This is going to be a quick post to update you on our first week in the Yukon! We’re currently holed up in the Dawson City Visitor’s Centre for wifi and a much needed laptop charge. Tonight we are hitting the Dempster Highway to Tombstone Territorial Park. We won’t have cell phone service for the next week or so, but we promise to post more when we’re back in range 🙂 It was much easier to blog while we were crossing the country, but now that we are in the Yukon we are driving shorter distances and spending more time adventuring!
We arrived in the Yukon one week ago today, with our first stop in Watson Lake and the sign post forest. We could not believe the size of it – pictures do not do it justice! We spotted a number of Acadian flags as well as signs from near and far, and kicked ourselves for not bringing one of our own along.
Next up was Carcross, which is known for epic mountain biking and beautiful Bennett Beach. We arrived in time for dinner and decided to do a day hike the next day of Montana Mountain. Based on some advice from the information centre, we learned of an unmaintained road that went halfway up the mountain where we could camp for free overnight. There were rumoured washouts on the road, and 4×4 vehicles were recommended. Sue managed to get us up to the first washout where we set up camp for the night with gorgeous mountain views. The sun didn’t set until after 11pm, and we had one of the best sleeps of our trip here.
The next morning we set off for an epic hike of Montana Mountain. We were far from the trailhead due to the washouts, but we quickly got above the tree line. Instead of taking the well beaten path to the top, we chose to set our own course straight to the top! This was likely a mistake, but we had fun scrambling our way up and even came across a family of caribou. They were far more sure footed on the rocks than we were!
After the hike we took a chilly dip in Bennett Beach for a much needed “shower” before hitting the road again to Atlin BC. This cute community is only accessible via the Yukon. Here we met up with my cousin Derek and his partner Jeni, and we camped near a warm spring outside of town. We did another day hike the following day on Monarch Mountain, which gave us incredible views of the surrounding area including Atlin Lake and a nearby glacier.
Whitehorse was next on our list! We stayed at a very loud RV park (yuck!), but it offered much needed amenities like laundry and free showers. This was our meeting spot with my cousin Pauland his wife Natalie.
Despite the less than ideal camping experience, we really loved the feel of this town and wish we could have stayed longer to explore it! After 2 nights we hit the highway northward to Lake Laberge. We were now a convoy of 4 vehicles, having picked up a friend’s vehicle in Whitehorse that needed to be brought to Dawson City where they are finishing their 2 week canoe trip along the Yukon River.
The Yukon offers really great territorial campgrounds for only $12 a night, with free wood! We’ve stayed at 3 different campgrounds now from Whitehorse to Dawson City, and had some incredible sleeps in all of them. Two of us are sleeping in our vehicles, while the third vehicle of the convoy has a Tepui tent that sets up on top. Our latest campground in Dawson City is only accessible by free ferry across the Yukon River.
We took the ferry to and from the town on foot last night – it runs 24 hours a day. It’s like stepping back in time here!!! There is a arts festival going on along the riverfront, and little did we know it is the Discovery Day long weekend here in the Yukon. Lots of fun to be had, but after one night we are ready to hit the road again as we are itching to start the Dempster Highway. We won’t be able to post a blog for the next week or so – but we are having the time of our lives up here!!
Thanks for checking in! 🙂 And apologies for the formatting on this post – about to lose signal as we head out of Dawson City and didn’t have time to fuss with it!
Liz & Antoine