Drury Creek Campground, and on to Dawson City

Day 3 of this RV trip – Thursday, July 26th – was an eventful one, and this is the third post where I talk about parts of that day. After exploring a bit of Faro, we had left just before 4:30, with the idea that that we would spend the night at the next attractive place we came to.

At 4:55, we got our first view of Little Salmon Lake, from Km 465.9 of the Robert Campbell Highway. A friend in Whitehorse is a big fan of Little Salmon, so I had high hopes for the 2 campgrounds on it.

Little Salmon Lake, Yukon
At Km 468.1, I turned onto the short access road to Drury Creek Campground, near the east end of of Little Salmon Lake.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
The information and registration kiosk is the first thing you come to…

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
…then a firewood shed and picnic shelter, standard Yukon campground facilities. To the right of these on a short loop road is a single outhouse, the only one in the park.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
Campsite #2 is one of 5 spacious pull-through sites. Four others could be termed pull-throughs, as they’re alongside the road. Only 1 of the 10 sites is a back-in site.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
Two of the campsites along the road are on the right side of this large gravel area.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
Campsites #8 and 9, right on the lakeshore, were being straddled by a pickup/camper/boat combination. Then I saw #10, a secluded back-in past the boat launch. I filled out one of the campground registration forms I carry with me, posted it on the site to stake my claim, and hurriedly unhooked the Tracker.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
At 5:15, I had the motorhome set up and this was my view. Wow! Then I moved the Tracker over to the site.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
With our own private beach, getting wet was the first order of business. It was after the kids’ normal dinner time, but the lake was their #1 priority as well.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
Bella will follow me almost anywhere in the water 🙂

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
Bella and I waded most of the way across Drury Creek, which was right beside our campsite…


…but when the combination of water depth and current speed went beyond Bella’s comfort level, she waded and swam back to the motorhome.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon

Two German couples in rental truck-and-camper units seemed to have asked the fellow in sites 8 and 9 what his plans were – he left, and they took those sites. When I took the dogs on a walk around the campground, none of the other sites were occupied. We had a very quiet night.

The next photo shows the view out the front window at 04:45 on Friday morning. This was going to be a tough place to leave, and I was now seriously thinking about cancelling the Alaska part of this trip and returning to Drury Creek.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
The kids were back in the water early. It seemed to be the perfect beach for them – fine gravel, a very gradual grade, and fairly warm water.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
By 07:00 the sun was very warm, and I moved my chair over to the boat launch to enjoy my second pot of coffee there while Bella and Tucker continued playing.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
I had never seen the kids – Tucker in particular – quite like this. Usually Tucker tires of the water very quickly, but he was loving this place, playing with Bella, chasing sticks I threw into the water, stamping around just to make the water splash…

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
…and then up on the beach tearing around like a madman on a circular racetrack he created, with about 10 feet of water to run through on it. I’m not sure which of us was happier, though – Tucker, or me watching him loving his life. 🙂

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
Eventually they played out, and laid down to dry out and chew on sticks.

Drury Creek Campground, Yukon
I started to worry about the time – I wanted to get to the Dawson airport well before Cathy’s 4:10 arrival so I could get some cleaning done. At 08:45, we left Drury Creek and continued westbound on the Campbell Highway – we’d been having so much fun, I hadn’t even had breakfast.


I made a brief detour into the Little Salmon Lake Campground, but after what we had just experienced, I was quite shocked by what I found there. It was extremely busy, the sites seemed to be small and poorly laid out, and there was no loop road, just a cul de sac with barely enough room to turn around in.

All of my other plans for exploring the west end of the Campbell Highway went out the window – I was now just focussed on getting to Dawson.

Westbound on the Robert Campbell Highway east of Carmacks
At 10:30, I turned north on the North Klondike Highway. A few minutes later, I stopped for a light brunch – a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and juice. I made another brief stop at Stewart Crossing for a load of fuel, but the further north I got, the rougher the road was, so it wasn’t as quick a trip as I’d planned.

Northbound on the North Klondike Highway

Shortly after arriving at the Dawson airport,opening up the slides and getting ready to do a cleaning, I got a text from Cathy. Their plane had problems with some instruments and they had returned to Whitehorse. They get another plane ready as soon as possible.

I decided to drive in to the Yukon River Campground and get a campsite, then return to the airport when I had a new arrival time. It felt great to be back in Dawson, and to be back on the ferry to the campground and the Top of the World Highway.


The campground produced another surprise. The rapidly-growing Moosehide Gathering was underway, and the 100-site campground was full. Well, not quite full, but the few sites remaining were not suitable for a rig the size of ours. After 2 circuits of the very rough loop road, I parked the motorhome at a wide spot on the campground road, unhooked the Tracker, and returned to the airport, a bit stressed by the surprises.

Cathy did arrive just before 5:30 on a different plane, and we were soon on our way. The plan was now to return to the campground, get the motorhome, and drive 14 kilometers up the Top of the World Highway and park at a rest area there.




Comments

Drury Creek Campground, and on to Dawson City — 3 Comments

  1. hi Murray;
    looking forward to the next post.
    we were refining details for our trip today and though that the Yukon River campground might be a good place on the return from Eagle Plains. That would put us on the right side of the river for TOW to Tok (not Delta Junction, as per your suggestion) and it might avoid the morning ferry rush..??
    Can you make reservations for a large tent? We are now looking at Sunday Sept 02 wondering if that long weekend might get busy.
    we are taking a 7 x 12 cabin tent.
    thanks for any insight.

    • There are no reservations available. The tourist season at Dawson is pretty much over by the Labour Day weekend, so you should have no problem getting a good spot. At peak season, the morning ferry rush can be awful if there’s a motorhome caravan in town, but that doesn’t affect cars as much.

  2. I’ve never had much luck at the Dawson City Provincial campground. 40 years ago, there was usually space but the last couple of times it has been packed.

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