Yukon Sights by Sue Thomas

South Canol Rd - Lapie Lake to the Campbell Hwy, Yukon

Note: also see pictures of our July 2008 trip between Lapie Lake and Ross River

9 September 2007

Lapie Lake (km 163) was a perfect spot for camping.  Quiet.  Peaceful.

We planned to stay two nights; however, a strong wind made it very cold in the morning.  So we decided to head north for the Campbell Highway and Ross River.  As we drove along the valley, there were glimpses of sun in the distance.

South Canol Road, Yukon
Fall colours were abundant on the valley floor

South Canol Road, Yukon

There were some very narrow spots along this section without room for passing. 
There was not any traffic and we able to stop to take pictures.

South Canol Road, Yukon overlooking Lapie River
South Canol Road high above the Lapie River and valley

Lapie River & Valley near South Canol Road, Yukon
Lapie River and valley from the South Canol Road.  This panorama is from the spot we're parked at, above

South Canol Road, Yukon
Northbound on the South Canol Road

South Canol Road, Yukon
Looking back towards the south as we head north on the South Canol, with road signs on the right

South Canol Road, Yukon
On the South Canol Road at the bottom of the valley before climbing the hillside northbound

We encountered some good steep steady climbs, taking us from valley bottom to ridges high above. 

South Canol Road, Yukon

Along one hillside, there were very few places where two vehicles could pass.  We debated what would happen if we encountered another vehicle coming from the other direction.  Fortunately, that didn't happen.  Didn't meet any other vehicle on this stretch.

Narrow road on the South Canol Road, Yukon
This picture is from our July 2008 trip, and shows the narrow hillside road without shoulders

The road descends quickly to the Lapie River bridge. 

Lapie River Bridge - South Canol Road, Yukon
Lapie River bridge (km 210) at the north end of the South Canol Road

Sign at Lapie River Bridge
Sign before the Lapie River bridge

The sign was typical of signs on many of the bridges.  We couldn't imagine being on this route in anything that weighed 28,000 Kg in temps below -35C, so assumed not too many people took issue with the warning.

The Lapie River bridge is the start of a short trail along Lapie Canyon.  Most of the trails are not well marked and it can take a few minutes to find the trailheads.  We looked a little bit longer than average for this one though.  It was worth the search.

Lapie Canyon - South Canol Road, Yukon
Lapie Canyon & bridge from the hiking trail

Lapie Canyon - South Canol Road, Yukon
Lapie Canyon further down the trail, with the bridge still visible in the distance

The north end of the South Canol is just a few minutes past the Lapie River Bridge. 
It is a steep climb out of the valley, on another narrow one-lane road.

Sign at North end of South Canol Road, Yukon
Sign at the Campbell Highway at the north end of the South Canol Road

At the sign, we turned left to Ross River to fuel up.  We couldn't find the gas station so asked some locals where it was.  With big smiles they pointed to a spot about 30 feet away and said, "There".  We had driven right by the gas station several times without realizing it, but then there wasn't any sign and it sure didn't look like a gas station!  The adjacent store had minimal supplies and what they did have was expensive.   

We stayed the night at the Lapie River Yukon gov't campground, which is just a few miles west of the turnoff to Ross River.

Sign at north end of South Canol Road, on the Campbell Highway
Sign on the Campbell Highway at the exit from Ross River

The next day we headed towards Watson Lake, with plans to overnight at Frances Lake Yukon gov't campground.

Previous page - 8 September 2007
Next page - 10 September 2007