Yukon Sights by Sue Thomas

Vancouver Island BC to Beaver Creek, Yukon
December 1998

12 December 1998 - Saturday

Departed Vancouver Island and headed north on Hwy 1 through the Fraser Canyon, then on to Highway 97. We arrived at Lac La Hache (Hwy 97) at about 5:30 p.m. after driving 561 km (348 miles).

13 December 1998 - Sunday

The day wasn't great; snow and sleet most of the day. Even so, the highway was in good condition. At 4:30 p.m. we stopped at McLeod Lake on Hwy 97, 140 km (88 miles) north of Prince George and drycamped in a parking lot. 433 km (270 miles) today.

14 December 1998 - Monday

The furnace quit working during the night and it was cold! At 4 a.m. I started driving to warm things up. Early morning was ideal for seeing five moose!

In Dawson Creek a propane dealership added methanol hydrate to the tank to reduce its freezing.
The sky was clear and the highway was in good shape.

Northbound on the Alaska Highway near Fort St John
Northbound on the Alaska Highway north of Fort St John

It was about 6 p.m. when we stopped in Fort Nelson (historical milepost 300) and at the Blue Bell Inn. Today we covered 716 km (445 miles).

15 December 1998 - Tuesday

Left Fort Nelson at 10:30 a.m. headed for Liard River Hotsprings (historical milepost 496).

View from Steamboat Mountain, Alaska Highway, British Columbia
View from Steamboat Mountain

Alaska Highway in Winter
Looking southbound

Kuvasz and Norwegian Elkhound on the Alaska Highway
The dogs enjoyed a quick romp in the snow beside the AK Hwy

Alaska Highway in winter
Northbound on the Alaska Highway

We arrived at Liard Hot Springs at 5 p.m. with time for a long soak in the evening!

16-17 December 1998

Enjoyed soaking in the hot springs. Woke to -15C (5F) and locals said it will be getting colder.

18 December 1998 - Friday

Left the warmth of the springs for Whitehorse (historical milepost 918). It was dark when we departed at 8 a.m. Even with the recent snow fall the highway was in good condition.

Winter on the Alaska Highway

A stop at Watson Lake (historical milepost 635) to find the sign that we posted in 1997.

Signpost forest in Watson Lake, Yukon  Dogs in motorhome

The dogs each have their spot while we're on the road.

Drove 660km (410 miles) to arrive in Whitehorse at 7 p.m., the temperature was -27C (-17F). McKenzie's RV Park, north of Whitehorse was open year-round (this RV park is no longer open). We had the place to ourselves and were able to plug in both the RV and the block heater!

Motorhome in winter
McKenzie's RV Park near Whitehorse

19 December 1998 - Saturday

An easy day of Christmas shopping in Whitehorse and grocery shopping to be ready for Christmas dinner in Beaver Creek. Also took the dogs for a walk along the Yukon River.

Ice on the Yukon River in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
Yukon River at the south end of Whitehorse

Walking along the Yukon River in Whitehorse, Yukon
In Whitehorse, dog walking along the Yukon River. Note the dog booties

20 December 1998 - Sunday

Drove from Whitehorse to Braeburn (North Klondike Hwy) where Pete took us to his remote cabin and 20 dog houses! We got a lesson on how to dog sled. There's no need to worry about how to go, the dogs take care of that!

Pete took us along the Yukon Quest trail. My team of four dogs was fast enough for me; can't imagine managing a team of 10 or 14 dogs!

Dogsledding on the Quest trail, Yukon
Dogs anxious to get on the trail

At the lunch stop, Pete tossed down some skins then prepared a delicious lunch!

Lunch on the Yukon Quest trail in Yukon
Lunch stop while dog sledding

After this great outing with a great guide, we drove back to Whitehorse.

22 December 1998 - Tuesday

Left Whitehorse for Beaver Creek. The day was overcast and cold. The fresh snow made the day bright. Stopped at Silver City (historical mile 1053) by the Kluane Lake. Silver City was a trading post, roadhouse and included North West Mounted Police barracks in the early 1900s.

Winter view of old lodge at Silver City, Yukon
Winter view of Silver City

Silver City, Yukon
Winter at Silver City

Cabin window in Silver City, Yukon

When I was a kid we often stopped here on our trips "to town".

Silver City, Yukon in winter

The sun was poking through on the mountains surrounding Kluane Lake. Kluane Lake is 70 km (45 miles) long and is the largest lake situated entirely in the Yukon.

Alaska Highway along the south side of Kluane Lake, westbound, Yukon
Alaska Highway along the south side of Kluane Lake

Approaching Sheep Mountain and the Slims River bridge at Kluane Lake, Yukon
Approaching Sheep Mountain and the Slims River bridge at Kluane Lake

Slim's River was named for a packhorse that drowned during the 1903 Kluane gold rush.

Kluane Range in Kluane National Park, Yukon
The Alaska Highway and view west from near the Sheep Mountain visitor information centre

Motorhome in winter at Sheep Mountain, Yukon
Northbound beside Sheep Mountain at Kluane Lake

A short distance past Slim's River bridge there is a turnout at the start of the hike up to
Soldier's Summit (historical milepost 1061).

Kluane Lake, Yukon, viewed from Soldier's Summit
Motorhome in parking area at Soldier's Summit

Standing on a frozen Kluane Lake, Yukon
Steve thought it fun to stand on a frozen Kluane Lake

23-26 December 1998 - Beaver Creek (historical milepost 1202)

My hometown Beaver Creek is the most westerly community in Canada. The temperature was
-35C (-31F). Overnight it dipped below -40 and because the northern lights were out a good friend woke us up in the middle of the night.

These pictures are of the Alaska Highway in Beaver Creek.

Winter on the Alaska highway in Beaver Creek, Yukon
North end of town looking south

Fire station at Beaver Creek, Yukon
Beaver Creek fire station

27 December 1998 - Sunday

Departed Beaver Creek southbound. It was overcast and snowy so there was limited scenery.

On the Alaska Highway in Yukon in winter
Southbound near the Donjek River

Kluane Lake in winter, Yukon
Southbound beside Kluane Lake

28 December 1998 - Monday

Left Whitehorse at 3:30 p.m. In Teslin there was no place to stay so I phoned ahead to Morley River Lodge, 23 miles south. The owner encouraged us on. When we arrived he had opened his shower shack, cleared a spot for us to park and had the electric ready to go.

Camped at Morley River Lodge, Yukon
Camped at Morley River Lodge in Yukon (this lodge closed a few years after this visit)

We enjoyed some burgers that night in his restaurant.

29 December 1998 - Tuesday

After breakfast at Morley River, we headed for Liard Hotsprings. The day was overcast.

Big Creek, Alaska Highway
Big Creek Yukon Gov't campground on the left north of Watson Lake

At Liard Hotsprings by 5 p.m. The temperature was mild so we camped in the parking area.

Camping Liard Hot Springs, B.C.

The start of the boardwalk to the hot springs below.

Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia

30 December 1998

Stayed at Liard, continued soaking, snoozing and hiking.

31 December 1998 - Thursday (New Years Eve)

A windstorm was shaking the RV and snow was falling. We hit the road by 11 a.m.

Southbound on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia

Along Muncho Lake ...

Muncho Lake, British Columbia in winter

By 5:30 p.m. we were in the Pink Mountain area, near mile 143. We stopped at a lodge that wasn't open but was occupied. After hearing that we were RVing and needed electricity for our block heater, the owners offered us a spot with electric for the block heater and RV. They also invited us to join them for a moose roast dinner to celebrate New Years with them and their friends!

1 January 1999 - Friday

We headed out in sunshine and clear skies. Overnighted at the Sintich RV Park in Prince George.

2 January 1999 - Saturday

Caught the latest ferry to Vancouver Island at 9 p.m.