Yukon Territory

Heading out on the Haines Road for fall colours & snow

21 September 2013 - Saturday

Had been hoping for clear skies to photograph fall colours on the Haines Road. It wasn't happening this month, so rather than miss the views we headed out with just a bit of blue showing through the clouds. 

Alaska Hwy
Heading northwest between Whitehorse & Haines Junction

For years I've chosen to not photograph the replica bridge at Canyon Creek. This trip the truck slowed while we went by so I could take some shots out the truck window. 

Alaska Highway
The replica "historical" Canyon Creek bridge

A bit west of Haines Junction there is a nice rest area, perfect for picture taking. The fresh snow on the mountains with fall colours in the foreground made a stunning scene.

Alaska Highway
Kluane Ranges and St. Elias Mountains with fall colours

Alaska Highway
From the same rest area, with a wider angle

At Haines Junction the truck was fueled, then it headed south on the Haines Road. 

Haines Road
Kluane Ranges west of Haines Junction - same peaks visible in the shot above from the rest area

The sun continued to poke through now and then.

Haines Road
Kluane Ranges / St. Elias Mountains / Kluane National Park

Snow capped mountains ...

Haines Road
Looking west from the Haines Road

Lots of fall colours and we weren't the only ones out RVing. 

Haines Road
Trailhead along the Haines Road

Further south the wetlands had some migrating swans, but not many.

Haines Road
Fall colours on the wetlands

The descent to the valley with Million Dollar Falls campground is particularly nice with fall colours. 

Haines Road
Descending towards Million Dollar Falls Yukon gov't campground

At the campground we enjoyed our lunch, took the dogs for a walk, then back into the truck and we carried on. It was raining so I didn't take too many pictures. We continued south through B.C. then turned around just before the Alaska border.  It was windy and cold around the Haines Summit, so we decided to head back to Million Dollar Falls campground for the night. 

Haines Road
Fall colours on the tundra, near the tree line

Just after we turned around, Steve spotted a black bear high on the hillside.
The bear was intently eating, preparing for its long winter nap. 

Haines Road
Black bear eating berries

Working the telephoto lens helped a bit BUT the bear was a long distance away!

Haines Road
Black bear trotting across the berry patch

Three Guardsmen Pass is beautiful in every season. In winter a soft white, in summer lush green, in fall it has brilliant colour in contrast with Glave Peak. 

Haines Road
Glave Peak scrapping at the clouds overhead

Despite the grey sky, the colours were brilliant. 

Haines Road
Three Guardsmen pass

Glave Peak looked harsh with snow and rock. In winter, it is entirely different, with skiers enjoying the steep descent after a long hike up. See it in March 2013 here

Haines Road
Glave Peak - September 2013

Glave Peak
Glave Peak - March 2013

The red arrow below points to the skier trudging back uphill for another run down!

Glave Peak skier 

The drizzle continued so I didn't take many pictures on the way back to Million Dollar Falls where we shared the campground with one other camper. The campfire felt good tonight! 

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