Welcome to Atlin

The small community of Atlin, located on the eastern shore of Atlin Lake (the largest natural lake in British Columbia), suffers from an identity crisis. Yes, you may see a B.C.
flag or two waving from a house in the unincorporated town, and it’s unlikely any Atlin resident will say no to a day off come August when the province shuts down for B.C. Day.
But if you ask some of the area’s approximately 500 residents, you’re likely to find many consider themselves Yukoners, with the town’s designation as British Columbian a mere accident of geography.
Whatever side of the fence you fall on, one thing is for sure: there are few places that boast better scenery than Atlin. Located just 60-km south of the Yukon-B.C. border, Atlin shares
rich gold-rush history with the Yukon. Indeed, the Atlin Gold Rush is considered B.C.’s last great stampede, occurring after two miners, Fritz Miller and Kenneth MacLaren, hit paydirt on nearby Pine Creek, in 1898. When news broke of the pair’s discovery, it was only a matter of time before nearly 5,000 gold-seeking hopefuls set up in Atlin—many of them tired and discouraged miners trying to reach Dawson City. By 1899, Atlin was booming,
with trading posts and services that catered to the influx of residents, whose numbers were pushing 10,000.
Like many northern gold-rush towns, the population of Atlin has since dwindled, allowing its gorgeous landscape to remain unspoiled. While the area is still home to an active placergold-mining industry, the main draw of modern-day Atlin is tourism, with a wealth of accommodation options (including B&Bs, cabins, houseboats, RV parks, and campgrounds) affording visitors a comfortable place to stay while they explore the history and beauty of this tiny, yet important, community.
As you might imagine, Atlin’s lakes and mountainous surroundings allow for plenty of unforgettable outdoor adventures. Fishing for trout and grayling, boating, kayaking, and canoeing on Atlin’s four major lakes are popular summertime pursuits, as
are hiking and mountain biking, with great trails surrounding the quaint downtown. In winter, the highway to Atlin is quite easy to drive, allowing visitors access to dog mushing, ice skating, and heli- and cross-country skiing.
Atlin also boasts a rich arts and cultural community. Get to know the locals in this charming little town and you might be surprised to find that a great number of year-round residents are passionately involved in the arts. Photographers, painters, musicians, textile artists, furniture makers, and antique restorers can all be found plying their trade in this seemingly quiet village.
To rub elbows with local talent, visit the Atlin Courthouse Gallery on Third Street, where you’ll often fi nd exhibiting artists volunteering their time. The gallery is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., mid-May to early-October.