Fresh Snow and Sunshine – Road Trip to Skagway!

We got our first heavy snow of the season on Monday – far too early. It hit while I was in the hot tub – all of a sudden, the wind was screaming, the temperature plummeted and the snow was coming down hard. It only lasted about half an hour but we were left with a couple of inches of snow on the ground. The forecast for Tuesday was for sunshine, though, so a drive to Skagway seemed to be in order.

It was -10°C (14°F) when I left the house at 08:00, and the road was very icy. Emerald Lake was in deep shadow while the mountains behind were lit up so an overall shot wouldn’t work but this detail of a small bay gives you an idea of what the morning was like.

Snow at Emerald Lake, Yukon

The light at Carcross was stunning, and I made a long stop for a few shots. This is the Nares River – the pilings were a wingdam used to keep the river contained and scouring out a channel deep enough for the early steamboats. The mist is caused by the very cold air coming into contact with warmer water, and is known as steam fog.

Pilings at Nares Lake, Yukon

The rising sun across Nares Lake at 08:52.

Sunrise over Nares Lake, Yukon

Downtown Carcross, with the carving shed, the Tutshi memorial and the railway station.

Downtown Carcross, Yukon

The colour of the light changed quickly as the run rose. This is looking across Grayling Bay to Caribou Mountain.

Caribou Mountain - Carcross, Yukon

Continuing down the highway, I was pleased to see 3 mountain goats sleeping near one of the aerial tramway towers at Pooley Canyon.

Mountain goats sleeping near one of the aerial tramway towers at Pooley Canyon, Yukon

By the time I reached the south end of Windy Arm, the road was much better, as the snow hadn’t reached here. It was still -5°C (23°F), though.

South Klondike Highway

I made quite a few photo stops. The dogs got to get out at many of them, but this one was on the road so Monty had to watch from the sidelines 🙂

A Yukon husky

The mist on Bernard Lake was cause for a stop.

Mist on Bernard Lake, Yukon

The almost-full moon setting behind the peaks in the White Pass.

Full moon in the White Pass, Alaska

The tourist season is over, and the “Welcome to Alaska” sign is now hidden in a protective crate until next May.

Welcome to Alaska sign on the South Klondike Highway

Only one of the packages I was waiting for was at the post office, but I had a feeling that it might come in later that day, so went for breakfast at the Sweet Tooth Cafe and then wandered around Skagway taking pictures for a while. This is the Small Boat Harbor.

Small Boat Harbor - Skagway, Alaska

Over at the AML dock, some shiny new ore shipping containers had arrived.

Ore shipping containers at Skagway, Alaska

The WHMIS (“wimis”) code indicates that the ore in the containers is toxic to trees and fish.

Ore shipping containers at Skagway, Alaska

While I was having breakfast, I read a 3-page article about the Stowaway Cafe in the Capital City Weekly newspaper. The article started by saying that the restaurant is closing after 18 years in business. The article raves about the place, but if a restaurant is successful don’t you sell it, not just close it? I only went there twice – in their 2nd year of operation, I tried to go for lunch. I was probably dressed in shorts, t-shirt and sandals, and the guy at the door looked me up and down critically when I asked for a table and replied “sorry, we’re full”. There was nobody in the place. Snubbed like that, I didn’t go back for about 14 years – the next visit was okay but nothing special.

Stowaway Cafe - Skagway, Alaska

There are some cool mermaids around the Stowaway, though.

Mermaid at the Stowaway Cafe in Skagway, Alaska

The cabin and newer house belonging to Captain William Moore, founder of Skagway. Everything is closed now that the cruise ships are gone, but it’s still an attractive place to go on a wander.

Captain William Moore's house and cabin in Skagway, Alaska

I had no luck at the post office, so at 12:45 headed north again.

Snowy peaks along the South Klondike Highway

Although I had planned on making a quick trip home, it didn’t work out that way – too many things to stop to see 🙂 This is the Tutshi River.

Tutshi River, BC

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many mountain goats on Dail Peak – there are 14 in this view, and there were quite a few more, perhaps 25 in total.

Mountain goats on Dail Peak, Yukon

This hiking season is over for me, but I’m lining up places for next year. Pooley Canyon will be the toughest place to get into, and the snow doesn’t clear in there until August, but it’s high on the list, as the historic Vault silver mine is there and I need to have another look.

Pooley Canyon, Yukon

And the Venus mine, of course. This was shot from the same location as the Pooley Canyon one – a gravel ridge above the highway.

Venus silver mine, Yukon

This will be my last blog post from the Yukon for about 3 weeks – I’ll talk to you in 4 days from Switzerland, though. I’m so excited about this trip I can hardly stand it 🙂


Fresh Snow and Sunshine – Road Trip to Skagway! — 6 Comments

  1. Enjoy your holiday! Can’t wait for pictures of places we can only enjoy through your blog.

  2. If I lived in that area, and went out for a gallon of milk, would end up sightseeing and always be late getting home!

    My dogs would love the cold weather.

    Have a great trip .