Watson Lake to Beaver Creek: The Far North

We had already driven over 1,000 miles on our trip, but we were still a ways from our goal: Alaska. So we continued moving north, starting from Watson Lake, YT.

“The Yukon” sounded impressive and most of all big: as in big skies, big mountains, and big water. We were not disappointed as we drove the Alaska Highway west past the Rancheria River.

The Alaska Highway crosses many bridges, including this one over Teslin Lake.

The Alaska Highway crosses many bridges, including this one over Teslin Lake.

While taking a rest stop, we checked out a wildlife museum in Teslin.

Even the fake moose are bigger than us!

Even the fake moose are bigger than us!

After pushing to get to Whitehorse, we decided to stay an extra day to explore the town. We didn’t have much downtime, however, because even on a non-travel day we make time for exploring.

In the morning we headed to the downtown area, which bordered the 2,000+ mile long Yukon River on one side, and was full of cool shops selling stuff that ranged from streetwear to hunting gear to Yukon-centric books.

Downtown Whitehorse borders the Yukon River, and has a nice boardwalk/trail system.

Downtown Whitehorse borders the Yukon River, and has a nice boardwalk/trail system.

Afterwards we headed down to the Kwalin Dun Cultural Centre, which showcased the lifestyles of Canada’s First Nation peoples. It was actually Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, which meant celebration: a festival was underway. Live music, bake-offs, and indigenous speakers and dancers all added to the excitement.

Later on we stopped by Miles Canyon, where the blue-green Yukon River swiftly sliced through volcanic rocks.

This used to be one of the Yukon’s most dangerous rapids. Now after a dam was installed downstream, the water is still fast but not as white.

This used to be one of the Yukon’s most dangerous rapids. Now after a dam was installed downstream, the water is still fast but not as white.

We walked along the canyon for a bit, taking in the beautiful scenery. The water was very cold and swift, despite that I did see some kayakers heading downriver. What a fun way to spend the day!

On the way home we checked out the Yukon Transportation Museum. It was closed, but we saw the weathervane just outside: a whole airplane!

This retired DC-3 commercial plane used to fly across the North, and now serves as one big weathervane.

This retired DC-3 commercial plane used to fly across the North, and now serves as one big weathervane.

The next day, we set off on another long drive. We passed the huge snowy mountains of Kluane National Park, drove along the shores of Kluane Lake, and ran into some frost heaves!!

At the base of Kluane Lake, we encountered something else, something strange: Dust!

The wind whips through the glacial valley, kicking up silt from the dried-up lakebed. Felt like the desert in the middle of the Yukon!

The wind whips through the glacial valley, kicking up silt from the dried-up lakebed. Felt like the desert in the middle of the Yukon!

The wind was blowing a huge amount of dust across the dry part of the lakebed, making for an interesting picture and a bit of trepidation around driving through it.

The Eco Womb is on the way!

The Eco Womb is on the way!

But we moved forward and ended our day in Beaver Creek, YT, only a few km away from the Alaska border and the next part of our trip. I will cover that next time around!

Cheers,

Connor

Connor Malson