Saturday, August 2, 2014

Driving the ALCAN: Yukon and British Columbia

Temperature: 60°F-40°F

Weather: Scattered Showers, Cool
Mileage: 590miles
Lodging: Ramada Inn Fort Nelson, BC

We began to move from the Yukon Territory into British Columbia as our trip progressed.  The transition area between these two territories was beautiful.  The days we spent in this area were my favorite in terms of scenery and wildlife viewing.  We saw grizzlies, elk, moose, bison, and caribou.  The moose was my favorite animal to see on our trip.  They are so statuesque.  We saw our first moose, an adult male, just bathing himself in a roadside pool.  We were able to pull over and watch him splash around for quite some time.

A little further down the road we saw a sign warning us of wildlife on the road.  Within minutes we were at a standstill, stuck in a traffic jam of bison! There was an entire herd of bison on the road in more than one spot.  These huge animals would do some serious damage to cars so this stretch of road had to be driven very cautiously.  Safety is key on the ALCAN!

The roads were some of the most remote that we traveled on the entire trip.  There is a stretch of the ALCAN between Whitehorse, YT and Fort Nelson, BC that is incredibly isolated.  We saw very few cars and virtually no hotels, stores, or other signs of civilization until we approached the oilfields outside of Fort Nelson. We filled our gas tank at every station we saw (and carried a spare 5 gallon gas can as a precaution). Even with these precautions though we pulled into multiple stations, marked simply by signs pointing down dirt roads, and found them long closed.

My biggest pieces of advice on this stretch of road is drive cautiously, keep your gas tank full, plan on camping, and take lots of pictures!! It was a beautiful and isolated stretch of road.  But, it was also a wonderful place to chat with locals and the roadside was littered with scenic pull-offs.  One of my favorite areas to pull into was the Muncho Lake area.  The lake was beautiful and I highly recommend checking out the camping here if you are ever in the area and looking for adventure!

This stretch of driving was extremely incredible. We did some serious wildlife viewing, enjoyed some isolated driving, met some kind travelers, and even had a kindly man pay for our gas! The area between Whitehorse and Fort Nelson could be a week long vacation on its own.  Cody and I hope to take a trip back to this area one day and really spend some time exploring.

Have you ever visited any of these locations?
Would you take a long road trip with your SO?

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