Yukon Territory

Cassiar Highway, Hwy 37 in Northern British Columbia
Kinaskan Lake to the Alaska Highway

See south end of the Cassiar Highway for pictures south of Kinaskan Lake.
The south end page also includes links for additional info about the Cassiar Hwy.

The paint lines once ended near Kinaskan Lake. In 2010 there were more improvements to this route and the paint lines now carry on much further northward.

Paint lines disappear near Kinaskan Lake, Cassiar Hwy.
Driving southbound near Kinaskan Lake, approaching the beginning of the paint lines - Sept 2009

The Cassiar Hwy continues northward with 2 lanes of asphalt with minimal shoulders.

Cassiar Highway north of Kinskan Lake
Travelling southbound on the Cassiar Highway approaching Kinaskan Lake - September 2009

In some spots the asphalt is rough. Some folks express concern regarding the roughness and narrowness of the north end of the Cassiar. It is not uncommon to hear tall tales of the horror of the highway. We think it is fine. It has not torn apart the fifth wheel, the truck has not disappeared into a pot hole, and we have yet to be veered off the highway by a semi-truck.

We meander along this route at an easy pace. When a vehicle approaches from behind, we pull over and let it pass by on the first straight stretch. If someone is approaching, we slow down and ease to the side of the highway. Some motorhomes go barreling on by, rocking and rolling as they go. I wonder if these are the same people that express concern about the road conditions?

This picture accurately reflects the road width and conditions ...

Csasiar Highway north of Kinaskan Lake, northbound
Northbound on the Cassiar Highway north of Kinaskan Lake - August 2009

Alongside Eddontenajon Lake on the Cassiar Highway
View of glacier on the west side of Eddontenajon Lake - September 2009

Eddontenajon & Kluachon Lakes, Cassiar Highway, B.C.
Southbound north of Eddontenajon - Kluachon & Eddontenajon Lakes on the right - Sept 2010

North of Iskut but south of the Stikine River is the Morchuea Lake Recreation Site. There is a stunning view of Mt. Edziza, within the Mount Edziza Provincial Park.

Morchuea Lake, Cassiar Highway, British Columbia
Mount Edziza south of Morchuea Lake - September 2009

Spotting wildlife often requires a roaming eye. Movement in a distant marsh area caught my eye while I was gazing out the passenger window. The reward was some nice pictures of this cow moose, even though she was far away.

Moose south of Dease Lake, BC
Cow moose south of Dease Lake, in a marshy area on the east side of the highway - June 2008

Dease Lake is a good spot for replenishing fuel and the pantry. The grocery store and gas station are combined. If the timing is right we purchase a hot lunch at the deli to enjoy in the fifth wheel.

The Cassiar Highway north of Dease Lake was gravel for numerous kilometres until the fall of September 2009. It is now paved. It was a relief to know the days of mud and slime on the truck are over! However, in spring there are now numerous potholes and pavement breaks requiring repair.

Dease Lake, Cassiar Highway, British Columbia
North end of Dease Lake from the Cassiar Hwy - September 2010 -- N58 47.868 W130 04.996

Dease River Crossing on the Cassiar Highway
Dease River Crossing, a commercial campground on the Cassiar Highway - August 2009 

We enjoy the drive through this area. It is scenic and wildlife abundant. There is often a moose or two in the lakes. Also numerous spots to pull of the road to enjoy lunch.  

Approaching Good Hope Lake on the Cassiar Highway northbound
Approaching Good Hope Lake on the Cassiar Highway northbound - August 2009

Mountain goats have graced the scenery near Good Hope too. Had a herd of about 20 in the way during one trip, which required inching along through them as they weren't about to move away.
Not quite as intimidating as shuffling through the herds of bison near Liard Hot Springs though.

We enjoy staying at Boya Lake Provincial Park (link to BC Parks) and have stayed during three different seasons. The lake is unique and always lovely, regardless of season or weather. 

Boya Lake at sunrise in the rain
Boya Lake on a September morning - September 2007

In 2009 we explored the lake with kayaks. It is much larger than it appears from the campground and has numerous islands, some occupied by a variety of wildlife. I had the GPS with us so no chance of getting lost; however, another couple were thoroughly lost in a rented canoe and asked us for directions back to the campground! Visit Google Maps here to see the layout of the lake.

The white lake bottom reflects the light through the crystal clear waters and it is easy to see fish swimming along, although they generally are not too interested in fishing lines.

Boya Lake Provincial Park, BC
Boya Lake Provincial Park and campground, along the lakeshore near a campsite - June 2008

Visit my page dedicated to this special park. 

There is a stretch of about 30 km on the north end of the Cassiar where forest fires burned during the summer of 2010. The highway was closed for several weeks. Then for a period vehicles were caravanned through. In September it opened without restriction. When we drove through mid-September the ground was still smoldering in spots.

Blue Lakes, Cassiar Highway, B.C.
2010 forest fire damage at Blue Lakes on the Cassiar Hwy - Sept 2010 -- N59 49.914 W129 07.985

The very north end of the Cassiar has been improved in recent years. Even so, it is narrow and there are rough spots. Take your time. Enjoy the sights.

If you are northbound, the busy Alaska Highway is too near. The solitude and silence of the Cassiar will soon be left behind.

North of Boya Lake, northbound on the Cassiar Highway
North of Boya Lake, northbound on the Cassiar Highway at km 665 - August 2009

BC / Yukon border, Cassiar Highway
Southbound from Yukon into B.C., Cassiar Highway - Sept 2011 - N60 00.169 W129 03.096

Leaving BC on the Cassiar Highway northbound
Leaving BC on the Cassiar Highway northbound at km 720 - August 2009

Sign at Yukon & BC Border, Cassiar Hwy
Yukon sign at the border between British Columbia and Yukon, looking north - July 2008

In 1993 the sign was different, but note the same fir tree with the hook in it ...

Yukon border sign, Cassiar Highway
The sign in 1993 ...

The Alaska Highway is a very short drive from the border, about 3 km.

Sign at the north end of the Cassiar Highway
Sign at the north end of the Cassiar Highway - August 2009

At the junction, in 2008 the RV park and restaurant were closed and the gas station was looking pathetic. In 2009, things looked better with the RV park being open and the restaurant operating. Not looking too snazzy, but open. In 2010 the RV park was open and likely did well due to the forest fire closures on the Cassiar which had many RVers waiting a day or two for the highway to open.

Now on to the Alaska Highway, northbound to Whitehorse.