Yukon Territory

Ross River to Simpson Lake - Campbell Highway, Yukon

10 September 2007

The Campbell Highway was in good condition for a gravel road.  There were some rough spots, but overall we moved along at about 60 km/h.  Our goal was to reach the Frances Lake government campground at km 171.5 (from Watson Lake).  We had stayed at this campground in 1996 and looked forward to seeing it again.

Frances Lake shoreline in the fall
Frances Lake shoreline alongside the campground, looking southeast

Frances Lake, Yukon
Frances Lake shoreline alongside the campground, looking northeast

The campground had a couple of other sites filled with locals there for the fishing and moose hunting.  And we stayed in the same site we had in 1996.  Lovely site overlooking the lake.

Frances Lake Yukon gov't campsite, Yukon
Campsite at Frances Lake

I also noticed the cranberries were perfectly ripe!  I spent some time picking cranberries while Steve headed out for some fishing.  He caught a good fish, which we enjoyed for dinner.  Shortly after he arrived back, the wind picked up significantly and we realized it was a good thing he returned when he did.

Canoeing on Frances Lake, Yukon
Steve returning from catching a fish for supper

11 September 2007

This morning the wind continued to howl.  The skies were overcast too.  We had planned to stay the day.  The couple in the neighbouring site encouraged us to continue with our intentions of driving the Nahanni Range Road. So we decided we could drive the 170 km to Watson Lake, fill up with diesel, drive back to Simpson Lake campground (80 km) and get an early start on the Nahanni Range Road the next day.

Watson Lake provided a quick respite from the wilderness.  It was our first grocery shopping trip since leaving home.  It also gave me an opportunity to do some laundry.  I asked some of the local fellows about Nahanni Range Road and they indicated we would have no problems, even towing our fifth wheel.  Then one of the fellows added, "It's only them outsiders that cause problems up there."  I took that as a compliment.

We left Watson Lake mid-afternoon, heading back up the Campbell Highway to Simpson Lake government campground (km 81).  It was a small campground with lots of waterfront sites.  The evening provided another fishing opportunity for Steve.  And there were plenty of cranberries for me to pick!  We also noted a fair bit of bear sign in the area.

Simpson Lake campground, Yukon
View of Simpson Lake from our campsite

The lake stayed quiet in the evening with some subtle colours in the sky.  Steve headed out with the canoe for some quiet time & fishing. 

Simpson Lake, Yukon
Fishing on Simpson Lake

The campground stayed quiet for the night.  Nice spot to stay!

Simpson Lake Yukon Gov't campground
Simpson Lake camping site

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