The South Canol meanders 220 km (143 miles) from Johnson's Crossing (Alaska Hwy)
to Ross River (Campbell Hwy). There are no services along the road. There are two semi-maintained territorial campgrounds and several unmaintained recreation sites.
For additional information about the South Canol Road (external links):
Google Earth Streetview also includes images from most of this route.
We drove the South Canol south to north in 2007 and then again in 2010. In 2008 we drove the north half, from Ross River to Rose River #1 Bridge and then returned north because the bridge was closed. This is one of our favourite routes in the Yukon.
Some years the gas station at Johnsons Crossing, km 1296 on the Alaska Highway, is open, some years it isn't. If it isn't, Teslin has the nearest gas station. We usually fill up at Teslin, then again at Johnsons Crossing if it is open. We also carry extra fuel with us because sometimes Ross River is out of fuel. Figure it's best to be prepared.
Within a few hundred metres of turning onto the South Canol there is a rest area that is well worth visiting. There are various signs with historical information and also some cool old vehicles scattered about.
Indeed, there are no services until Ross River. In 2008 Ross River did not have leaded fuel for a few days. Fortunately, diesel was available so we were not affected. In 2010 we carried enough fuel from Johnson's Crossing to bypass Ross River.
The road is usually good gravel and varies from 2- to 1-lane.
Initially the scenery is not overly spectacular; however, in the fall the colours add emphasis to the sights.
The landscape is quiet and expansive.
The bridges are usually single-lane with wood decks and usually in good condition. Keep your eyes open for protruding nails or broken planks though.
At about km 50 there is a turn-off to the right leading down to Sidney Lake, a good spot to overnight. It was a tight turn around for our truck and fifth wheel, but do-able. It is a popular spot though, so expect others to pull in too.
There are few signs along the road. However, there were ample places to pull over.
The spot below made for a great lunch break in 2007.
Quiet Lake Yukon Government campground (km 76) was VERY quiet in 2007 during the week. In 2010, it was busy on the weekend. The campground is maintained; the sites were not well-used.
The sites also did not have a view of the lake. In 2007 we camped at the boat launch as the campground was vacant and it was mid-week. In 2010 the campground was busier and the boat launch well-used as it was a weekend.
Quiet Lake is large and can get quite choppy when the wind comes up.
The campground likely gets more use in winter than in summer. The picnic shelter had an interesting sign posted on it.