Haines Junction, Yukon to Tok, Alaska

Dawn light on the Kluane Mountains from our motel at Haines Junction yesterday morning at 06:55.

Dawn light at Haines Junction, Yukon

Most of the folks walked over to The Village Bakery while I drove the rest over in the bus. It started raining lightly a few minutes after we arrived, and the rain got much heavier as we got ready to leave. Just past Bear Creek Summit, the highest point on the Alaska Highway north of Whitehorse at 3,294 feet (1,004 meters), I pulled over for a rainbow-photo stop.

Rainbow on the Alaska Highway

Plus a rainy-highway photo 🙂

Rain on the Alaska Highway

A detour to the ghost town of Silver City, dating to 1903-1905, provides lots of photo opportunities. This became one of the service centres for the Kluane gold fields after the first discovery of gold in the summer of 1903. There are enough ruins and graves scattered through the forest to make this a multi-hour stop for the hardcore historian or photographer – I’ve certainly spent many hours here over the years.

Silver City, Yukon

We made a stop at the Tachal Dhal Visitor Information Centre at Sheep Mountain, but as there were no Dall sheep to be seen, it was a short stop.

Tachal Dhal Visitor Information Centre at Sheep Mountain, Yukon

A mile further on, we hiked up the original road to Soldiers Summit to the spot where the Alaska Highway was opened on November 20, 1942. Here the group is listening to the original radio broadcast of the opening. The hike took a total of almost an hour and everyone seemed pleased with the experience.

Soldiers Summit on the original Alaska Highway

We stopped at Beaver Creek for an excellent lunch at Buckshot Betty’s, and at 3:15pm reached the Yukon-Alaska border at the 141st meridian. This view is directly south along the border cut.

Yukon-Alaska border at the 141st meridian

The most-photographed of the many signs at the border. A few hundred yards further on, we crossed into the United States at Port Alcan – we were the only vehicle and the crossing was quick and simple as it almost always is.

Welcome to Alaska sign on the Alaska highway

Our final stop was made at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Centre. Cora gave an excellent presentation – over the years the centre, and Cora’s presentation in particular, gets better and better.

Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Centre

Our overnight stop was in Tok, at Young’s Motel – I shot this photo a few minutes ago, at 05:25. The motel is basic and spotless, the restaurant consistently one of the best on the highway. In 3 hours we’ll be heading south on one of the most scenic days of this entire journey – the destination tonight is Valdez, Alaska.

Fast Eddie's Restaurant - Tok, Alaska


Haines Junction, Yukon to Tok, Alaska — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Murray, I’ll follow this trip along also…..
    Last year, while in Haines Junction, I was sad to see that the Visitor center would be moved. The sadness was brought about the fear that The Village Bakery loosing it’s many tourists visitors. Hopefully, this will not happen and people like you will continue to bring their groups to the bakery……It is the best bakery on earth, isn’t it….and what about good coffee. Have a good trip, nice to stay in touch

  2. The new combination visitor/cultural center is nice but a bit odd in space allocation terms (a tiny theatre that holds nowhere near as many people as want to use it). The move doesn’t appear to have affected the bakery, though – their reputation is well enough grounded now that people, including tours, make the detour. I expect, or at least hope, that it stays that way.