In 1896, ""gold fever"" captured imaginations worldwide; in three years, over 100,000 prospectors were lured to the frozen North of Alaska and the Yukon, hoping to strike it rich and changing Alaska forever. They settled Juneau, Dawson, and Fairbanks and turned camps into boom towns overnight. Their dramatic story is vividly told here with the help of 60 outstanding archival photos. Hardships were many: each miner had to backpack nearly 1000 pounds of supplies up the ""Golden Stairs,"" a sheer hill where 1500 steps were cut in the frozen snow, and where just one trek with a 50-pound pack took six hours. Another stretch was called ""Dead Horse Trail"" because it was littered with the bones of pack animals. Since the climate was so inhospitable and the journey so rigorous, the mounted police took to inspecting prospectors, turning back those with inadequate supplies. Much of this material is also covered in Delia Ray's Gold! The Klondike Adventure (Dutton 9/89--not reviewed), which, however, uses undocumented dialogue and has fewer, less clearly reproduced photos. Cooper's book is to be preferred, an excellent choice for school and public libraries. Picture credits; index.