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Haines Highway in March

2 March 2013 - Saturday

After our hour-long morning snowshoe/hike with the dogs we were enjoying the brilliant sunshine on the cabin's deck. Looking west down the Kusawa Lake valley, it was obvious the weather was similar over towards the Haines Highway. 

Good day for a drive!.  Packed our lunch, loaded the dogs, sorted the camera equipment and off we went.

km 1528 AK Hwy
Heading northwest on the Alaska Highway the Kluane Ranges near Haines Junction looked amazing

Stopped at Otter Fall Cutoff Lodge for fuel.  Carried on through Haines Junction and headed south on the Haines Highway. The sun was warm and it wasn't too long before Steve was napping in its warmth while I drove.

Haines Highway - Dezadeash Lake
Ice-covered Dezadeash Lake

South of Dezadeash Lake is the village of Klukshu, closed in winter though. 
It is a scenic area any time of the year.

Near Klukshu on the Haines Highway
The mountains east of Klukshu

Looking south on the Haines Highwat near Klukshu
Looking south on the Haines Highway from near Klukshu

Next stop, the viewpoint overlooking the Tatshenshini-Alsek Park. 
BUT the viewpoint was full of snow!

Tatshenshini Rest Area
Rest area & scenic viewpoint full of snow overlooking the Tatshenshini-Alsek Park

A bit further south, the Haines Highway enters British Columbia. 

View east from Haines Highway
Looking to the east from the highway - I think that gully is Mansfield Creek

The world continued to get whiter, in stark contrast to the brilliant & clear blue sky.

Mountains overlooking Three Guardsmen Lake
Mount Kelsall in the distance, part of the Boundary Ranges & Coast Mountains

Haines Highway
The St. Elias Mountains in the Tatshenshini-Alsek Park with the Haines Highway on the right

Overlooking Three Guardsmen Lake
Another angle of Mount Kelsall overlooking Kelsall Lake on the right

A bit of excitement with a snowplow on the highway!

Snowplow on Haines Highway near Haines Summit
Grader & snowplow working together to move snow away from the highway

Next stop was to admire Glave Peak on Three Guardsmen Mountain. 
We also noticed ski tracks on the slopes! 

Three Guardsmen Mountain - Glave Peak
Glave Peak on Three Guardsmen Mountain

Ski and snowboard tracks on Three Guardsmen Mountain
Close up of ski tracks and snowboard tracks, I think

Glave Peak
Close up of the peak with a zigzag snowshoe track in the slope in shade

Mount Seltat
Mount Seltat in the distance behind Three Guardsmen Mountain

Haines Road
I think I turned back around to take this shot southward, but not sure.  Might have been westward.

We carried on a bit further, driving alongside Three Guardsmen Lake.  Then the highway started to get slushier and more difficult, and the descent to Haines also started.  It wasn't too much further to the Alaska border, which we would not be able to cross without passports. 

So a quick U-turn had us on the road home again. Stopped again at the base of the ski mountain to look.  With binoculars the snowshoe climber was visible!

Snowshoe climbing Three Guardsmen Mountain
Snowshoer heading up for a ski down, I presume

The area was beautiful!  Before heading off I took a shot southbound on the highway.

Looking south from near Three Guardsmen Mountain

It was early afternoon and time for lunch, so pulled into the Haines Summit viewpoint.

Haines Summit viewpoint
Haines Highway Summit, with a snow-covered Tatshenshini-Alsek Park as backdrop

Tatshenshini-Alsek Park in winter
View westward from Haines Summit viewpoint

My little Honda Fit was encased in road slush.  The wheel wells were full of ice! 
When we stopped at the Haines Summit viewpoint, some of the ice melted in the brilliant sunshine!

It was warm and beautiful.  We strolled with the dogs, ate our lunch, and then headed home.  Hoped to get home before dark!

Honda Fit at Haines Summit viewpoint on Haines Road
Honda Fit at the Haines Summit surrounded by snow

From the Haines Summit, it was time to make some miles.  After filling up again at the Otter Falls Cutoff, we bemoaned the fact that we had not seen any wildlife this trip.  Grump, grump ...
Then there they were!  Swamp donkies!

Moose cow with calves on Alaska Highway
A moose cow with two calves at about km 1530 along the Alaska Highway

It was 6:15 pm and the sun was setting so the light wasn't great for pictures. 
I clicked away, regardless!

Cow Moose along Alaska Highway
Cow moose nibbling on willows along the Alaska Highway

Moose calves along Alaska Highway
Moose calves also nibbling on willows

Before leaving the moose family, one final shot of the setting sun.

Sunset on the Alaska Highway
The final shot back towards the west to capture the setting sun

A great day in March!
Also see my main Haines Highway page for more images in spring & fall.

Plus the pages from 2008, 2009 (includes a drive into Dalton Post) and 2011.

Previous page: 21 November 2012
Next page: 28 March 2013