Yukon Sights by Sue Thomas

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon to Northwest Territories

Also see my page dedicated to the South Canol

12 September 2007

The start of the Nahanni Range Road is 25 km north of the Simpson Lake Yukon government campground, which was a nice place to stay.

Nahanni Range Road sign, Yukon
Information sign at the start of the Nahanni Range Road in 2007

This sign at the start of the road was an accurate sign.

Nahanni Range Road sign, Yukon
Sign at the start of the Nahanni Range Road

Today blue skies and a good gravel road greeted us. 
Clear blue skies can be stunning with autumn colors in the north.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Nahanni Range Road during the fall colours

The first 80 kilometres provided reasonable road conditions and nice scenery.
We didn't know yet that the best area was the next 50 kilometres.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Nahanni Range Yukon gov't campground sign, km 84

The campground was in the middle of a large forest fire area that burned about five years before. Even so, it would have been a good overnight spot.

Nahanni Range Road campground, Yukon
Campsite at Nahanni Range Yukon gov't campground

Nahanni Range Road campground, Yukon
Campsite at Nahanni Range Yukon gov't campground

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Hyland River from the Nahanni Range campground

It was only midday so we continued along the road after lunch.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Hyland River where it intersects the road at kilometre 110 (mile 68)

This warning at km 134 should be taken seriously.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Warning sign alongside the road in 2007

We carried on, understanding the risk of traveling on remote roads. We had fuel, food, water and first aid kit, plus tools to repair the truck if something broke.

Further along the blue skies and clear day provided perfect picture opportunities.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Lake along Nahanni Range Road

Lake on Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Looking south over a lake along the Nahanni Range Road

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Looking northeast towards our destination along the Nahanni Range Road

Overall, the gravel road was in good condition. This area had been freshly graded.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
View looking west as we head towards the Northwest Territories

The road climbed up towards the Northwest Territories.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Looking back at Yukon

The road narrowed as it climbed. On one side was a wall and on the other side was a severe drop with no roadside barrier.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Small lake near the highest point along the pass

We wondered where the border between Yukon and Northwest Territories would be.
A "Notice to Hunters" was the only marking.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Sign marking the boundary between Yukon and NWT

The next sign we saw (below) gave several warnings with a downhill graphic,
DEADEND AHEAD 300-400 FT. KEEP RIGHT.

Not sure what was ahead we moved slowly. There was no place to turn around with a fifth wheel. We realized the sign should have said "90 degree left turn and if you miss the turn you will fall a long way over a vertical bank".

Sign
Sign -- DEAD END AHEAD 300-400 FT - KEEP RIGHT

Continuing along, the scenery was spectacular. Amazing colours!

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Looking towards the Northwest Territories and the Ragged Mountains

The Cantung tungsten mine was at the end of the road in 2007. There isn't much to see other than the signs indicating, "No Trespassing".

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
End of the road at Tungsten

We heeded the "No Trespass" signs and set up camp a few kilometres back.

Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
Camped alongside the Nahanni Range Road near Tungsten

The evening was very quiet with a planes flying overhead. A couple of workers from the mine passed by on their way to retrieve a moose they shot the night before. They told us the planes were flying between the Cantung mine and Mactung at Macmillan Pass (end of the North Canol Rd).

They also told us some of the hunters wouldn't expect to see two humans and a dog out for an evening stroll and might assume we were something else in the dusk. So they thought it best we be brightly decorated. We didn't meet anyone else that night; nor were we used for target practice.

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