Yukon Nuggets

1900 Yukon Nuggets

Mountie Mountains


In this the 125th anniversary of the formation of the North West Mounted Police, we'll take a look at mountains named for mounties who served in the Yukon as members of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police.

Mount Wood in the St. Elias Range stands an impressive 15,800 feet high. It was named in 1900 for then-Inspector Zachary Wood who, at one time, headed the police detachment in Dawson. Wood joined the Northwest Mounted Police in 1883, just ten years after it was formed. He later became commissioner of the Mounted Police.

Yet another impressive mountain, standing at nearly 15 thousand feet is named for Superintendant James Walsh. He was the first commissioner of the Yukon, although his post lasted only two months. But during the year he spent in the Yukon in 1898, Walsh was in charge of virtually all government and police operations.

One of the first police officers to arrive in the Yukon was Darcy Strickland, coming with a small force of men with Inspector Constantine in 1895. He was the first officer in charge on the White Pass in 1898 and later headed the important detachment at Tagish Post. Mount Strickland in the St. Elias stands almost 14,000 feet tall.

And finally, the tallest of the mountie mountains stands at just over 16,500 feet. Mount Steele is named for Sam Steele. He enlisted in the Northwest Mounted Police in 1874. In July of 1898, he was given the rank of Lt Colonel and was appointed by the federal government to organize and train the second Canadian division and in 1915, as chairman of the Canadian Militia council in England, was virtually the commander of all Canadian forces in the United Kingdom.

So there you have it. Four impressive peaks in the St. Elias Range, named for four impressive mounties who served the country well during and after the Klondike gold rush.


A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.

Les McLaughlin

Les McLaughlin

As storyteller, radio man, and music producer, Les proved a passionate preserver of Yukon heritage throughout his life — nowhere more evident than as the author and voice of CKRW’s “Yukon Nuggets,” from its inception until his passing in 2011.