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Campbell Hwy, Frenchman Lake to Ross River Yukon

02 July 2008

We woke to sunny clear skies and calm water!

Frenchman Lake, Yukon
Frenchman Lake early in the morning

We hiked a trail along the hills overlooking the lake. We had an easy hike back.

 Frenchman Lake, Yukon
Jake, the dog, welcomed the campground sign

It was tempting to spend the sunny day in one spot. However, it was also a good day to get some more miles on the road so we loaded up and continued eastward toward the Campbell Highway.

Campbell Highway, southbound to Ross River

Campbell Highway, Yukon
Campbell Highway east/south bound

Blue skies and calm water greeted us at the Little Salmon Lake Yukon Gov't campground. This was a perfect place for lunch and a dog walk along the shore.

Little Salmon Lake, Campbell Highway, Yukon
Little Salmon Lake viewed from the Yukon Gov't campground

A red fox treated us to some nice poses. I think he was curious about the frenzied barking of our dog, so the fox sat a while listening intently.

Red Fox on the Campbell Highway, Yukon
Red fox alongside the Campbell Highway

Little Salmon Lake, Campbell Highway, Yukon
Little Salmon Lake, looking south east from the Campbell Highway

On previous trips we had not driven the 10 km side road to the town of Faro.

Town of Faro sign, Yukon

Faro was a mining town. The mine began operations in 1969 and was one of the largest open-pit lead and zinc mines of its day. Mining continued with interruptions until 1998 when the operator declared bankruptcy.

We were pleasantly surprised by how well-maintained the town was, despite many of the houses being vacant. There is also a very nice RV park in town, along with a great golf course.

We drove the 22 km gravel road up to the old Anvil Range Mine. The closed mine consists of waste rock dumps, ore processing facilities, water treatment plants, tailings disposal facilities, and offices, shops and miscellaneous buildings.

Anvil mine tailings near Faro, Yukon
Tailing piles on the way up to the mine

Anvil Mine, Yukon near Faro
The sludge left over from the mining, now the subject of much debate

Anvil mine road near Faro
Leaving the mine site, the road provides spectacular views

The bright red truck at the entrance to Faro is a 1968 65-ton ore haul truck. After six years of operation these trucks were replaced by 120-ton trucks and later by 170-ton haul trucks.

Sicard Dart 65-ton ore haul truck by our fifth wheel
1968 Sicard Dart model of a 65-ton ore haul truck alongside a F-250 powerstroke diesel

We should have stayed the night at Faro at the RV park. However, our itch to see what was around the next corner and over the next hill caused us to carry on to Ross River, where we hoped to drive the North Canol Road. That didn't work out so we backtracked the 10 km to the Campbell Highway and the few kms west to the Lapie Canyon Yukon gov't campground. There we debated options. It seemed we were destined to continue heading south to Watson Lake on the Campbell Highway.

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