Yukon's leading industry by far is mining; lead, zinc, silver, gold, and copper are the principal minerals. Tourism is the second most important industry; the area's colorful history and beautiful scenery draw visitors. Manufacturing has increased in importance, with such products as furniture, clothing, and handicrafts. There are hydroelectric facilities at Whitehorse, Aishihik, and Mayo. Trapping, the oldest industry, has declined in recent decades. Fishing is relatively unimportant.
Transportation facilities are limited. For many years the Yukon River system was the main artery. The White Pass and Yukon Railway, between Whitehorse and Skagway, Alaska, built during the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s, now handles only excursion traffic. The Alaska Highway and other all-weather roads have been built since World War II. Air transportation now plays a vital role, and there is an international airport at Whitehorse.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.