An Icy “Spring” Day at Dyea, Alaska

We continue to have an extremely warm winter with little snow. To say that it’s been an easy winter so far is an understatement, despite a few days of deep cold that brought with it great photo ops 🙂

When I saw these forecasts yesterday, it looked like a great day to go to Skagway for an early preview of Spring, as well as to pick up a dash cam I’d ordered.

Weather reports for Whitehorse and Skagway
Okay, maybe not a great day to go down! 🙂 It was -2°C (28°F) when I left home, +2C (36F) here at Carcross, then sat at 0C (32F) for most the the drive to Skagway. This photo was shot at 10:03, which was 7 minutes after sunrise.

Highway ice warning at Carcross, Yukon
There was not only slush and black ice, there was glare ice as well. The parking area at Tutshi Lake was so slippery that I couldn’t walk on it. I pulled the car over to the snow so the dogs had something non-slippery to step out onto. It’s pretty funny that we drive in ice that’s too slippery to walk on.

Ice on the parking lot at Tutshi Lake, BC
There’s no ice on Tutshi Lake yet, and on Tagish Lake the ice is starting to break up! There’s some pretty interesting shore ice, though.

Shore ice on Tutshi Lake, BC
Bella and Monty stayed off the rocks, which were glazed with ice and very hard to walk on. The snow was on about 3 inches deep, but fun especially for the little one 🙂

Dogs playing at Tutshi Lake, BC
Wonderful fog/cloud layers at Skagway, where it was only +2C and stayed there – not nearly as good as forecast, but there was very little moisture falling from the sky so I considered that a good trade. This is the Skagway River, with the airport in the distance.

A foggy winter day at Skagway, Alaska
Skagway is one of those towns that still has some real character if you look down the side streets. This place has been under construction for about 20 years 🙂

Funky home in Skagway, Alaska
A look at the Skagway City Hall from the viewpoint on the Dyea Road. I had stopped for lunch at The Station, and was on my way to Dyea just before 1:00 om Yukon time.

Skagway city hall in a winter fog
The colour of the water in Nahku Bay is sometimes stunning in the winter. In other seasons the water isn’t clear enough to show the colour, I think. There’s been no manipulation of any kind to this image – that’s actually what it looked like!

Stunning colour of the water at Nahku Bay, Alaska
The Dyea Road was a sloppy mess! Getting out for photos didn’t do my carpets in the car any good, and the dogs weren’t allowed out.

The muddy Dyea Road, Alaska
I really do love the Taiya River estuary any time of the year. The tide was exceptionally low, so the flats would be dried out enough to walk on.

Taiya River estuary, Alaska
The ice on the road out to Dyea Flats was terrible! If another vehicle came along so we both had to move off the centre crown of the road, things could have gotten ugly. But, nobody else was crazy enough to be out there 🙂

Road to Dyea Flats, covered in thick ice
The wharf pilings from 1897 when the booming town of Dyea was battling with Skagway to be the gateway to the Klondike gold fields still leave me shaking my head at what was accomplished back then in the middle of nowhere.

Wharf pilings from the Klondike Gold Rush
This shot gives you a glimpse at what makes this one of my favourite places in Alaska.

Dyea Flats, Alaska
Bella resting after a hard play on the beach.

My sheltie Bella at Dyea, Alaska
We made it back to the main road without metting anyone on the ice road – *phew*! LOL! This is looking down the Taiya River from the bridge.

Taiya River, Alaska
Monty waiting patiently while I took a few shots from the bridge.

Before leaving the bridge, I decided to hook up the dash cam to see how it works. I love it! This 16 minutes is, in real time, the drive from the Taiya River bridge to the South Klondike Highway just north of Skagway. I didn’t set the time, and I don’t know yet what all the “8”s at the start of the time stamp are.


An Icy “Spring” Day at Dyea, Alaska — 10 Comments

  1. Hello to one who is crazy enough to be out there,

    1. How do you pronounce Dyea? die-long a?

    2. You have mentioned slush, black ice, glare ice, shore ice, lake ice and ice road. I don’t know glare ice. Is that where the ice reflects the sky above back at you?

  2. Hi Murray I have driven that road 2 or 3 times but never in those conditions. The dash cam looks and works great. What tires do you use ? Thanks again for your blog.

    • Hi Bruce. Sorry for the tardy response. I run Toyo Observe GSi5 tires – they used to be called Toyo Studless. I started using them on the Subaru because the RCMP here use them (or used to at least – I haven’t looked in a long time).

  3. Hi Murray! Thanks for showing off your new dash cam. I bought the same one after watching your video showing it off. It has some pretty good reviews.

    I believe where it shows the ‘888888’, it should instead be the firmware date. You can find the latest firmware and instructions here.

  4. Very very nice. I played the video on my big screen TV….almost like being there. I can now say that I’ve almost drove that road. 🙂

  5. This really brings me around to the idea that Skagway has some merits, certainly many more than when I visited in August! Beautiful photos. I have to say that icy parking lot made me cringe a little inside due to my fear of the stuff…if there is any amount of ice around, you can be sure I’ll slip!

  6. Hey Murray! I received my dash cam (same one as yours a couple of weeks ago). I love it! Thanks for the idea! Anyways, I also had the high pitched squealing noise from the mic on video playbacks until I updated the firmware. Thought I would let you know!