Atlin summers are sunny and dry, with very little rain. The average monthly
precipitation during the summer months is approx.. 30 mm (1 1/4"). The dry climate with low humidity means very
few bugs. (Good news. Bravo!)
Temperatures in July and August can range from +25 C (80 F) on warm
days to +8 C (45 F) on cool or windy days. Night temperatures are cool, ranging from +4 C to +12 C, (40 F to 50 F).
Please refer to the What to Bring sections for suggestions on appropriate
Another interesting feature of an Atlin summer: abundant daylight . In June
the sun sets close to midnight!
The village of Atlin was born during British Columbia's last great gold rush, which began in
1898 when Fritz Miller and Kenneth MacLaren discovered gold on Pine Creek, in what was then thought to be part
of Canada's Yukon.
It wasn't long before thousands of gold-seekers descended on the eastern shore of Atlin Lake, hauling tons of supplies
over mountains and across Atlin Lake - by boat in summer and by sled, often over unsafe ice, in winter.
Those were tough, turbulent times. Many gold-seekers were unprepared for the harsh northern wilderness. Theft
of supplies was a common problem, so much so that the North West Mounted Police finally restricted access to those who could not prove they had
a ton of supplies (literally!), and could transport them to the gold fields.
If that weren't challenge enough, gold inspectors initially believed the Atlin gold strike was in the Yukon Territory
and recorded the first Atlin gold claims according to Yukon law. It took some time before the Government Agent
and Gold Commissioner started having doubts about the true location of the Strike. Far from being a mere bureaucratic
bungle, however, the true situation caused much distress. The original miners were thrown into a frenzy because
their staked claims were not being honoured. They felt shortchanged when it became clear that, because the
Strike was in British Columbia and not the Yukon, it was subject to B.C.'s laws. This was Canada only one hundred ears ago: provincial and territorial
boundaries were anyone's guess, including the officials'!
In its heyday, Atlin had 10,000 inhabitants who survived the northern winters in tents and rough wooden structures. Atlin
has had its ups and downs since then. In the 1960's the population bottomed out at around 100 and now stands near 500.
Mining still goes on beside Pine Creek with significant amounts of gold and the occasional sizable
nugget still to be found.
Tourism began in 1903 when hunting and sport fishing drew visitors from as far away as Europe. The MV Tarahne
began cruising Atlin Lake in 1917 with the Llewellyn Glacier as a popular destination.
Atlin is not unique in its scenic setting and romantic history alone. Its people are a colourful collection of gold
miners, bush pilots, trappers, crafts people, artists, and retired academics. They are hardy, creative individuals and
families who thrive in an economy that creates few local jobs.
Atlin now boasts a library, a museum, an Inn, two grocery stores, basic banking service by the Bank of Montreal,
a fire department, an ambulance corps, a theater group, a public school up to grade 10 and a RCMP office.
Traces of Atlin's original 10,000 inhabitants have been reclaimed by nature as most buildings were crude wooden structures.
But observant visitors can find many remnants in and around the village, on mountain slopes and in remote valleys.
The Atlin Centre's wilderness outings and art course field trip offer many opportunities - and a few hints on
where and how to look - to discover nature's and history's secrets.