Driving the Haines Highway in Yukon/BC/Alaska

My season opener trip for the RV was intended to be 4 days in Haines, Alaska, and then 4 days at Kluane Lake, Yukon. It didn’t work out that way, but more about that later. At 11:00 on Monday, we headed west – “we” being Bella, Tucker, Molly (the dogs and cat), and me. Cathy would join us at Kluane Lake – or so the plan went.

The intersection of the Alaska Highway and Robert Service Way, the first access to downtown Whitehorse. For us, the next turn would be in Haines, 5 hours away.

The intersection of the Alaska Highway and Robert Service Way, the first access to downtown Whitehorse.
Looking west on the Alaska Highway to the pullout at Km 1454, which used to be called Takhini Crossing. That was where the old Whitehorse to Dawson Overland Trail crossed the Takhini River.

Looking west on the Alaska Highway to the pullout at Km 1454
Our first stop was at the Kathleen Lake viewpoint at Km 226.5 of the Haines Highway, 19.5 km south of Haines Junction. Kathleen Lake is the location of a large Parks Canada campground.

Kathleen Lake viewpoint at Km 226.5 of the Haines Highway
Bella and Tucker were ready for a bit of a romp at the large viewpoint. We hadn’t seen a single vehicle on the Haines Highway yet.

Dogs playing along the Haines Highway
What a start to this trip – that got a 10!

RV at the Kathleen Lake viewpoint at Km 226.5 of the Haines Highway
One of my projects was to record each of the pullouts and rest areas along the highway to improve my Campgrounds & Rest Areas pages. The next photo shows the pullout at Dezadeash Lake, Km 194.

Pullout at Dezadeash Lake, Km 194 of the Haines Highway
The largest rest area on the Haines Highway is the one at Km 162, which has a viewing deck and a monument honouring the designation of the Tatshenshini River as a Canadian Heritage River. I love seeing storms like that one in the distance.

Rest area at Km 162 of the Haines Highway
One of the views from that rest area – nice work, Mother Nature 🙂

Snowy peaks along the Haines Highway
I stopped to take quite a few photos – the scenery is just stunning. Because of the contrast, several of them have been processed as HDR images to post here.

Haines Highway
At Km 144.8 the highway crosses the Blanchard River, see at the far end of the curve before the highway starts climbing the hill. This is a put-in point for rafters on the Blanchard, and sometimes the Tatshenshini River.

The Haines Highway at the Blanchard River bridge
Getting closer to the summit, I was amazed by how little snow there was. In a “normal” year, whatever that means now, that valley would be all white.

Haines Highway
Looking north from a huge pullout at Km 134. We spent a long time at that spectacular spot, with a play, a nap, and another play before continuing south.

Looking north from a huge pullout at Km 134 of the Haines Highway
The next photo is a panorama shot at the north of the two pullouts at the Haines summit.

One of the two pullouts at the Haines summit
Normally there would be hundreds of people, and snowmobile tracks going in every direction at the summit, but there were only 2 vehicles with snowmobile trailers and I could see that they were dodging rocks and brush a lot. Compare this with snowmobiling in mid-April in a good year.

Snowmobile tracks at the Haines Summit
The peak known as The Three Guardsmen is the most dramatic one in the summit area. I’ve hiked to a cirque about 2/3 of the way up it so far – maybe I’ll reach the summit this year 🙂

The Three Guardsmen, Haines Highway
Heading down the hill with a virtual wall of glaciers ahead.

Haines Highway
The Pleasant Camp Canada Customs post.

The Pleasant Camp Canada Customs post on the Haines Highway
The weather forecast had called for increasing clouds and even possible showers in the Chilkat Valley but the sunshine stayed with me.

Haines Highway

Haines Highway

There were a few miles of construction going on, but delays were minimal. I was at my friend Greg’s home just after 6:00 pm, ready to get into some exploring for a couple of days.

Haines Highway



Comments

Driving the Haines Highway in Yukon/BC/Alaska — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for your pics and text. Brings back wonderful memories of our 3 months in Alaska in our rv in 2016. Drove this route more than once. Enjoyed Whitehorse, Haines and Skagway in some very nice rv parks.

    Keep it coming.

  2. Some stunning pics there Murray.

    And what a grand start to your season of RV travels and adventures… having van camped for a month last fall, in Alaska, I am more and more convinced there is nothing like a small hardshell vehicle or trailer for my aging and aching bones -and future travel plans up north.

    As always, thanks for sharing.

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