On the Yukon Quest Trail – the North Klondike Highway

On Tuesday, we had our longest driving day, about 530 kilometers (330 miles) from Whitehorse to Dawson City on the North Klondike Highway. Then we’d spend 3 nights in Dawson City watching the Yukon Quest mushers arrive and depart, as well as seeing their camps during the mandatory 24-hour layover.

Our first stop was at Braeburn Lodge, famous for its massive cinnamon buns. It’s also a checkpoint for many races, including the Yukon Quest which passed through a couple of days ago, and the Yukon Arctic Ultra, which promotes itself as “the world’s coldest and toughest ultra”. It has several classes for mountain bikers, cross-country skiers and runners – Marathon, 100, 300 and 430 miles.

Braeburn Lodge, Yukon
Steve Watson, owner of Braeburn Lodge and creator of the massive buns 🙂

Steve Watson, owner of Braeburn Lodge
It takes 4 healthy appetites to deal with one of these buns!

Braeburn Lodge
Back outside, racers prepare to get back on the trail.

The viewpoint at Five Finger Rapids, which was the main trouble spot for steamboats on the Yukon River, is always a “must stop”. It’s a very long walk down to the lower viewpoint, with well over 100 steps to climb on the way back up – we didn’t go down!

Five Finger Rapids in the winter

We stopped at the Yukon Quest checkpoint at Pelly Crossing, but it was very quiet, as both the Yukon Quest and the 300 had passed through already. It was a handy place to eat the box lunches that we’d brought up from Whitehorse, though, sitting in our vans in the sunshine.

Our afternoon coffee stop was at Moose Creek Lodge, the other “character” lodge on the North Klondike Highway.

Moose Creek Lodge, North Klondike Highway, Yukon
The owner of Moose Creek Lodge, Maja Nafzger. She opened the lodge up for a few days for people following the Yukon Quest trail under very difficult conditions including deep snow and temperatures down to -53°C (-63°F). Huge thanks, Maja – my guests loved your place!

Maja Nafzger, owner of Moose Creek Lodge
This is our base for the next 3 nights – the Eldorado Hotel. Comfortable rooms, a large, friendly saloon and excellent food – many of the ingredients needed for a great trip.

Eldorado Hotel, Dawson City, Yukon

I’m actually a day behind on the blog now – our 2 full days in Dawson City are full of sled dogs and some looks at unique locations around Dawson. We’re heading out in half an hour to watch 2 more teams start down the trail to Eagle, Alaska, but I have lots more to show you shortly.


On the Yukon Quest Trail – the North Klondike Highway — 1 Comment