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Adventure to Alaska: Haines to the Yukon

We spent ten of our sixty big, big trip days in the Canadian Rockies. We did this deliberately because of this...

Paddling in Jasper

But our time in the Inside Passage; that exists in my memory with a fairytale, dream-like quality.  Our last ferry ride, from Juneau to Haines, was amidst something like paradise.  We drifted through an inlet, dwarfed by massive peaks, glacier after glacier, and more waterfalls plummeting from the top of the mountain seemingly all the way to the bottom.

But we'd seen so much of this type of dramatic scenery already, it was easy to pass off as yet another aweing stand of mountains, glaciers and waterfalls. Whereas on our first ferry ride, we spent hours on the decks, watching the views with wonder. This time Tucker watched a movie and Kenedy listened to music.

Mahna Mahna Do doo be-do-do

We planned to stay a few days in Haines but instead stopped for a stretch, grabbed a beer at solar-powered Haines Brewery and decided to keep moving.  The Haines Highway follows the immense braided Chilkat River. Along the way, the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve has multiple viewing platforms, some with informational signs. July is not the season for eagles but, wow, it was worth a stop even if just for the vast views of the river valley. One of those channels would easily be considered a raging river in Colorado.

The Haines Highway ascends to the Alaska-Canadian border, where the river narrows and then the road moves away from the river altogether, eventually landing on what seems like the top of the world where the terrain changes from deciduous trees to alpine tundra as you enter the Yukon.

Haines Highway

Let me just write that again. THE YUKON!  Wow...bucket list: check.

We drove through Million Dollar Falls campground but were feeling fine and decided to keep going.  We reached Kathleen Lake campground in Kluane National Park at about 8PM on a Saturday.  Surprising to us, campgrounds all the way up here in the Yukon still fill up on a summer Saturday night.  We wanted to spend a little more time with Kathleen Lake so set up for dinner in the empty day use parking lot next to the lake. Oh, and turned our tent into a parachute (to dry from rain in Juneau).

Kathleen Lake

We ended up snagging the last campsite at Pine Lake provincial campground for $12CAD.  By the time we set up the tent, mosquitoes were out in full force so we said goodnight looking forward to breakfast at the Village Bakery, a visit to the Kluane National Park Visitor Center in Haines Junction and then onward to the Alaska Highway!