Enjoying Yukon Summer

What a crazy summer it’s been so far! I decided to not even try to catch you up on what’s been going on in my world for the past few weeks, but start fresh.

We’re doing a lot of major renovation work on the house. After an initial hard time getting contractors, things are now going full tilt. The new roof was finished yesterday afternoon.
New roofing almost finished
The weather is finally superb, and after being tied to the house for many days, Monty and I took Cathy’s Tracker up to the summit of Mount McIntyre (“Mount Mac”) to do some hiking in the alpine. Just starting up Mount Mac, this is the view back down to the largest gravel pit in Whitehorse.
The road goes through the old Whitehorse Copper mine property – this pit where copper ore was blasted out is right beside the road.
Whitehorse Copper mine pit, Whitehorse
This is the view from near the summit. The road gets rougher and rougher as the years go on, and it does now take a 4X4 with some clearance to get up to this view to the south over Fish Lake.
Fish Lake from Mount Mac, Yukon
There were flowers everywhere. This is about the peak for several species including these – which I believe are mountain buttercup (Ranunculus eschschotlzii).
Mountain buttercup in the Yukon
This photo was shot a few hundreds yard from the location above, in late August 2010. Lots of colours, but of a very different type! My sweet Kayla never passed up a chance to display her wolf heritage 🙂
Alpine anenome (Anenome drummondii) were also abundant. The vast majority of the flowers in the alpine are low to the ground, and some have very tiny, though no less beautiful, blossoms.
Alpine anenome (Anenome drummondii)
Whitehorse – the large bare area is the airport, and at the upper left is Lake Laberge.
Whitehorse from Mount Mac
I haven’t yet figured out what the tiny, complex, purple flowers are.
Yukon alpine flowers
This is part of the air navigation/communication system at the summit of Mount Mac. From here we drove on a very rough track for another half-mile or so.
I thought about driving through this mudhole, but didn’t for a few reasons. Although I walked it and it seemed passable, I’ve seen some extremely soft and deep spots some years, and we were there for a walk anyway. So I parked back off the “road” and we headed east along the ridge.
A mudhole on the Mount Mac ATV track
Looking down at the tailings pond of the Whitehorse copper mine’s mill, which closed almost 50 years ago.
Tailings pond of the Whitehorse copper mine
That’s the Alaska Highway and Marsh Lake in the distance to the east.
Alaska Highway and Marsh Lake from Mount Mac
Far above treeline, a few widely scattered and very stunted spruce trees are right on the edge of survival.
Can a Yukon summer day get much better than this?
Summer in the high alpine in the Yukon
This pond was very much welcomed by Monty – he spent quite a while in the water.
A pond on top of Mount Mac at Whitehorse
I must make the short hike into this impressive lake some day soon.
The Mount Sima ski hill from an angle that not many people see it from. This was the turn-around point of the hike for us – from here the slopes were too steep to be fun.
Mount Sima ski hill
Doesn’t this ptarmigan have great camouflage? He’s in the middle of turning from winter’s all-white to summer’s mottled-brown.
What seemed to be a very well-used moose trail. I was rather surprised to see a fair bit of moose droppings on the ridge.
Moose trail
We took advantage of patches of snow to cool off a few times – laying in it felt soooo good!
Cooling off in summer snow
We went back to the car on a different route, on the south side of the ridge, and the flowers were quite different. This dense field of lupine was about 30 feet square.
Lupine in the Yukon
We were back at the car about 3½ hours from when we began the hike. That’s Fish Lake again on the way down.

Today, I’m watching a sidewalk, and a large concrete pad in front of my garage, being laid. Tomorrow, probably another little adventure before 2 more contractors arrive on Thursday…


Enjoying Yukon Summer — 10 Comments

  1. More great shots. I drove to Whitehorse in 1988 and always wanted to go back and work there. (I’m a radio news guy) I’m curious (as a photo buff) what camera body/lens combination you use the most?

  2. Hi Murray, glad to see you posting again. I was hoping to get up there soon but best laid plans as they say. My dad is the same age as yours but has been in a care home for a number of years now so i enjoyed seeing you and him on a trip together. It was awful that he got hit by a car and hope he is fully recovered.
    I am writing today though to comment of the moose droppings you see on the trail.
    I think they are caribou droppings left over from when they roamed up there. Might be worth looking in to.
    I have fond memories of hiking around up there and your pics were a welcome diversion to my life in Vancouver.

  3. Great to hear from you, Delores 🙂 Dad is doing great, and he and I are off on another trip in September.

    The droppings were moose, and fresh as well. I caught a glimpse of something moving along the edge of the forest far below that trail – could have been a moose.

  4. Hi Murray, great to read you again ! Lovely scenery and once again, great photos. I don’t know why I’ve never been up Mount McIntyre or hiking to Fish Lake. I always seem to land in Whitehorse, take the rented RV and get to the roads to discover all throughout when the surrounding of Whitehorse is so beautiful and easily accessible…..with such great views. It’s a promise I make to myself for the next trip. Have a wonderful summer and don’t forget to post cause we love reading and looking at your pictures and simply……dream.

  5. Thanks, Maureen. It’s not just visitors who never see those views – few locals have ever been up Mount Mac. It always surprises me that so many Yukoners – I mean so many people who live in the Yukon, which is different – have only the vaguest idea of what surrounds them. I often think that I should keep these places to myself, but if it gets busy (as Montana Mountain at Carcross did), there are many more options 🙂

  6. Great pictures of the views, the alpines and especially the ptarmigan. I remember the kids having a snowball fight in July in the hills above Whitehorse the one time we were there, years ago now. Your one picture immediately reminded me of it.

  7. That sure was enjoyable. You got some great pictures…..for some reason I just love the one with the Alaskan Highway in the distance. Maybe it because I want to drive it so badly.

  8. Hello Murray!
    Glad you are back and it was worth the wait- those are beautiful pics from Mount Mac (I am going to have to put that in my back pocket in case I am lucky enough to be in the area one day). Love the Ptarmigan camo, and your pups seem to have quite the personalities! I echo Neal’s sentiments about the picture you took of the Alaska Hwy. I am doing a virtual run to Whitehorse and am currently just coming up to Saskatoon. My reward to myself for getting to Whitehorse is an actual road trip there- I am thinking next summer. Crossing my fingers.
    I am enjoying your pictures of Yukon’s Flora too!