Yukon Sights by Sue Thomas

Kluane Lake and a day for doing nothing

2 September 2009 - evening exploring

After supper it was time for another exploration of the area. As we headed south, we drove along the old Alaska Highway near the shore of the Lake. 

Near Kluane Lake, Yukon
Kluane Lake shore, looking towards the south west

First we headed towards the local airfield on the south side of the lake, where the  Arctic Institute's Kluane Lake Research Station is located.

Silver City airfield, Yukon
Silver City airfield near the Kluane Lake Research Station of the Arctic Institute of North America

Nearby there was a property for sale, the site of a lodge along the old Alaska Highway alignment near Silver City.  The original gas station sign still stood.

sign by the old Alaska Highway, Sheep Mountain Lodge
Sign along the old Alaska Highway by Kluane Camp and Sheep Mountain Lodge

The highway has been re-routed through this area so no longer passes by this landmark, the Sheep Mountain Motel which is on the south side of Kluane Lake.

sign at Kluane Lake, Yukon
One of the historical roadside lodges, now bypassed by the new Alaska Highway

After checking the real estate, we ventured further down the road and saw a unique mailbox at the driveway of another property.  I jumped out to get some pictures.  As I was setting up the shot below, Jake (our big dog with lots of bear experience) started barking.  I was busy so ignored his antics and also ignored Steve when he opened the truck window and hoarsely whispered, "Get in the truck!".  Because I ignored him, Steve then exclaimed more loudly, "A grizzly just crossed the road behind the truck ... get in!".  Thus, I only got one picture of the mailbox; fortunately it turned out well.  And I have a good story to go with it!

Mail box, Silver City, Kluane Lake, Yukon
Interesting mailbox near the Arctic Research Station on the south side of Kluane Lake

Deciding that a grizzly trumped my desire to take pictures, we headed back towards Congdon Creek campground.

It was only 8 pm, the evening was lovely, and two dogs were a bit antsy, so the trailhead to Soldier's Summit beckoned.  Located near the park information centre, this is a short hike along the original Alaska Highway roadbed.

Soldier's Summit trail sign
Sign at the start of the trail to Soldier's Summit 

Soldier's Summit monument
Monument at Soldier's Summit 

Hike up to Soldier's Summit along Kluane Lake, Yukon
Soldier's Summit with Kluane Lake to the right

Slim's River from Soldier's Summit along Kluane Lake, Yukon
Slims River looking towards the Kluane Ranges with the new and old Alaska Highway alignment on the right.

Hike up to Soldier's Summit along Kluane Lake, Yukon
The critters that give Sheep Mountain its name 

Ground squirrel hunting by Soldier's Summit, Yukon
Jake and Tazz had their own ideas about what was interesting 

Back at the parking lot and the start of the trail, the setting sun provided a nice contrast.

Alaska Highway by Sheep Mountain, Yukon
Slims River bridge with Kluane Lake in foreground and Alaska Highway on the right

We continued to explore some of the side roads, hoping to find a good spot to camp next year. 
There were numerous places off the highway that provided good views and private camping. 

Along Kluane Lake, Yukon
Looking across Kluane Lake towards Outpost Mountain and the Kluane Ranges

As the sun set at 10 p.m. we settled in front of the campfire back at the campground.

Sunset on Kluane Lake, Yukon
Sunset on Kluane Lake 

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