Driving the Alaska Highway, from Muncho Lake to Whitehorse

As usual at the end of a trip, I was anxious to get home, and was out of my room at the Northern Rockies Lodge just before 04:30 on Friday.

I didn’t get any photos of the lodge’s dining room last night, so shot a couple this morning at very long exposures.
Northern Rockies Lodge, Alaska Highway
The lodge really is lovely, inside and out, and staying there was a good experience, if too short.
Northern Rockies Lodge, Alaska Highway
Sweet ride, Sheriff! 🙂
BC Sheriff's Dodge Magnum
This is the main Muncho Lake viewpoint at Km 712, at 04:44.
Muncho Lake viewpoint, Alaska Highway
Beautiful morning light over the Liard River stopped me for a minute at 05:12. Sometimes when you see photos like this, I’ve shot them through the windshield, but whenever possible, I stop and walk out onto the road to simulate a driver’s view.
Alaska Highway
Anxious to get home or not, I had at least 3 stops to make. The first stop was at the Liard River Lodge which closed in the mid-1990s.
Liard River Lodge, Alaska Highway
It’s rather hard to believe now that my son, Steve, and I stayed at this lodge in about 1992. It was pretty rough then. No, it was very rough! 🙂
Liard River Lodge, Alaska Highway
Liard River Lodge, Alaska Highway
Remember when restaurants used to post signs that they might be using a microwave, to warn people who were leery of radiation?
Microwave warning sign at Liard River Lodge, Alaska Highway
Next, I wanted to see the changes at Liard Hot Springs. The new facilities are very nice.
Liard Hot Springs, Alaska Highway
The trail to Beta Pool, my favourite pool, has been permanently closed. The official reason is that they’re protecting a snail known as Hotwater physa (Physella wrighti), I hear, but I don’t believe it – I think that it’s just too tough to police what goes on way out there.
Boardwalk at Liard Hot Springs, Alaska Highway
The Hanging Gardens, where a hot spring has created tufa terraces that various types of vegetation love. If your timing is right, the flowers here are wonderful, but that’s weeks away yet.
Hanging Gardens at Liard Hot Springs, Alaska Highway
I enjoyed about 20 minutes in the hot pool before hitting the road again.
Liard Hot Springs, Alaska Highway
Ten minutes north of Liard, the famous wood bison started appearing, in herds and individually. I probably saw about 100 in total, including a dozen or so calves, which seems to me to be a low number.
Wood bison along the Alaska Highway
Wood bison calf along the Alaska Highway
Another lodge, Iron Creek, permanently closed and for sale, with an overseas phone number on the “For Sale” sign. Lesson #1 – don’t build a lodge close to an existing one that’s open year round and has a great reputation (in this case, Contact Creek Lodge).
Iron Creek Lodge, Alaska Highway
Welcome to your new home, Ruby. I’ve christened her Ruby not only because of the colour, but because she’s “fast ‘n’ fancy” 🙂
Welcome to Yukon sign, Alaska Highway
The deck on the Upper Liard River Bridge is being replaced at a cost of almost $5.5 million.
Upper Liard River Bridge, Alaska Highway
There are some wonderful vistas between Watson Lake and Teslin.
Mountain vista Alaska Highway
I saw a fair number of caribou – these 2 really didn’t want to get off the highway.
Caribou on the Alaska Highway in the Yukon
A trucker at Contact Creek Lodge warned me that this stretch of construction just south of Teslin was rough and muddy, but it wasn’t actually too bad.
Road construction just south of Teslin, Yukon

And that’s the end of that adventure – I met Cathy for lunch as planned, and was home by 2:00 pm. Back to reality, buried in projects. Cathy has us booked on the White Pass & Yukon Route railway on Sunday, though, so I’m not finished travelling quite yet 🙂


Comments

Driving the Alaska Highway, from Muncho Lake to Whitehorse — 4 Comments

  1. Very interesting. I do the same thing as you do….I like to step out in the road and get a picture exactly as you would see driving down the road.

  2. It certainly is beautiful (very early) morning light over the Liard River.
    Looking forward to seeing your White Pass rail excursion. We’ll never forget our WPYR trip. It was unique. Very pleased you are safely home.

    Marie G.

  3. Iron Creek is still owned by the Hinson family…I believe Dee lives in Grande Prairie or Peace River area, a relative(Andy Shannon) runs the two main hotels in Watson Lake and another relative runs Buckinghorse River Lodge(Howard Shannon). Im assuming the relatives from Watson babysit the place cause its in very well kept condition and not boarded up! Another note Continental Divide has new owners from Whitehorse. And is reopen!