The Yukon’s historic and remote South Canol Road

I’ve got Spring Fever or some such malady – I just want to be gone Exploring all the time. Yesterday I took the motorcycle out to the South Canol Road for a short outing.

From my house to the intersection of the Alaska Highway and the Canol Road is about 114 kilometers (71 miles) – a nice easy ride. I did think for a while about continuing on to Teslin or maybe a bit further, but decided to keep it short.

Junction of Alaska Highway and South Canol Road
There’s a rest area a couple of hundred yards up the Canol Road with several old trucks and some interpretive signage about the road and the WWII Canol oil project.

South Canol Road rest area
I love taking photos of my “heritage-styled” bike with old stuff – the Robinson Roadhouse, the sternwheelers Tutshi and Klondike, trucks…

Old truck at the South Canol Road rest area
A look at the Canol Road from behind the wheel of one of the trucks.

Old truck at the South Canol Road rest area
From here north you’re on your own – there are no services until you reach the village of Ross River, 226 kilometers away (140 miles).

South Canol Road
On the other side of the Alaska Highway is some building wreckage that I decided to go and have a look at. I seem to recall that in the very early 1990s the building was still standing.

Wreckage of old Canol garage
It used to be a garage. There was a large highway construction camp here, and it could well date from those years.

Wreckage of old Canol garage
Past the garage is another back road to explore some day…

Old piece of Alaska Highway
The view north along the Alaska Highway to the Teslin River Bridge.

Teslin River Bridge
This is what the bridge looked like in 1944 during construction when it was just called Bridge No. 416. It’s 37 meters high and 450 meters long, with a 66-meter cantilever truss on each side of the arch. To the right are 2 of the original wooden bridges.

Teslin River Bridge in 1944
And this is the scene today.

Teslin River Bridge
As I was heading back home, this section of old highway just south of Squanga Lake prompted a U-turn πŸ™‚

Old piece of Alaska Highway at Squanga Lake
You just never know what you might find down these roads – in this case only 3 Arctic hares, but it was a nice little detour anyway.

Old piece of Alaska Highway at Squanga Lake
I went into the Squanga Lake Campground but it was dead quiet. It gets fairly popular in mid-summer, but most of the lake is still frozen. The boat launch is 4-wheel-drive only – well at least getting back up from the lake is!

Squanga Lake Campground, Yukon

The weather is pretty flat again today, so it’s a good day to get some work done at home. Tomorrow I just may have “the fever” again πŸ™‚


The Yukon’s historic and remote South Canol Road — 6 Comments

  1. Murray
    Thanks for the pics, We check your page often, Great pictures both your weekend and the above post, thanks for letting us ride along.

  2. Catching up on your blog I see you’ve been very resolute about putting in the training on the bike prior to your super-ultra-marathon trip. πŸ™‚ Everyone dreams their dreams, but we don’t all get out and live them – so have a thrilling (but safe) dream trip. I loved all the photos, especially the beautiful evening photos of Lake Fox, the dogs at Kluane Lake, the MOOSE!, the bike and the old truck, the hub-cap totems and the beautiful crocuses. I hope your weather behaves for the duration; ours is **** and some frosts and clear days would be much better than the gales and floods we’re having. May has been 2.5C warmer on average than any previous May since records have been kept – do we look at GW effect?? Oh, yes, how long do you usually bike in one stretch before you need a break and a walk around? Is it the same as driving?

  3. Hi Marie,

    I keep delaying the marathon as the weather gets better and better here while it gets worse and worse down south where I’m headed. If things don’t turn around I’m going to head over to Chicken, Alaska, for a 3 or 4-day trip until things do improve. Riding the motorcycle is much tougher than driving a car – I can drive forever (or at least until my bladder explodes πŸ™‚ ), but after 2 hours on the bike I need a break.

    I was just reading about the storms you’re getting – what a mess! πŸ™ Stay safe!

  4. Pingback: The ExploreNorth Blog Β» Exploring the South Canol Road

  5. Hi Murray
    That backroad behind the fallen garage is the old Alaska Highway, old approach to the Teslin River bridge. Drove that piece of road back in 1970.
    Best regards, AndrΓ©.