Driving from Whitehorse to Fort Nelson

My niece and I are on our way to Vancouver. She’s not comfortable with driving 3,000 kilometers by herself this time of year, and – well, I’m her uncle 🙂

This was the weather forecast for the entire route – not too bad. Mostly warmish with a bit of snow.

We left the house at 06:10 – 3 hours and 49 minutes before before sunrise – in a light snow, with reservations for a motel in Fort Nelson for the night. Teslin was our first stop, for gas and breakfast. At 08:45, we were back on the road, at the viewpoint over Teslin.

Viewpoint over Teslin, Yukon
The colours of sunrise seemed to go on for hours – this was shot 22 minutes before the 09:59 sunrise.

Winter sunrise on the Alaska Highway
This ice-tower is caused by flakes of ice in the air.

Sunrise ice-tower
We were both hoping to see lots of wildlife on the trip. The first were a few bison near Coal River at 12:20.

Bison along the Alaska Highway
We stopped at Watson Lake and put in just enough gas at $1.179 to get us to Contact Creek Lodge. It’s been my regular stop for some 20 years, as they have the lowest gas prices in the region. Imagine my surprise when gas there was $1.299. I won’t make that mistake again 🙁

My faithful lead dog Nanook is travelling with us 🙂

About 20 miles from Liard Hot Springs we met a herd of about 100 bison, including a large number of calves.

Bison along the Alaska Highway

Bison along the Alaska Highway
The sun broke out as we neared the Smith River, and although I drove past, a mile or so down the highway I did a U-turn to go back to Smith River Falls. It’s 2 km down a narrow road with a few inches of snow on it, but was worth the detour.

Frozen Smith River Falls, Alaska Highway
We stopped at Liard Hot Springs Lodge to top up the gas tank – at $1.699! In front of us at the pump was a fellow who goes by The Social Traveler on Twitter. We had planned on having a dip at the springs, but decided that we wanted to maximize our highway touring in the sunshine instead.

The Social Traveler at Liard Hot Springs Lodge

Liard Hot Springs Lodge
Bobbie’s car at the Muncho Lake viewpoint. I stopped to check the price of gas at Northern Rockies Lodge at Muncho Lake and found it to be $1.979. That’s nearing double the price in Whitehorse.

Muncho Lake, from the viewpoint.

I shot this 5-minute video as Bobbie drove along the lake.

Near the Tetsa River Lodge as it got dark, we met a herd of some 40 elk.

Elk along the Alaska Highway
Crossing the Racing River Bridge at 4:08, 52 minutes after sunset.

This is a screenshot from the page that my Spot GPS Messenger sends data, to allow friends and family to track us. It can be seen here.

Tomorrow, we’ll be away early again, with Quesnel our destination for the night.


Driving from Whitehorse to Fort Nelson — 2 Comments