Having seen some excellent Fall colour photos from both the Top of the World and Dempster Highways the past few days, Cathy and I decided to head up the South Canol Road for a look on Saturday. It takes about an hour and a half to get to Johnson’s Crossing on the Alaska Highway, from where the Canol Road takes off to the north. This photo was shot at noon.
It only takes about 15 minutes to get up into very pretty country, but although it was very chilly (8°C – 46°F – with a strong wind) the Fall colours were just getting started.
Our “wildlife eyes” were sharpened for moose, caribou and/or grizzly, but no luck. There was a lot of traffic (by Canol standards), and hunting season started that day, so no big surprise.
By 12:30 we were into the best colours of the day. This valley has great character, with lots of gravelly hills deposited by glaciers.
There are some excellent vistas, including this one at about Km 29, looking north from the Big Salmon Range of mountains.
There’s so little tourist traffic on the Canol that Tourism has never updated the slogan section of the Quiet Lake Campground sign. I always disliked “Yukon, Canada’s True North” and was glad to see it short-lived.
We stopped briefly at the Quiet Lake Campground but then continued on another 20 minutes to a spot we like much better for our picnic. We arrived at about 2:00pm but didn’t stay very long, as it was just too cold. The weather forecast for Whitehorse had been quite good, but although I’d brought extra clothes, it still wasn’t comfortable.
One final photo op on the way back to the Alaska Highway.
Going up the Canol didn’t get me the photos I was looking for, but it is beautiful country, and it’s an excellent reminder of the sort of things we can do when we get a motorhome. The Canol is one of the places we’re really looking forward to spending about 3 days.
In a couple of hours I’m off to Kelowna, BC to see my parents for a week. It’s still hot there, but I’m not likely to have much time to really enjoy it, so I’m hoping for some great hiking weather when I get back home, though the 14-day forecast doesn’t look good at all.