Four days camping and playing at Kluane Lake, Yukon

My regular readers may have noticed that we haven’t been out in the motorhome much this year. There’s a lot going on, but last Friday we finally got away to Kluane Lake for a much-needed break.

After a few delays (I had initially planned on going out Tuesday), the fur-kids and I left home at about 10:30. Cathy would come out to join us that evening after work. The first photo was shot west of Whitehorse right at Km 1446 of the Alaska Highway (measured from Dawson Creek, BC).

Westbound at Km 1446 of the Alaska Highway
The rest area at Km 1566, just east of Haines Junction, is a common photo stop for me (and dog-walk spot). After a long spell of wet weather, the warm sun was sure welcome!

The rest area at Km 1566, just east of Haines Junction, Yukon

The rest area at Km 1566, just east of Haines Junction, Yukon

I posted the next photo on Facebook with the comment “In a few minutes we’ll have no phone or internet until Monday afternoon. #Yukon quiet…”

The Alaska Highway west of Haines Junction, Yukon
We reached Congdon Creek Campground just after 1:00. I thought we would have no chance of getting one of the lakefront sites, but one of our favourite sites was available and we were soon set up.

Congdon Creek Campground, Yukon
After some beach play and a nap, we went back to a beach with fine gravel that would be more fun to play on. The water level of Kluane Lake seems to be still dropping slightly – that gravel bar is new this year.

Kluane Lake, Yukon
That beach was great to walk and play ball on, and we spent an hour or so there.

Walking the dogs on the beach of Kluane Lake, Yukon

Dogs playing ball on the beach of Kluane Lake, Yukon

On the way back to the campground we stopped at another beach where a creek was pouring a lot of silt into the lake.

A creek pouring a lot of silt into Kluane Lake
Tucker enjoyed chasing his ball down the creek 🙂

Dog playing ball in a creek at Kluane Lake, Yukon
That water is as pure as it looks. I wish it was a whole lot warmer, though – I’d sure like to be able to swim in it!

The crystal-clear waters of Kluane Lake, Yukon
Looking west at Km 1662. There was a Trumpeter swan feeding in the lake there, where a growing sandbar is creating a nice sheltered area for them.

Looking west at Km 1662 of the Alaska Highway
A large storm cloud caught my attention as I was about to turn into the campground, and I decided to drive a few miles further to get some photos of it and other clouds forming over the lake to the west.

Storm cloud over the Alaska Highway at Kluane Lake
That extra few miles turned out to get me more than some cloud photos! Cathy and I have been watching these two grizzlies for 3 years now, since about 3 weeks after they were born up Congdon Creek somewhere. This is their first summer without mom, and will probably be their last summer together. It’s been wonderful watching them grow up.

Grizzly bear along Kluane Lake, Yukon

Grizzly bear along Kluane Lake, Yukon

Grizzly bears along Kluane Lake, Yukon

Cathy arrived much later than I’d expected, and then friends from Whitehorse arrived with their 3 dogs, who are pretty much part of our pack. Molly (the cat) likes to pretend that she doesn’t like Rosie, but I think she’s still just making sure Rosie knows who’s boss 🙂


Saturday morning was grooming day for Bella, and when Adam saw the big pile of her wool beside the picnic table, he decided to strip some of Rosie’s. Bella enjoys it – Rosie not so much! 🙂

Grooming time for the dog

Grooming time for the dog

After it was all done, we could have knitted a new dog about Tucker’s size! 🙂

Grooming time for the dogs

Much of the rest of Saturday was taken up by a hike up the Slims River that I’ll tell you about in the next post.

Going by the weather forecast, I had expected Sunday morning to be not very nice, so this view out the RV kitchen window was very welcome.

Congdon Creek Campground
We had some great beach plays with the dogs on Sunday. Well, 4 of the dogs – the fifth one is 17 years old and his play days are pretty much over, though he does get silly occasionally. A dog from the camp site next door joined us for a while, too.

Dogs playing on the beach at Kluane Lake
After our friends departed in the early afternoon, Cathy and I decided to hike the Soldiers Summit trail again. The smell of the wild roses at the trailhead was wonderful!

Soldiers Summit trail - Alaska Highway, Yukon
The wind was very strong and was creating quite a dust storm out on the Slims River flats, but most the the trail is fairly sheltered from the wind.

Dust storm below the Soldiers Summit trail - Alaska Highway, Yukon
We walked past the Soldiers Summit commemorative site, out to the highest point on the old road. Few people go that far, but the views from there are spectacular.

Soldiers Summit trail - Alaska Highway, Yukon
The wind there made staying unpleasant so we quickly retraced our steps.

Soldiers Summit trail - Alaska Highway, Yukon
The next photo shows the commemorative site which is most people’s destination.

Soldiers Summit trail - Alaska Highway, Yukon
Parks Canada’s red chairs – red Adirondack chairs set in particularly quiet and scenic locations all over Canada – provided a perfect location to enjoy the majesty of this place.

Parks Canada red chairs along the Soldiers Summit trail - Alaska Highway, Yukon
Far below us, the dust storm got really wild at times – not a good day to hike out to Fish Heart Island!

Dust storm below the Soldiers Summit trail - Alaska Highway, Yukon
We watched a small band of Dall sheep – 3 ewes and 2 lambs – walk across a slope high above us on Sheep Mountain.

Watching Dall sheep above the Soldiers Summit trail - Alaska Highway, Yukon
We love Kluane Lake. The power of this place is so incredible when you slow down and pay attention.

Soldiers Summit trail - Kluane Lake, Yukon
We made a stop at another beach on the way back to the campground. It was too windy to really spend much time there, but we both got the same feeling about this spot…


We haven’t spread our husky Monty’s ashes yet – the right place and time has just not happened. But I brought “glass Monty” with me on this trip because he loved Kluane Lake, and we’ve now decided that this is where we’ll have that memorial next time we’re out.


Cathy went home Sunday night, but the kids and I stayed at Kluane that night. When it started raining lightly the next morning, we headed home, too.




Comments

Four days camping and playing at Kluane Lake, Yukon — 5 Comments

  1. Looks like a nice to camp. Really good photos. wish that i could come out there again.All the best to you and Cathy

  2. shows all the advantages of that motorhome and the toad… great scenery, solid walls to sleep well, plenty of space for the fur kids and out of the wind…(and the rain if it comes)… great location.

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