Herb & Ginger's RV Travel Adventures travel blog

Heading up the Klondike

Big Country

The huge Fox Lake Fire

Up the road!

On the Yukon Quest Route

Now that's a cinnamon bun!

This sandwich will hold you for awhile

Showing Five Fingers area


A road through the wilderness

The Pelly River

What lies ahead?

Yukon Gov't campground

Nice spot!

Fri June 7, 2013

The overnight low was 41. We had mostly sunny skies this morning. That changed throughout the day with mostly cloudy at times with just a few raindrops here and there. It got up to 70. We loitered this morning and didn’t leave the campground until 11:00! We headed west on Route 1 then turned north onto Yukon Route 2, the Klondike Highway, heading toward Dawson City with thoughts of gold nuggets (and can-can girls) in our heads. LOL! We are leaving the Alaska Highway behind for now. We will travel over the western portion back to Whitehorse on our return trip this Fall. The Highway to this point hasn’t been bad at all. It is much different than it used to be. The provinces in this part of Canada do a great job of marking rough pavement and there were only a couple stretches of gravel. It is a long road to Alaska but we wouldn’t let the roads keep us from doing it again – in any type of RV. By the way, the price of gasoline is higher up here than diesel. It is running around $159.9/liter (about $6/US gallon) in most areas.

The Klondike is one leg of what is known as the Klondike Loop. It connects to the Top of the World Highway in Dawson City which crosses over into Alaska and then connects to the Taylor Highway. There is no bridge over the Yukon – you must take a ferry. The three highways combined are called the Klondike Loop. The Klondike Highway pretty much follows the Yukon River downstream toward Dawson. There are some very scenic (maybe I should just stop talking about scenery!) areas along the 110 miles to Carmacks. Along the way, we saw a large sod farm – that was a surprise. We ran through the forested dome-shaped mountains called the Miners Range with the highest being Pilot Mtn at 6739’ to the west. Though mostly out of sight, 40 mile long Lake Laberge formed by the Yukon River is to the east. We saw fewer evergreens and started to see more deciduous, mostly white birch and poplar – a lot of poplar in many places. The bright green of the poplar is a nice contrast against the spruce. Around lunch time we stopped at the Braeburn Lodge. If the taste test tomorrow morning proves it out, I think that Braeburn just blew Tetsa Lodge out of the water for cinnamon buns! They say each bun will feed 4 people – no doubt! The Lodge is the first (or last depending whether it is an odd or even year)) checkpoint on the famous 1,000 mile Yukon Quest dog sled race held each year between Whitehorse and Fairbanks (companion race to the Iditarod). They, like some other lodges, have their own gravel air strip across the road.

Moving up the road we passed several pretty lakes, some quite large, that hold grayling, pike and other species. Then we passed through an enormous burn area from the 1998 Fox Lake Fire. There are many elk in this section but we didn’t see any. We arrived in Carmacks and stopped at their tourist info cabin south of town. We spoke with a very nice young lady about the area. Turns out that her husband is a game warden here! We continued on through Carmacks (don’t blink) and turned east onto the Campbell Highway which leads to Faro and Ross River. Sound familiar George Drown? It should. This is the country that the “Mad Trapper” (Albert Johnson) trapped and traveled in. He was the subject of a manhunt by the Mounties in the dead of the winter (-70F) for quite some time back in the early 30s. Several books detail this true and fascinating story and a movie was made a number of years ago starring Charles Bronson as Johnson. Contrary to the ending of the movie, the Mounties did get their man.

We have stopped for the night at the Little Salmon Lake Yukon Government Park and have a site right on the Lake. The 50 miles from Carmacks to here has a few rough spots but nothing serious and they are all flagged. The road follows the Yukon up and down along the bluffs making for some spectacular views. The closest town of any size is 100 miles by crow or 150 by road. We’ll be 100 miles deeper into the wilderness tomorrow when we get to Ross River.

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