We were sad to leave Whitehorse, but had our eyes set on Beaver Creek, YT. Not because it is a beautiful town (a little sketchy, actually), but because it was a good travel distance. The weather was cloudy and rainy for the first half of our drive, including our introduction to Haines Junction, YT. The great thing about mountains, they look amazing in any kind of weather.
In Haines Junction, YT, we found a building that houses welcome and information centers run by the three operating governments of the land: The Da Ku Cultural Center run by The Champagne and Aishik First Nations, the Yukon Information Center operated by the Yukon Territory and the Kluane National Park Information Center run by the Canadian National Park Service.
The First Nations are the native people of Canada and Alaska. When we first entered, we were greeted by a woman that introduced herself and welcomed us. She explained the meaning of Da Ku (Our House) and that we were on her land. This was not meant in a hostile way, but to remind us that there were people here long before the traders and miners arrived from other countries. It was impactful, to say the least.
We explored the displays while taking in the culture, lifestyle and history of the people, and then moved on to the Yukon and National Parks sections. We did not realize it, but we had just entered the Kluane National Park. This is a vast mountain range with glaciers and ice fields. This is the largest ice field in Canada and also has Canad’s tallest mountain, Mount Logan. (insert Wolverine reference here)
You cannot drive through the ice fields, but driving around it was impressive. While the roads were questionable, the views were magnificent even with the weather conditions. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see Mount Logan, but we still got an eye full.
After the Alaskan Highway took us away from the park, we stopped at a rest stop at Pickhandle Lake. When we got out of the rig, we were awestruck by the absolute silence and stillness. There were no cars, airplanes, motors or people.
Just the water, breeze, birds and insects.
Sarah wouldn’t let me go on the dock. Sad face.
We drove further up the hightway and found a camp site at Snag Junction, YT. A nice quiet place for the evening.