I’ve actually been back in BC for the last couple of nights. Atlin is an old little town on the shore of Atlin Lake, which is actually quite a large lake, at least for a lake in the mountains. It’s also only accessible from Yukon, and it’s pretty much at the end of the road.
I originally put it in the trip plans because it’s an end-of-the-road destination and I figured I might as well see it. I knew it had a large lake and big mountains, but I wasn’t really expecting much. So I was surprised when it was a terrific time and the scenery was spectacular. I feel like the pictures only hint at it.
The road in generally follows the shore of the lake, which made for some great views.
There is a large wilderness park beyond the road. One big feature that you could glimpse from a view point is the Llewellyn Glacier.
I continued on past the town to a spot near the end of the road called Warm Bay. I got a terrific campsite there right on the lake.
It had been kind of dark and overcast when I came in… The next morning I woke up to rain. It went on to rain all morning which was a bit disappointing. Atlin isn’t high on my list of places that are worth taking a rain day off for.
Around noon, the rain stopped. The clouds slowly rolled back and showed the mountains. It actually looked really great. I sat by the lake at my campsite for a bit and got some pictures as it unfolded. It had been quite a bit colder that night, and I could see some fresh snow on some of the higher peaks.
I set out exploring in the afternoon. Atlin was an interesting little town with lots of old historical buildings. I learned that after the gold rush, the area actually was a small tourist destination, with travelers coming up the inside passage to Skagway by boat, then the White Pass Railroad to Carcross or Whitehorse, and then steamboats to places like Atlin. All before you could easily get up here via air…and long before there was a road. I wish I could have traveled back then…it would have been so epic.
I hiked a small trail by the waterfront, and I could see the rain pouring down in the distance. A bit of it hit me, but most of it went north.
Back at the campsite that evening, I was very happy with how the day turned out. Atlin had been more interesting than I though it would be, and it was due in part to the dramatic skies of the rainy weather. I probably would have ordered straight sunshine…but God knew better.
To top it all off, there was a wonderful sunset that evening…and I could see and watch it right from my campsite!
What a great time. I especially enjoyed that campsite. Often times on road trips like this, I don’t get to enjoy really nice campsites because I don’t have reservations. So it’s nice when it works out.
I’m back in Yukon now, ready to explore the Carcross area.