Yukon Territory

Whitehorse to Kluane National Park on the Alaska Highway

19 August 2010 - Thursday

Oh, the big city makes us itchy to escape! One night and we've got a serious case of ants in the pants. North of Whitehorse the scenery is average. There's a long stretch where the trees are only 52 years old, the re-growth after the Takhini Burn in 1958. This forest is more than 50 years old - an indication of how slowly the foliage grows in the north.

Alaska Highway between Whitehorse & Haines Junction in Yukon
View northbound on the Alaska Highway in the "Takhini Burn" area

This year I wanted to visit a spot we often visited when I was a kid and the family was travelling between Whitehorse and our home in Beaver Creek. The grave houses of the First Nations in the area are fascinating. Unfortunately, I knew some of the people buried here.

I'm not disclosing the location of this cemetery simply because the sign makes it clear it is not a tourist attraction. Burial grounds are sacred and deserve much respect.

Alaska Highway between Whitehorse and Kluane in Yukon
Grave houses in a cemetery along the Alaska Highway

Approaching Haines Junction, there was fresh snow in the mountains. We stopped at the Pine Lake Yukon Gov't campground for lunch. The wind was blowing and it was chilly! In 2009 we stayed at the campground, but decided not to this year.

Alaska Highway near Haines Junction, Yukon
Northbound on the Alaska Highway approaching Haines Junction

At Haines Junction I took the opportunity to snap a picture of the truck & fifth wheel with the mountains as a backdrop.

Alaska Highway near Haines Junction in Yukon
Parked at Haines Junction

Carrying on northward, we continued to seek an overnight camp spot. At km 1614 there is an access road to Sulphur Lake. We pulled in but it was wet & muddy! Not too many places to park or walk around without being in mud. It was a good spot to stretch the legs though.

Alaska Highway near Kluane Lake, Yukon
At Sulphur Lake, km 1614 on the Alaska Highway

Sulphur Lake is about 3 km long and half a kilometre wide.

Alaska Highway near Kluane Lake, Yukon
Wildlife watching at Sulphur Lake

Tazz did her share of looking for wildlife too.

Alaska Highway near Kluane Lake, Yukon
Tazz striking the pose at Sulphur Lake

Kluane Lake wasn't too far northward, so we carried on. Congdon Creek Yukon gov't campground on the shores of Kluane is one of our favourite stops so we decided to head there for the night. To see more of this area, visit my Kluane Lake page.

Kluane Lake area on the Alaska Highway in Yukon
On the Alaska Highway approaching Sheep Mountain on the shores of Kluane Lake

This year, the new bridge across Slim's River was complete. Last year the bridge was under construction. It felt odd to not see the old bridge, which has been here as long as I can remember!

Kluane Lake area on the Alaska Highway in Yukon
New bridge crossing over Slim's River by Sheep Mountain

We pulled into an empty campground at Congdon Creek! The clouds continued to hang low on the mountains and the new snow across the lake was apparent.

Kluane Lake area on the Alaska Highway in Yukon
Tazz enjoying a roll in the gravel along the lakeshore at Kluane Lake

Kluane Lake area on the Alaska Highway in Yukon
Looking south on Kluane Lake from the Congdon Creek Yukon gov't campground

We hoped the weather would change so kayaking would be a possibility. The winds can come up fast on Kluane Lake. Neither of us wanted to head out in these conditions so we hoped tomorrow would bring better skies and calm water! 

Kluane Lake area on the Alaska Highway in Yukon
Looking north on Kluane Lake from the Congdon Creek Yukon gov't campground

The campground was not busy. One other vehicle pulled in before supper time and, the irony of it all, occupied the site next to us. To add insult to injury, they started their generator and ran it until 11 p.m., which made our night by the fire a little less enjoyable. Sigh ...  

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