Also see my page dedicated to the South Canol with pictures from our numerous trips on this favourite route of ours.
The Simpson Lake Yukon Gov't campground (km 81 on the Campbell Hwy) was a pleasant beginning to our day. The start of the Nahanni Range Road was only 25 km north of the campground.
This sign at the start of the road was an accurate sign.
Today, blue skies and good gravel road greeted the truck. We felt enthused as this was the first true blue sky this trip.
Clear blue skies can be amazing in the north in the autumn. The air has a sweet scent that fills the lungs and the world just seems to be a better place!
The first 80 km provided reasonable road conditions and nice scenery.
We didn't know yet that the best was another 50 km ahead.
The campground was in the middle of a large
forest fire that burned about five years ago.
Even so, it would have been a good overnight spot.
It was only midday so we carried on after lunch. Didn't know where we'd be tonight.
This warning at km 134 should be taken seriously ...
We carried on past the sign, fully understanding the risk of traveling on remote roads in Canada's north. We were prepared to take care of ourselves for an extended period if necessary; had fuel, food & water and first aid kit, plus way-too-many heavy tools to repair the truck should something break.
Further along the road, the blue skies and clear day provided perfect picture opportunities. My little Canon A70 point & shoot did a good job.
View moving northeast towards Northwest Territories ...
Overall, the road was in good condition. This area had been freshly graded.
After leaving the valley floor, the road climbed towards the Northwest Territories.
The road narrowed as it climbed. On one side of us was a wall and on the other side was a severe drop with no roadside barrier. Steve inched the truck along as we didn't know if there would be oncoming traffic around any of the corners.
We wondered where the border between Yukon and Northwest Territories would be. A "Notice to Hunters" was the only marking.
The next sign we saw (below) gave several warnings with a downhill graphic,
DEADEND AHEAD 300-400 FT, and KEEP RIGHT.
Not sure what was ahead we crept slowly up to the edge.
There was no place to turn around with a fifth wheel behind us!
Turns out the sign should have said "90 degree left turn and if you miss the turn you will drop a long way over a vertical bank".
I took video of this experience, so wasn't able to take a picture. There was a checkerboard sign as we approached the corner, visible in this 36-second video. Apologies for the low-res video ... I was using my small Canon digital.
Continuing along, the scenery was spectacular. Amazing colours!
The tungsten mine is at the end of the road.
There isn't much to see other than the signs indicating "No Trespassing".
We heeded the "No Trespass" signs and turned back.
There was a fine spot to set up camp just a few kilometres back. Look again at the fourth picture up and you'll recognize the backdrop of the Ragged Mountains ...
The evening was very quiet, with a few planes flying overhead. A couple of workers from the mine passed by on their way to retrieve a moose they shot the night before. They told us the planes were flying between Tungsten and Macmillan Pass, where there was another mine (end of the North Canol Rd). They also told us not to wander too far without reflective gear as some hunters liked to shoot into this valley from the road above (the road we drove in on), and they thought some of the hunters wouldn't expect to see two humans and a dog out for an evening stroll and might assume we were something else in the dusk. So they thought it best we be brightly decorated.
We didn't meet anyone else that night; nor were we used for target practice.
Total of 170 pictures today ...