t YUKON ROUTES

YUKON ROUTES
RV PARKS AND CAMPGROUNDS

Besides the Alaska Highway, which forms a common thread connecting British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska, several scenic routes traverse the territory. After the Cassiar Highway turn-off near Watson Lake, the next side trip from the Alaska Highway is the Atlin Road at Jake's Corner. Because Atlin is in British Columbia, that 60 mile stretch is covered on its own page. The same turn-off yields access to the Tagish cutoff, a shortcut to Skagway that joins the Klondike Highway at Carcross. People driving west who intend to visit Skagway on the way should take the cutoff.

In these pages, the Klondike Highway starts at Skagway and heads north to the Alaska Highway junction. After Whitehorse, the Klondike Highway again heads north and west, passing junctions with the Campbell Highway, Silver Trail, and Dempster Highway before ending at Dawson City. Crossing the Yukon River on the free ferry, travelers can continue on to Alaska on the Top of the World and Taylor Highways. The route to Tok via the "Klondike Loop" is about a hundred miles longer that the direct Alaska Highway route. Both options offer spectacular scenery, and both should be taken. Which to take up and which to take back depends on a number of factors, including local weather conditions and presence of forest fire smoke. The Top of the World Highway must be driven in clear conditions to be fully appreciated.

A hundred miles west of Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway is Haines Junction (above). Do not make the mistake of thinking a quick look at the city of Haines via ferry or water taxi from Skagway is sufficient. The Haines Highway is probably the most incredible 150 mile scenic stretch anywhere, and certainly anywhere on this trip. The road is wide, fairly level, and smooth. Freeway speeds are possible, but don't be tempted to rush through. There is much to see, and you'll want to stop often. Just remember that the customs stations close at night. And on the Haines Highway it's a long ways back to a campground. Be sure check your fuel; there are no gas stations for about 120 miles.

In 1999 Yukon Territory began a pre-pay program for government campsites. You must buy a coupon at a business or government office and leave it in the box at the campground. Cash is not accepted, and while no one comes around to collect, someone may stop by to see if anyone is cheating. In 2001 camping fees were $8CND, or about $5.50USD. Quite a bargain, considering the grounds are always well maintained with plenty firewood, scenic surroundings, and (often) fishing. Camping is free weekends in May.

Private campgrounds are in good supply, and while not as inexpensive as the public sites, still a bargain. Enjoy your Yukon visit. We think you'll agree with our opinion that some of the best scenery in Alaska is in the Yukon.

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