Yukon Territory

Lapie Lake on the South Canol Road to
Little Salmon Lake on the Robert Campbell Highway

17 August 2010 - Tuesday

Usually we pack stuff away the night before a departure. Today we had hoped to get on the lake with the kayaks but the water was very choppy. So we had to load the bike, kayaks and other gear and prepared to depart.

This morning we also caught scent of the forest fire smoke again; likely the wind change blowing it in.

Northbound on the South Canol Road in Yukon
Northbound on the South Canol Road

The road was in good condition for a gravel/dirt road.

Northbound on the South Canol Road in Yukon
View northbound on the South Canol Road in Yukon

The signage along the South Canol is usually visible, although often difficult to see.

Northbound on the South Canol Road in Yukon
26 kms to Ross River on the Campbell Highway

There is a good view of the Lapie River from the road above.

Northbound on the South Canol Road in Yukon
Lapie River, looking south from the South Canol Road

Note the lack of roadside barriers through this area.
In the image below, the signs read, "Keep Right", "Hill" and "Trucks Gear Down". 

Northbound on the South Canol Road in Yukon
View south from the South Canol Road above the Lapie River

The road is narrow along this hillside. There are some spots to pull over so an oncoming vehicle can pass, but it is pretty much a crapshoot about who gets priority. Fortunately, the road is not well-travelled and we have never met an oncoming vehicle through this section so have never had the debate about who will back up to the nearest pull-off.

Northbound on the South Canol Road in Yukon
The South Canol is narrow above the Lapie Canyon with an occasional pull-off

At the Lapie River bridge there is a short hiking trail along the Lapie Canyon on the west side of the bridge. It is marked, but the sign is hard to see. 

Lapie River Bridge on the South Canol Road in Yukon
The Lapie River bridge over the Lapie Canyon, just a few miles south of the Campbell Highway

At the north end of the South Canol, travellers can choose to turn east to Watson Lake or west towards Ross River, Faro and Carmacks. Many will have to take the drive to Ross River to get fuel to continue their journey either direction.

Exiting the South Canol Road at the Campbell Highway
The sign at the north end of the South Canol Road

Folks wishing to continue northbound on the North Canol need to go to Ross River to take the ferry across the Pelly River.

Sign for Ross River turnoff on Campbell Highway
Sign indicating the 10 km drive to Ross River

We had diesel with us so bypassed the turnoff to Ross River.

Further along is the turn off to Faro. Faro is a nice spot to visit, however the gas station burned down a few years ago and has not been replaced yet. So no fuel available in Faro this year! The visitors centre is very nice though. There is also a community managed full-service campground that looked very nice. (Addendum: Faro now has a self-serve, credit card only fuelling station.)

Sign indicating turn to Faro on the Campbell Highway, Yukon
Sign indicating turn off to Faro, Yukon

We carried on westbound on the Campbell Highway, planning to stay at one of the two Yukon gov't campgrounds on Little Salmon Lake. The first one we reached was the Drury Creek campground.

Sign for Drury Creek Campground on Little Salmon Lake, Yukon
Sign indicating the turn-off to Drury Creek Yukon gov't campground

There are no services at Yukon gov't campgrounds. Usually the campgrounds aren't too busy and the firewood is free. While checking out the Drury Creek campground, Steve decided to give Tazz dancing lessons ...

Little Salmon Lake on Campbell Highway in Yukon
Put your right foot in and shake it all about!

Drury Creek was nice enough and no one was camped. But we decided to carry on to Little Salmon Lake Yukon gov't campground, where we parked in a nice waterside spot.

Little Salmon Lake on Campbell Highway in Yukon
Campsite at Little Salmon Lake Yukon gov't campground

The wind continues to blow hard. Later in the evening some dramatic clouds blew in over us. I thought it a good opportunity to practice some shots with the ultra wide angle lens. An advantage of the wind was there were no bugs to bother me!

Little Salmon Lake on Campbell Highway in Yukon
Looking west over Little Salmon Lake

Some blue patches of sky showed through as the wind blew the clouds through. 

While watching the clouds and water, I also saw the sunlight shine off some water splashing near the end of the lake. With binoculars we saw a cow moose and her calf crossing the creek! Too far away to get a picture though!

Little Salmon Lake on Campbell Highway in Yukon

There were some other folks camped at the campground; I think with rental RVs.

Little Salmon Lake on Campbell Highway in Yukon
Rental RVs camped at Little Salmon Lake in Yukon

The barometer continued to drop. We expected to wake to rain in the morning. 

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