Yukon Sights by Sue Thomas

Cassiar Highway to Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park
Northern British Columbia

12 to 14 June, 2008

We left Vancouver Island on Thursday, June 12, with the goal of through the Lower Mainland to avoid Friday morning rush hour. Overnighted at the Cole Road Rest Area near Abbotsford.

Friday, June 13, we travelled Hwy 1 to Cache Creek; then Hwy 97 to Lac La Hache. Overnighted at Lac La Hache Provincial Park.

On Saturday, continued north on Hwy 97 to Prince George. It was surprising how quiet the highway was this year. At Prince George, the truck turned west on Hwy 16 (Yellowhead Hwy). In 2007 we had decided to avoid the south end of the Alaska Highway on future trips because it was too busy and hectic. Continued driving west to Burns Lake, where we reluctantly stayed in a commercial campground as there wasn't a provincial park in the area.

Sunday 15 June 2008

Left Burns Lake at about 9 a.m. Then started north on the Cassiar Highway! Until this junction, we felt we were simply putting in miles.

The Cassiar Highway is a quiet highway with few services. The south end of the Cassiar is easy driving, with painted lane lines and some shoulder area.

Picture of south end of the Cassiar Hwy, BC
Northbound on the Cassiar Highway

Our overnight destination was Meziadin Lake Provincial Park where the truck and fifth wheel enjoyed a lovely waterfront site and a private canoe launch!

Camping at Meziadin Lake Provincial Park, BC
Site 41 at Meziadin Lake Provincial Park

Steve attempted some fishing with a fellow from Sweden; however, neither of them had any luck. His fishing partner was on a 10-week honeymoon to Canada & Alaska. This young couple were driving 4x4 truck with a small camper that they rented for $8,900 plus $0.34/km after the first 100 km per day, plus their fuel. And it seemed they were getting about the same mileage as us, yet we were towing a fifth wheel!

Monday 16 June 2008

We decided to not take the scenic drive into Stewart as the sky was overcast. If it was overcast at Meziadin Lake, it would surely be even MORE overcast on the road to, and in, Stewart.

The highway north from Meziadin Junction to Bell II continued to be good driving.

Northbound on the Cassiar Highway, BC
Northbound on the Cassiar Highway, south of Bell II

We looked forward to a short day as our destination was Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park.  Unfortunately, the highway was closed a few kilometres south of Bell II due to a serious accident: a transport truck had overturned around the corner pictured below.

At accident scene on Cassiar Hwy, BC
Line of traffic waiting for accident to clear a couple kilometres south of Bell II

We arrived at about 11:00 a.m. and were told the accident happened around 8:00 a.m. Two injured men were transported to hospital by helicopter, with the highway remaining closed until about 1 p.m.  It was re-opened only after investigators arrived by truck from Terrace to complete an accident assessment. After filling with diesel at Bell II, we continued northward.

Cassiar Highway, BC
Looking east from the Cassiar Highway

Cassiar Highway scene, BC
Scene along the Cassiar Highway

The Cassiar Highway gradually faded from a well-marked two-lane highway to a well-worn asphalt road with no shoulder. Even so, the road was in reasonably good driving condition.

Cassiar Highway northbound
Northbound on the Cassiar Highway north of Bell II

The scenery continued improve ...

Northbound on the Cassiar Highway, BC
Northbound on the Cassiar Highway, north of Bell II but south of Kinaskan Lake

The camping sites at Kinaskan Lake provincial park are mostly along the lake's edge and have varying degrees of privacy. We opted for a very private site with a bit of view of the lake. Other sites were very open and offered expansive views.

Camping at Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park, Cassiar Highway, BC
Campsite at Kinaskan Lake provincial park

Our dog needed to stretch of his legs so we walked the south end of the lakeshore.

Hiking at Kinaskan Lake, Cassiar Highway, BC
Kinaskan Lake shoreline, looking north east

Hiking at Kinaskan Lake, Cassiar Highway, BC
Kinaskan Lake shoreline looking east

Next page - 17 June 2008