The home of the Ross River Dena (First Nation) Council, in an area well known for its hunting and fishing resources, the community of Ross River lies 360 kilometres northeast of Whitehorse near the junction of the Campbell Highway and the Canol Road.
Originally a seasonal camping and important gathering place for First Nations, prospecting and mining interests increased in the area in the early 1900’s, and an important trading post was established nearby in 1903. The American army built the Canol Pipeline, from Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories to Whitehorse in the early 1940s, and the accompanying road made the Ross River area more accessible. However, the late 1940s brought a collapse of fur prices and the permanent closure of most of the region’s fur trading posts. An exploration and mining boom occurred in the 1960s and 1970s and culminated with the development of the Faro mine, the largest lead/zinc mine in the world. The Canol Road shifted the commercial centre of the community to the south bank of the Pelly River at the new ferry crossing point and the federal government began pressuring the First Nation to move from the old village to its current site which became well established in 1962.
It is serviced by Ross River Airport, used mainly for charter and scheduled flights to and from Whitehorse and Watson Lake.