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An Explorer's Guide to the Tagish Road, Yukon Highway 8

More Guides to Northern Roads & Highways

Dateline: March 10, 2013. Last update: May 28, 2023.

Note that many of the comments about services along the road are no longer accurate (May 28, 2023).

    Yukon Highway 8, more commonly called the Tagish Road, is a 2-lane paved road that runs 54 kilometers (34 miles) between the South Klondike Highway at Carcross and the Alaska Highway at Jake's Corner. It also connects the Atlin Road to those highways.

    The Tagish Road was built in 1942 as a route to bring supplies from Skagway to various sites during construction of the Alaska Highway. Basic services for travellers are available at Tagish, with a bakery and craft shops at Crag Lake.

    A series of very detailed topographical land-planning maps of the Tagish Road can be seen here (opens in a new window).

This is the view to the south as soon as you turn onto the Tagish Road at Jake's Corner, Alaska Highway Km 1341.5. You're looking down the valley that the Atlin Road runs through, with a sliver of Little Atlin Lake visible.

Km 1.8 - the junction with the Atlin Road (Yukon Highway 7). From here, it's 93 kilometers (58 miles) south to the village of Atlin.

This sign at Km 2.0 warns to watch out for caribou for the next 37 km. The Tagish Road gets little traffic and so is one of the better roads for seeing wildlife.

As well as caribou, you may see moose, mule deer, black bears and many smaller animals including foxes (both red and silver), and porcupines.

From Km 10.9, Secret Valley Lane runs 1.7 km south to a dead-end, with several large-acreage private properties along it.

The view to the northwest at Km 12.6.

Looking west from Km 18.6.

Km 19.5 - Pennycook Road leads several kilometers south to several residences and vacation properties.

The original Tagish telegraph office Tagish is one the oldest communities in the Yukon, and some traces of the very early days remain. A maze of trails south of the highway lead eventually to the original site of the North West Mounted Police post, and the Telegraph office, seen here.

Km 20.2 - Cottonwood Creek Road, and the Tagish Campground, operated by the Carcross Tagish First Nation. There are 15 sites, which cost $12 per night (2018).

Tagish Services, seen in this photo, is at Km 20.4, with fuel available. It adjoins the Tagish marina.

At Km 20.5, the highway crosses the Six Mile River, also known as the Tagish River - this is the view from the west side of the bridge, where the Tagish Bridge Recreation Site is located.

The first strong sign that Spring is near is the arrival of migrating swans - the Trumpeters and Tundras (formerly called Whistling swans) who arrive at the first patches of open water in April. While the Yukon government has a viewing area called "Swan Haven" on Marsh Lake where a week-long Celebration of Swans is held, the viewing at the Tagish Bridge is much better. This is the view north from the bridge.

You can often look straight down on the swans and the many species of ducks that follow them to take advantage of what they stir up from the muddy river banks.

Looking south from the bridge, with the moon rising at 04:50 in mid-April.

Looking east across the Tagish River at noon on a chilly mid-December day. A bit of water still unfrozen mid-stream is steaming in the -30°C (-22°F) air.

Km 22 - Tagish Holiday Park, re-opened in June 2016, offers motel rooms, an RV park, tenting sites, a restaurant, convenience store, and off-sales. The photo to the left isn't current - it shows the property while it was closed between 2010 and 2016.

Km 22.1 - Tagish Community Centre

Km 23.1 - Tagish Estates Road leads to some small-acreage residences and vacation properties.

Km 25.9 - Taku Subdivision, and the Tagish cemetery.

Km 35.0 - 10 Mile Road leads several kilometers to the historic 10 Mile Ranch, and Tagish Wilderness Lodge.

This photo shows the view to the west at Km 36.6 in early May.

Km 39.0 - Crag Lake Subdivision, with several residences and the Dunroamin' Retreat Bed and Breakfast.

Km 42.0 - Cabins Over Crag Lake, 2 new log cabins for rent.

This photo shows the view to the west from Crag Lake.

Winter evening light looking west from Crag Lake (6:25 pm on February 1st).

The full moon over the Tagish Road in early February.

Km 42.9 - Porcupine Creek

Looking west to Caribou Mountain from about Km 43, with Fall in the valley and Winter on the peak, on September 19th.

Km 43.6 - Historic Mile 7 marker

A closer look at some of the crags on Caribou Mountain.

Km 47.5 - Choutla Lake

At Km 49.1, a gravel pit at the base of Caribou Mountain offers access to some pleasant walking.

Km 50.5 - Carcross garbage dump

Looking east from about Km 51.

When the dandelions come out, bear viewing is at its best, as they love eating these flowers. The roots, leaves and flowers of dandelions are also edible for humans.

A series of small ponds created by beavers creates a photogenic spot to view Fourth of July Mountain. Spring came late in 2007 - this photo was shot on May 2 that year.

Montana Mountain is seen to the southwest from the same location, in early June.

Km 51.5 - Choutla Subdivision

Km 52.7 - Department of Highways yard to the north, Airport Road to the south.

As you near Carcross, there are several roads leading to residential areas, most of them Carcross Tagish First Nation land. That's Nares Mountain to the left (hiking is great on Nares almost year-round) and Lime Mountain in the distance.

The start of the Tagish Road from the west end, the junction with the South Klondike Highway. Nares Mountain is to the right of centre, the village of Carcross is to the right and behind me.