and friendly service makes Yukon River Cafe a travelers oasis along the Dalton Highway.
The small coworker population and seasonal status of Yukon River Camp is ideal for a person looking to enjoy the profound simplicity of summer along the banks of Alaska's Yukon River.