Yukon Territory

Campbell Highway, Watson Lake to Carmacks - Yukon

Campbell Highway in Yukon - Map

We've been on the Campbell Hwy numerous times.

There are limited services. Be prepared to take care of yourself along this route.

 

Faro and Ross River usually have fuel BUT don't rely on it. Ross River has been out twice when we've been there. Faro has a credit card self-serve fuel facility that can be temperamental and not work some days.

At Watson Lake, near the sign forest, the Campbell Highway heads north.

Watson Lake Sign Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon
The sign forest in Watson Lake - September 1993

Campbell Highway km 55
Northbound on the Campbell Highway, about km 55 - September 2015

Construction zone
Typical construction zone, this was about km 69 in September 2015

At km 81 (mile 50), the Simpson Lake Yukon Gov't campground is a pleasant stop.

Simpson Lake, Yukon
View of Simpson Lake from Yukon gov't territorial campground - Sept 2007

Kayaking on Simpson Lake
Kayaking at dusk on Simpson Lake - September 2015

Kayaking on Simpson Lake
On Simpson Lake, that white spot is our fifth wheel at the campground

The Nahanni Range Road heads east from the Campbell Highway at km 108
(mile 67). Conditions on the Nahanni Range Road vary year-to-year and if you plan
driving this route, check at the Watson Lake visitors centre for up-to-date info.

Start of Nahanni Range Road, Yukon
The start of the Nahanni Range Road, accessed from the Campbell Highway - Sept 2007

Campbell Highway & Nahanni Range Rd, Yukon
View northwest from the rest area at the start of the Nahanni Range Road - Sept 2007

In July 2008, the rest area above and the junction with the Nahanni Range Road
were unrecognizable due to the major re-construction of the Campbell Highway.

Construction on the Campbell Highway, Yukon
One of the construction zones on the Campbell Highway in July 2008

Construction on Campbell Highway, Yukon
It was difficult to find the way through at some of the construction zones - July 2008

Frances Lake Yukon Gov't campground, 171 km (107 miles) north of Watson Lake is a popular spot with fisherman and hunters. It is also very popular with mosquitoes and flies in the spring!

Frances Lake, Yukon
Frances Lake Yukon gov't territorial campground - September 2007

Campground at Frances Lake, Yukon
Campsite at Frances Lake - September 2007

Truck and Camper on the Campbell Highway, Yukon
Northbound 15 miles south of Ross River, looking southwest towards the St Cyr Range - June 1996

Gravel Campbell Highway, Yukon
Southbound on Campbell Highway, south of Ross River - July 2008

Gravel on the Campbell Highway, Yukon
Southbound on the Campbell Highway, south of Ross River - July 2008

Flat tire on Campbell Highway, Yukon
This was the first of three flats on this trip in June 1996. 
We were northbound on the Campbell Hwy, just a few miles south of Ross River.

The South Canol Road intersects with the Campbell Highway a few miles south of
Ross River.

Turn off the Campbell Highway to go into Ross River for fuel. The fuel pumps are by the store/bank/post office building which is on your right entering town.

Gas station at Ross River, Yukon
Filling up with diesel at Ross River - July 2008

There are no commercial campgrounds in Ross River. The Lapie Canyon Yukon government campground is a few miles north of Ross River on the Campbell Highway. We have enjoyed stays there several times.

Sign at the end of the South Canol Road, Yukon
Leaving Ross River this is the sign at the Campbell Highway - September 2009

Continuing northwest, the turn-off to the town of Faro is at km 414.

Sign indicating turn to Faro on the Campbell Highway, Yukon
Turn off to Faro westbound - note the gravel road changes to pavement - August 2010

About 400 people continue to reside in Faro. The town is well-maintained and provides some services to travelers. 

Faro operates a pleasant municipal campground, the only "commercial" facility along the highway. In 2011 a credit-card-only gas pump opened in Faro to replace the gas station that burned to the ground years before.

Faro Gas Pump, Yukon
Faro's unmanned pump takes plastic cards for payment - May 2013

In May 2013 we visited Faro and tried to use this pump. The "system" was down but began working before we left. If you must fuel up here, keep in mind that the technology may go "down" and you'll not get anything until it is working again.

The town of Faro sign on Campbell Highway, Yukon
Faro is Yukon's Best Kept Secret - May 2013

The Faro mine began production in 1969 and was Canada's largest lead-zinc mine. After several openings and closings, the mine closed a final time in 1997. The site is now undergoing reclamation, with a total estimated cost of between $500 million and $1 billion during the next few decades.

The abandoned mine includes three large open pits, a massive tailings area, and several waste rock dump sites. Experts say that water treatment will be required for at least 500 years.

Sludge at the Anvil mine near Faro, Yukon
The "environmental disaster"; sludge from the Anvil Mine - July 2008

Anvil mine road near Faro, Yukon
At first glance, a scenic view near the Anvil Mine.
Closer look reveals the tailings/rock pile left over from the Anvil Mine - July 2008

Anvil mine road near Faro, Yukon
Road descending from the now closed Anvil Mine, north of Faro - July 2008

Faro area in Yukon
View while descending the mine road - May 2013

Back on the Campbell Highway heading towards Carmacks the highway is paved, but rough in places. In 2014 there were plans to repair the rough sections.


Red fox on Campell Highway, Yukon
Red Fox on the Campbell Highway near Little Salmon Lake - July 2008

Little Salmon Lake, Campbell Highway, Yukon
Little Salmon Lake from the Campbell Highway - July 2008

Little Salmon Lake in Yukon
Little Salmon Lake with ice on it, almost the same view as the above shot - May 2013

Little Salmon Lake in Yukon
Little Salmon Lake from the Yukon gov't campground - July 2008

Campsite at Little Salmon Lake on the Campbell Highway in Yukon
Waterside campsite at Little Salmon Lake Yukon gov't campground - August 2010

Little Salmon Lake on Campbell Highway in Yukon
A wild & stormy evening seen from the Little Salmon Lake Yukon gov't campground - August 2010

Campbell Highway in Yukon
Headed northwest on the Campbell Highway on the way to Carmacks - August 2010

There is a turn-off to Frenchman Lake at about km 543. Along the Frenchman-Tatchun Lake Road there are three Yukon gov't campgrounds, two are beside lakes. The gravel road is 46 km long and exits on the Klondike Highway.

Frenchman Lake campground
Frenchman Lake campground entrance - July 2008

Sunset at Frenchman Lake
Sun setting on Frenchman Lake - July 2011

Bear
Black bear was chasing the cyclist when we approached and scared it off the highway - July 2012

At km 555 there used to be a sign marking the location of the "Columbian Disaster". According to the September 26, 1906 edition of the Dawson Daily News, "The explosion blew out the sides of the vessel, scattered men and cargo in the water, and in less than five minutes had involved the whole inside of the ship in a mass of seething flame."

Sign for Columbian Disaster, Campbell Highway, Yukon
Sign of interest along the Yukon River and Campbell Highway - June 1996

Yukon River and the Campbell Highway, Yukon
Eastward view of the river from the site pictured above - July 2011

Campbell Highway and the Yukon River, Yukon
Westward view from the same viewpoint, above the Columbian Disaster - July 2011

Campbell Highway and Klondike Highway, Yukon
Turning onto the Campbell Highway near Carmacks - May 2013
Watson Lake 583 km, Ross River 236 km and Faro 178 km

The Campbell Highway ends at km 582 (362 miles), north of the village of Carmacks, on the Klondike Highway.