RV camping at Kluane Lake for the Discovery Day long weekend

In the Yukon, the discovery of gold that led to the Klondike Gold Rush is celebrated by Discovery Day, a statutory holiday and long weekend. After discussing a few options, we eventually decided to go back to the Congdon Creek Campground on Kluane Lake for the long weekend – it’s our favourite campground overall.

One of the things that helped make Kluane Lake our destination was the weather forecast, even though it’s seldom accurate (and turned out once again not to be).

Kluane Lake weather forecast

I decided that, given the great weather forecast, I’d stay beyond the weekend to do some hiking, perhaps at the Haines Summit. To make that possible, I’d take the motorhome and Tracker out early on Friday, and Cathy would drive her Jeep out when she got off work.

I left Whitehorse at about 12:30, and an hour later met this unfortunate semi on the Alaska Highway. He had pulled over too far onto the shoulder, and sunk in. He had apparently already hitchhiked to Haines Junction where he could get cell service and call for help – when Cathy came by, the truck was gone.

Soft shoulder on the Alaska Highway
2:00 pm – I never tire of seeing those mountains getting closer.

Kluane Range
I stopped at the Kluane Range Rest Area at Km 1566 to take this shot so I could post it on Facebook from Haines Junction. The message I posted with it was “In a few minutes I’ll be entering the dark zone for some hiking and bear-hunting. See you in a week or so 🙂 ”

Kluane Range Rest Area at Km 1566 of the Alaska Highway
We’re at the Congdon Creek Campground so often that it’s starting to feel like a second home 🙂 There were no lakefront sites available, but with a fairly strong wind blowing, that wasn’t a bad thing. I was soon set up in site #26 at the top of the forest loop.

Congdon Creek Campground, Alaska Highway
By 4:00 Bella, Tucker, and I were on the beach. The dogs don’t much like the rocks in front of the campground, so I drove a mile west to where there’s plenty of sand to play on. A couple of guys were enjoying the beach on their ATVs, too.

ATVs on the beach of Kluane Lake, Yukon
Let ‘er rip!! Bella had no chance of catching Tucker, who had a particularly fine stick, apparently 🙂

Dogs playing on the beach at Kluane Lake
We then took a slow drive back down the Alaska Highway in search of bears or anything else interesting. Seeing a Highways worker dealing with graffiti on a rock at Sheep Mountain, I stopped to talk to him. He said that in his 18 years working there, this was the first time the mountain has been tagged. “It’s usually just the outhouses.” I hope that the taggers break an axle in a pothole that this guy could have patched if he wasn’t dealing with this sort of stupidity.

Graffiti on a rock at Sheep Mountain
Stopping at the historic Alex Fisher cabin, I was pleased to see that the sculpture by Kelly Wroot was still in place. The “Error” message glued to the computer screen that made the original message clear is now gone, though – it said “Error. Cultural Identity not found.”, with buttons for “Accept Change” and “Try again”.


This location at Slims River Flats made me think that the level of Kluane Lake is still dropping, though slightly – perhaps 6 inches.

Kluane Lake at Slims River Flats
The boat launch at Km 1651.9 now has the end of the concrete ramp well marked.

Boat launch on Kluane Lake at Km 1651.9 o the Alaska Highway
When I went by this RV boondocking at Horseshoe Bay the first time, a couple of people were swimming in the lake. I expect that it was a very short swim – Kluane Lake never warms up.

RV boondocking at Horseshoe Bay on Kluane Lake
There’s not much left of Horseshoe Bay anymore.

Horseshoe Bay on Kluane Lake

Back at the campground, Cathy joined us just after 7:30. After a little break, we all went out bear-hunting.

At 9:00 pm, just a couple of kilometers east of the campground, we met a moose grazing willows along the side of the Alaska Highway. I took a couple of “insurance” shots with my regular 24-105mm lens in case she left, then switched to my new 100-400mm lens.


The next 3 photos were shot at 400, 312, and 286mm. I don’t recall ever seeing a moose stripping the leaves off willow branches the way she was. We spent quite a while with her, then returned to the campground and went to bed.

Cow moose browsing willows along the Alaska Highway at Kluane Lake

Cow moose browsing willows along the Alaska Highway at Kluane Lake

Cow moose browsing willows along the Alaska Highway at Kluane Lake



Comments

RV camping at Kluane Lake for the Discovery Day long weekend — 5 Comments

  1. Hi Murray very nice photos. What make of lens did you buy 100 to 400 ? You have had a great summer traveling this year. you missed all the fires in BC by going early. All the best to you and Cathy

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