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An Explorer's Guide to the Alaska Highway:
Mile-by-Mile Photo Album

Page 2, Fort Nelson to Whitehorse

by Murray Lundberg

A Guide to Alaska-Yukon Highways
Alaska Highway & Canol Bibliography

To Page 1, Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson
To Page 3, Whitehorse to Delta Junction

Click on the images below to enlarge them

The Liard Highway, looking back to the Muskwa River valley that the Alaska Highway runs through Km 483.5: The junction of the Alaska Highway and the Liard Highway (BC Highway 77) is at this point, 27 kilometers north of Fort Nelson. This view is from the Liard Highway back to the Muskwa River valley that the Alaska Highway runs through. The Liard Highway takes you into the Northwest Territories, offering an excellent circle route - you can see a trip around that route by motorcycle at The ExploreNorth Blog.

Steamboat Mountain Lodge, Alaska Highway 2002

Km 531.6 (Historic Mile 351): Steamboat Mountain Lodge in October 2002. The lodge is now closed and derelict.

Km 534: Below, a panoramic view from near the summit of Steamboat Mountain. The view is across the Muskwa River valley to the Rocky Mountains.

The view from near the summit of Steamboat Mountain, BC

The view north from Steamboat Summit, Alaska Highway The expansive view north from Steamboat Summit in late August.

Heading north on the Alaska Highway, down from Steamboat Summit. Heading north, down from Steamboat Summit.                                

Old and new Alaska Highways at Steamboat Mountain

Steamboat Mountain was one of the legendary "bad spots" on the Alaska Highway. This photo from October 2002 shows the old road and the new bypass, which was completed in 1998.

The Tetsa River, Alaska Highway

Km 573: The Tetsa River.                                                                

Caribou on the Alaska Highway

Truth in advertising - yes, Virginia, there are caribou on the highway! This is in Stone Mountain Provincial Park.

Murray Lundberg at Summit Lake, Alaska Highway Km 598 (Historic Mile 392): Summit Lake is in Summit Pass, which at 1,295 meters (4,250 feet) elevation, is the highest summit on the Alaska Highway. This photo of ExploreNorth editor Murray Lundberg was shot while he was returning to Whitehorse from a trip to Yellowknife, NWT.

The Summit Lake Campground is a little-used gem, and the area offers some superb hiking, including the Summit Peak Trail.

Summit Lake, Alaska Highway - October 2, 2002 Northbound along Summit Lake in early October.                                                                

Km 602 on the Alaska Highway Km 602: The limestone gorge where where the Alaska Highway drops steeply down to the broad MacDonald River valley (northbound) has always been one of my favourite spots along the highway, both because of the dramatic setting and the fact that Stone sheep are commonly seen here.

Km 605: Below, a panorama of the MacDonald River Valley.

Panorama of the MacDonald River Valley, Alaska Highway

Stone sheep on the Alaska Highway Stone sheep (Ovis dalli stonei) at about Km 608. Stone sheep are a subspecies of thinhorn sheep (Ovis dalli) - further north, a pure white subspecies known as Dall sheep predominate.

Winter driving on the Alaska Highway Northbound at about Historic Mile 415 (Km 636) in late January. This flat light, quite common in the winter, makes seeing the shoulder berms and other irregularities quite difficult.

Racing River, Alaska Highway The Racing River at about Km 642 in late August.                                                                

Toad River, Alaska Highway Km 647.4 (Historic Mile 422): The community of Toad River as seen northbound. Toad River Lodge is on the left, the air strip and community on the right.

Winter driving on the Alaska Highway

Northbound a couple of miles north of Toad River in late January.                                          

Km 656, Alaska Highway The view southbound at about Km 656 in late August.                                                                

Km 668, Alaska Highway - August 2011 Km 668.2: This interpretive sign explains the flash floods that are common in the area, and the type of gravel deposit known as an alluvial fan seen across the river.

The Northern Canadian Rockies are famous for their summer downpours. When heavy rains fall on mountains largely bare of trees and other soil-holding vegetation, the water carries sand, gravel and even boulders into the gullies between the peaks. Everything washes out onto the flat valley floors.
This is one such deposit. It is called an alluvial fan because its outline resembles an open fan. Material carried by streams is called alluvium. This becomes distributed evenly over the fan as the stream slowly sweeps back and forth, changing its position constantly.

Winter driving on the Alaska Highway

Northbound at the top of Peterson Hill, about Mile 445 (Km 682). When meeting large vehicles after a snowfall, you're going to be completely blinded by the blowing snow for several seconds, so slow down!

Winter driving on the Alaska Highway

Clearing the highway after a heavy dump of snow overnight. The plow is southbound at about Km 695. After one more pass of the plow, the road reports will call this "normal winter driving conditions" (yes, I am serious!).

Looking north across Muncho Lake, Alaska Highway Looking north across Muncho Lake from about Km 700. The lake, at an elevation of 817 meters (2,180 feet), is about 11 kilometers long and 1.6 kilometers wide (7 x 1 miles) and offers excellent fishing including monster Lake trout.

Stone sheep along Muncho Lake, Alaska Highway Stone sheep along Muncho Lake at about Km 702.                                                                

Looking south across Muncho Lake, Alaska Highway Km 712.2: Looking south across Muncho Lake from a large viewing area.

Caribou along the Alaska Highway This young bull caribou was alongside the highway at about Km 720.

Winter at Liard Hot Springs, Alaska Highway

Liard Hot Springs in December. Summer or winter, the springs are a great spot to take a break from the road. For more information, click here.

Bison on the Alaska Highway This was the closest I've ever been to a bison - she was in the middle of the road, perhaps 6 feet from my car window, and showed no nervousness at all - if she had, I wouldn't have risked taking this shot! Altogether I saw about 150 bison, with 2 large herds and many smaller groups and stragglers, most of them within 50 km of the springs. This photo was shot on March 23, 2007 during a trip from Whitehorse to Liard Hot Springs and back - that trip has its own photojournal page.

Smith River Falls, Alaska Highway Km 792.3 (Historic Mile 514): On the north side of the Smith River Bridge is a small gravel side road to Smith River Falls. The turnaround at the end of the 2.6 km long road is small, so it isn't recommended for larger rigs. From the parking area at Smith River Falls, you get a view of the entire double fall.

Smith River Falls, Alaska Highway

At Smith River Falls, there used to be a trail with extensive stairs leading down to a closer view of the double falls, and then right down to the river. A forest fire in about 2008, though, burned the stairs and they haven't been replaced - the route down now is steep and hazardous. This photo was shot on June 21, 2004.

The new and old bridges at Coal River, Alaska HIghway

Km 822 (Historic Mile 533): The new and old bridges at Coal River, seen in very heavy rain in early October 2002, soon after the new bridge had opened.

Bison on the Alaska Highway A herd of wood bison did a good job of blocking the highway for a few minutes as I was southbound on my motorcycle at about Km 850. The bison have been dramatically increasing their range in recent years and now may been seen anywhere between Watson Lake and Muncho Lake.

Collapsed culvert at Iron Creek on the Alaska Highway, 2001 Km 918.9 (Historic Mile 594): On Tuesday, June 5, 2001, a huge culvert collapsed at Iron Creek (sometimes called Irons Creek), closing the highway for 2 days. Said to be the largest culvert bridge ever built in the world, it was specifically designed to protect fish habitat, and had just been installed in 1998.

Lower Post, BC A few miles south of Watson Lake, a short side road takes you to the Native village of Lower Post, which sometimes offers some good photo possibilities. A trail of beer cans along the road spoiled "the moment" on this trip, though, and I didn't get anything other than some deep-snow record shots.

The Air Force Lodge in Watson Lake, Yukon
Km 977: The Air Force Lodge in Watson Lake, Yukon (Historic Mile 635), is a restored Air Force barracks.

The Signpost Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon
Km 980: In the centre of Watson Lake is the famous Signpost Forest. One of the most famous of the landmarks along the Alaska Highway, it was started by a homesick GI in 1942, and is now one of the attractions which make Watson Lakea must-stop. You can even add your own sign to the over 65,000 already there!

Alaska Highway near the Continental Divide

Looking north up the highway near the Continental Divide.                                                                

The community of Swift River, Yukon - Historic Mile 733, October 2002

Km 710 (Historic Mile 733): The community of Swift River, Yukon, looking southbound. Swift River Lodge, on the right in this photo, closed permanently in 2009.

Km 1186.8: Below, a rough road that climbs up to a microwave tower north of the community of Swift River also offers a panoramic view over the Swift River valley, seen here in September.

A panoramic view from a mountaintop north of Swift River, Yukon - September 2002

Alaska Highway memorial for Corporal Max Richardson of Company F, 340th Engineers, U.S. Army Km 1212.2: Cenotaph This memorial honours Corporal Max Richardson of Company "F", 340th Engineers, U.S. Army, who died near here on October 17, 1942. I've been unable to discover the cause of his death.

Teslin, Yukon - April 13, 2008 Km 1242: This rest area offers a great view of the Nisutlin Bay Bridge and the community of Teslin.

Nisutlin Bay Bridge, Teslin, Yukon - June 27, 2011 Km 1243.7: The bridge over Nisutlin Bay at Teslin is the longest one on the Alaska Highway, with a span of 584 meters (1,917 feet). This photo was shot from a large rest area and boat launch at the north-west end of the bridge.

Canol Road Rest Area - Alaska Highway Historic Mile 835. April 3, 2011.

Km 1295 (Historic Mile 835): junction with the Canol Road, or "South Canol". A hundred yards up the Canol is a large rest area with outhouses, several old trucks, and several interpretive panels (see more information and photos). This photo was shot in early April.

The South Canol is a gravel road that gets increasingly rough as you proceed north - there are no services until reaching Ross River, 226 km away, and services there are minimal.

The Teslin River Bridge on the Alaska Highway - September 3, 2006 Looking west along the Alaska Highway to the Teslin River Bridge from a side road at the Canol Road junction. The bridge was down to one lane when this photo was shot in September 2006, as the bridge was being upgraded to earthquake standards.

The Teslin River Bridge on the Alaska Highway - June 27, 2008 Km 1295.6: The Teslin River Bridge at Johnson's Crossing is the third-longest bridge on the Alaska Highway, with a span of 539 meters (1,770 feet). This photo was shot at 01:45am on June 27th - it really is the Land of the Midnight Sun!

 on the Alaska Highway Km 1296.2 (Historic Mile 836): Johnson's Crossing Lodge was one of the first lodges on the highway, opening in about 1948. The original building was demolished in the mid-1990s, but although it was closed for a few years, as of 2014 it's serving travellers again. Ellen Davignon grew up in the old lodge, which was built by her father - she tells that story in her wonderful book The Cinnamon Mine: An Alaska Highway Childhood.

The view southbound at Alaska Highway Historic Mile 863 (just south of Jake's Corner, Yukon) in May 1998
The view southbound from about Km 1340, just south of Jake's Corner. White Mountain is a popular hiking destination for locals, with a good, though steep trail going up the back side, and as of 2017 the area is in the process of becoming Agay Mene Territorial Park.

The Yukon River Bridge and Marsh Lake Dam on the Alaska Highway near Whitehorse, Yukon - September 3, 2007 Km 1393 (Historic Mile 897): The Yukon River Bridge and Marsh Lake Dam. See this post on the ExploreNorth Blog for much for information about the dam, including some historic photos.

The aurora borealis over the Yukon River near Whitehorse, Yukon - March 16, 2012

Trucking the Alaska Highway. A semi goes by as the shutter was open for a 30-second exposure to capture the aurora borealis at the Yukon River Bridge east of Whitehorse. This was shot just before midnight in mid-March.

The aurora borealis over the Yukon River near Whitehorse, Yukon

The wonders of winter driving on the Alaska Highway. This view of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) was captured from the shoulder of the road just north of the Yukon River Bridge near Whitehorse, Yukon, at 5:17am on February 20, 2012, with the thermometer sitting at -18°C.

The Alaska Highway at Km 1595 Southbound on the Alaska Highway at Km 1595, along the Yukon River, with a canoe on the roof in early September.

The southern entrance to Whitehorse, Yukon
The southern entrance to Whitehorse, with the sternwheeler Klondike sitting on the bank of the Yukon River in mid-September. For more photos of Whitehorse, click here.


To Page 3, west of Whitehorse to Delta Junction

All photos are © 1998-2017 by Murray Lundberg, and are not to be reproduced without permission.