Road Trip 2013: Day 20. Arrival in Kluane Park, Yukon

Here’s another journal entry from my time in Yukon.  Kluane is pretty much my favourite place in the world.  Reading these makes me wish I could be back there.

Day 20: Squanga Lake to Kluane – 374 km driven
Not much to note this morning. I feel like it may not have been as cold last night as it has been other nights, but that could just be because I’ve been really bundling up before going to bed. I packed up the site and started driving toward Whitehorse. As usual, it was cloudy and stormy looking in the morning, although there was just a few drops of rain. I stopped at a few points along the road, although the scenery was a bit less interesting on this stretch. One of the stops I made was at the Yukon river. Not long after, I arrived in Whitehorse. Whitehorse was an interesting town. A bit smaller than I thought it would be considering it’s the capital, but I guess this is a territory. They had an old paddle wheel steamboat that had been preserved and was resting by the shore of the river. My main reason for stopping in Whitehorse was to go grocery shopping as I was running low on food.

Whitehorse and the Yukon River
Whitehorse and the Yukon River

I then headed out to make the rest of the drive to Kluane. I didn’t feel very sure that I was headed down the right road and I couldn’t check the gps on my phone as there isn’t any cell service up here. So I pulled out my trusty Canada back road atlas, only to discover that it didn’t have any maps for the territories. Man…I really am in the middle of nowhere. I stopped at the next gas station because I needed ice anyways, and grabbed a free Yukon road map. That assured me that I was on the right road. I haven’t used a paper map for years.

Frost heaves can make driving interesting
Frost heaves can make driving interesting

The drive to Kluane got a bit more interesting as the mountains began getting bigger and there was more of them. By the time I got to the park entrance I was in awe once again. I’m not sure how, but they are different than the Banff and Jasper mountains. I think mostly because they are barer, despite being less jagged and pointy. They feel a bit bulkier too…like there is more mountain going up, instead of just one peak making the final height. And Kluane lake is quite big, and blue coloured.

This picture says it all. The wide open space that goes on forever, plus snow tipped mountains.
This picture says it all. The wide open space that goes on forever, plus snow tipped mountains.

I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going to camp for the night, so I started watching for campground signs. I saw one for an RV park, that mentioned a cabin…which got my interest. But I missed the turn, so I decided to drive on. I got to the next site, and it was another self serve one that had a sign up saying no tent camping due to bears. So I turned around and headed back to the RV one. I asked about the cabin, and at first she said they were all booked up, but then she looked again, and they had one for $80 per night…which I thought was quite reasonable. It doesn’t have any electricity or running water, but it has a propane heater, and a bed, and that’s really all I want: to get out of the cold and have a good nights sleep. It also has a great view of the mountains and the lake, and is called the grandview as result. So for now I’ve got it for two nights.

My cabin at Cottonwood RV Park. I highly recommend it!
My cabin at Cottonwood RV Park. I highly recommend it!

I could possibly take time and go north to Dawson, but this trip is really feeling quite whirlwind right now, especially knowing that every km I drive, I have to drive back, since I’m off the loop. So I think I will just make my stay here a little longer and relax a bit before I have to head by for home. It’s crazy to think that the trip is coming close to the end, and at the same time, its crazy thinking how long I’ve been at it. Either way its been great!

Kluane Lake.
Kluane Lake.

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