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.
It is wise to fill with fuel at Johnsons Crossing (km 1296 on the Alaska Highway), which is only one kilometre north of the Alaska Highway junction with the South Canol Road.
With a few hundred metres, 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 available for a few days while we were in the area. Fortunately, diesel was available so we were not impacted. In 2010 we carried enough fuel with us 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 can be single-lane with wood decks.
Generally the wood decks are in good condition.
At about km 50 there is a road 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. The campground is maintained; however, 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 even though my pictures show a calm lake, the winds can come up quickly.
The campground likely gets more use in winter than in summer. The picnic shelter had an interesting sign posted on its side.