Living in Whitehorse has a lot of pluses. Especially when you have secluded acreage 15 minutes from downtown. Not only do you have pretty well every service you need close at hand, the wilderness is literally at your back door.
On Saturday afternoon the Fall colours on Golden Horn looked so good from our deck that we decided to take a drive up Mount McIntyre, or “Mount Mac” as everyone calls it. So up the Alaska Highway we went, turned left at the old Lobird road, went through the gravel pit and 20 minutes from home we were heading up the mountain.
This is the view that keeps bringing me back to Mount Mac, looking southwest over the head of Fish Lake, with Mount Granger on the left. The fireweed in the foreground makes a nice border along the road.
The higher up Mount Mac we got, the more beautiful it was, but off in the distance…. Father Winter is sneaking up on us!
On the summit there’s an aircraft communications system that’s “fenced off” with 3 strands of barbed wire. There’s also a sign that says “No Trespassing” and that no doubt discourages many people from exploring further. The track that goes to the right of the fence isn’t easy to spot but within a few hundred feet it turns into a good 4-wheel-drive road.
On the nearly level summit past the communications system, the Fall colours were beautiful – not as bright as I’d hoped for but certainly enough to brighten up the day.
The tundra offered a great location for a family photo, and Kayla really got into the wilderness spirit with a good wolf-howl! Or was that just a Rebel yell?
This is the view to the SSE from the location above. The mountain to the left is Golden Horn – our house is at the foot of the mountain, further left.
The wind up there had a bit but we went for a bit of a walk to enjoy the incredible views, with the city right below and Marsh Lake off in the distance to the right in this photo. At this location we were right on the city boundary!
It’s hard to believe that the tiny plants that cover the ground up there can be so hardy.
The Tracker is the perfect little truck for this sort of outing. The high clearance and short wheel base make roads like this quite simple – as long as you judge the right line to take through the rocks! Coming down this section was actually worse than going up (it’s much steeper than it looks in this photo).
Starting back down the mountain.
We took a wander at the spot where the truck is parked above. Here’s a closeup of some of the most brilliantly coloured plants – bearberries, I think. Kayla discovered blueberries and turned into a berry-picking machine!
The cranberries were a bit past prime but still quite good.
This is the shortcut that goes pretty much straight down to Fish Lake, saving a very long trip around on less-rough roads.
Fish Lake was a busy place. It seemed to be an organized group of some sort, with powerboats and a big video camera. We didn’t stay.
Here’s a map of where we went – click on it to greatly enlarge it.