Yukon Sights by Sue Thomas

Anchorage AK to Whitehorse YT

28 March 2014 - Friday

Similar to my one-day drive to Anchorage, I was making the drive home in a single day.

Again, weather was spectacular and road was in great condition. Started at 5:30 a.m. Alaska time (6:30 Yukon time) in the dark at Anchorage. Even at this early hour, the streets and highway were busy.

And had to wait until there was some light in the sky to take pictures.

Alaska
Sun wasn't up yet as I headed east, this about 40 miles east of Palmer - N61.80193 W148.06406

At the Matanuska Glacier, the light was brightening!

Alaska
Matanuska Glacier - N61.79826 W147.79914

At 7:25 a.m. Alaska time, the sun hit the mountaintops!

Alaska
Evidence of sunshine - N61.79717 W147.76631

Alaska
The sun was lighting more as I stopped to look back at Lions Head - N61.80366 W147.54344

Highway elevation about 3,300 feet.

Alaska
The sun rising at Eureka Summit - N61.85295 W147.37156

Alaska
Very scenic at 3,000 ft elevation - N61.91194 W147.27626

Filled with fuel at Glenallen and carried on to the Tok Cut-off.

Alaska
At Chistochina - N62.56554 W144.66736

Stopped where the highway crosses over the very wide Chistochina River.

Alaska
Looking southward over the Chistochina River - N62.60243 W144.63774

It was 10:30 a.m. AK time, after five hours on the road, it was time for a bit of a break. The scenery looking into the Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve was worthy!

Alaska
Time for a break - N62.71625 W144.13287

Alaska
Mount Sanford on the left and Mount Drum on the right

Alaska
Mount Sanford's peak

An hour later, I was nearing the turn-off to Nabesna Road, a rough gravel road that takes travellers into the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. 

Alaska
Eastbound on the Glenn Highway near the junction of Nabesna Road - N62.71849 W144.07958

Alaska
A rough spot just before the Nabesna Road junction - N62.71823 W144.06367

Alaska
Interesting snowy mound in the distance - N62.73453 W143.83328

In Yukon, pavement breaks are noted with flags. In Alaska, there are signs.

Alaska
Sign with flags! Must be a bad one - N62.82984 W143.70331

Arrived at Tok at 11:40 AK time, six hours after leaving Anchorage. Weather was spectacular! Just south of Tok is the Tanana River, with a stunning view towards Tok.

Alaska Hwy
Tanana River bridge

Not too far south of Tok is Tetlin Junction, where you'd turn if you wanted to visit Chicken or Eagle on the Taylor Highway. Or drive to Dawson City on the Top of the World Highway.

Alaska Hwy
Tetlin Junction on the Alaska Highway

Crews were plowing to open the Taylor Highway to Eagle apparently, with the announcement that it was open during the first week of April.

Alaska Hwy
Looking up the Taylor Highway from the Alaska Highway

Fueled up at Northway. Was at the Yukon-Alaska border at 2:30 p.m. Yukon time.

Alaska Hwy
The Yukon-Alaska border

Alaska Hwy
Looking back at the Alaska sign

Alaska Hwy
The highway had recent improvements between the border and Beaver Creek so was gravel for a bit

The Beaver Creek area has much muskeg and little trees that will never grow tall unless the permafrost melts.

Alaska Hwy
Looking to the west

At Canadian customs at Beaver Creek, I was asked how long I'd been in Alaska and why. Then asked about firearms and knives. And what was I bringing back--I handed over the list of items/toys I'd bought at the outfitters store.

I stopped in Beaver Creek (my home town) to pick up a sandwich to go, chatted with a friend while my sandwich was being made, then hit the road again.

Alaska Hwy
Looking east along the White River

Alaska Hwy
Looking south along the highway over the White River bridge (sure miss the old White River bridge!)

Alaska Hwy
Continuing south, approaching the White River Lodge, just on the right at the bend in the road

After crossing the Donjek River, I stopped to photograph the valley, sunshine and mountains.

Donjek River
Donjek River in the distance

The Kluane Wilderness Village as been closed for years. Many people ask about Scullys Saloon though, here at historical mile 1118, also closed for many, many years.

Scullys
Scullys Saloon at Mile 1118

Just before 6 p.m. Destruction Bay was on the horizon.

Destruction Bay
Approaching Destruction Bay, historical mile 1083

Kluane Lake
Southbound view of Kluane Lake, south of Destruction Bay

Alaska Hwy
Continuing southbound around Kluane Lake

At the south end of the Kluane Lake, an RV was in the rest area. South of the rest area I took a photo looking to the north with the RV sort of visible on the lower right.

Alaska Hwy
Looking back to the north and Kluane Lake

Filled with fuel in Haines Junction at 6:45 p.m.

Alaska Hwy
Paint Mountain, seen southbound out of Haines Junction

Arrived home at 7:30 p.m., 13 hours after leaving Anchorage.

The GPS tells me I was moving for 11.5 hours of that time, so was stopped for 1.5 hours. That is an hour longer than I was stopped for my drive to Anchorage! Too many picture stops, I guess.

Average speed while moving was 93 km/h (58 mph) over the 1,074 km (667 miles) distance. Phew! It was a long day and it felt good to be home!

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