The Drive to Skagway in Snow-free February

Okay, most of the route isn’t quite snow-free, but as you’ll see in the photos below, there’s not much of the white stuff anywhere. The poor organizers of even the Iditarod sled dog race are stressing about where they’re going to find a suitable route.

I needed to go to Skagway yesterday for 3 reasons – I had stuff to pick up at the post office, the weather was forecast to be sunny most of the way, and Monty needed a day alone with me to reinforce his position in the pack now that a new puppy has no doubt made that unclear to him.

With the puppy, Bella, in her crate while we were away, Monty and I hit the road a few minutes after the 08:50 sunrise, with the temperature at -28°C (-18°F). I decided to make a little detour through Carcross to get this shot in particular, and a couple of minutes later discovered that there was a much better reason for me to have gone that way. I met an old friend who I really needed to see but haven’t called in a long time – we spent a wonderful hour chatting over coffee, and I’ll be seeing her a fair bit in the coming weeks to help her with a difficult project of a type that I’m good at.
Lake Bennett, Yukon, in the winter
Every now and then I think that maybe I do the drive to Skagway too often. Then I come around a corner…. and say “no, I’m good with this!” 🙂
The South Klondike Highway in the winter
We stopped at Log Cabin so Monty could go for a good run (this is the view north from there). This is where I really noticed just how little snow there is. I’m still quite stunned by what I saw on the drive.
Log Cabin, BC
The WP&YR railway runs along the lake at the base of the rock in the centre. That curve is known as Ptarmigan Point. There’s not likely to be much snow for the railway crews to clear this Spring.
Ptarmigan Point on the WP&YR in the winter
There’s not much danger of an avalanche at the White Pass summit now – there’s not even enough of a base for the snowmobilers.
White Pass summit in the winter
It was intended to be a quick trip, as this was Bella’s first time being crated during the day. Even if we’d planned on spending some time in Skagway, though, that would probably have been changed, as it was -17°C (+1°F) with a strong North wind that made walking quite unpleasant. I did see this new sign on the walkway along the Small Boat Harbor from the main cruise ship dock, though – very nice.
Welcome to Skagway, Alaska
The White Pass folks have been doing some really nice decorating lately as well – I don’t know if the caboose is intended for a purpose other than decoration, but it looks good, as does the new sign on the paint shop to the left.
The White Pass & Yukon Route Shops at Skagway, Alaska
Water has been a bit of a problem along the Alaska section of the highway, but it’s all frozen tight for a few days at least. A grader was working at cutting a drainage ditch in the ice just south of this waterfall.
Frozen waterfall in the White Pass, Alaska
The avalanche gate at Mile 8.2, and Mine Mountain – the historic Inspiration Point Mine is located high around the right side of it.
MIne Mountain, Alaska
One final photo stop to capture Lime Mountain, and we were home just after 2:30.
Bella was happy to see us and get out of her crate, though Cathy had come home from work to see her at noon. I’m thrilled to see Monty’s reaction to his little sister. Although a bit unsure of her in the house, he’s wonderful with her outside – so I’m very much looking forward to the warmer weather that’s coming back starting today so we can spend a lot more time outside.
Huskies Monty and his baby sister Bella going for a walk


The Drive to Skagway in Snow-free February — 2 Comments

  1. There may not be a lot of snow but it’s still very beautiful. That is a beautiful drive….I would like to drive it sometimes in the winter.