We stopped in Burwash Landing to visit the Kluane Natural History Museum – yes, more wildlife displays and also artifacts depicting the life of the Southern Tutchone.
And the First Nation regalia was amazing.
Road Name (s): Yukon Highway 1
Road Type: 2-lane
Road Conditions: After Destruction Bay the road begins to get worse, after Burwash Landing it gets significantly worse, large sections of rough patches and frost heaves. These were followed by a rough washboard gravel section of ten and one half miles where at times Hector drove as slow as 12 miles per hour, mostly under 25 miles per hour. There were two other gravel sections, including construction stops where we had to wait for a pilot car, super dusty, but neither as bad as the first one. Definitely the worst section of the Alaska Highway we encountered. It was also, by far, the dustiest part of our drive to this point.
Miles Today: 136
Miles driven from Canadian border: 1974
Miles on the Alaska Highway: 1166.5
Driving Time: 5:40
Driving time also included stopping and waiting for pilot cars to lead us through construction areas on two occasions.
The roads around this area are built over permafrost, which explains their terrible condition. The pavement absorbs heat, this melts the permafrost under the roadbed causing the soil to liquify. When that happens the road collapses. Then, when this liquified soil refreezes it expands again causing the road surface to “heave” up.
At one point, we pulled into an overlook that should have been large enough for us to be able to turn around, but there was a Mack truck on one side, a large motorhome waiting for parts to repair a belt on another, and a Class C repairing a flat tire in the middle.
Tip of the Day: Allow extra time for travel from Haines Junction to Beaver Creek. This is the worst section of the highway, and the going is slow. Taking it really easy is recommended, but the beautiful scenery will ease the stress a bit.
Once again, we had a few choices of campgrounds for our overnight stay. The first one was the Discovery Yukon Lodging and White River RV Park. It sounded interesting as the owners sometimes give nature tours aboard their WWII military vintage 6-wheeler and they offer WiFi. Unfortunately, their WiFi is currently not working on Apple devices, a known problem, but not resolved yet. They were nice enough to let me test it before registering.
Choice number two was another Yukon Government Campground, Snag Junction. Unfortunately, most spots do not accommodate big rigs, and it was mostly full. This was the first time that we did not find a suitable space in a Yukon Government Campground, but it was also quite late in the afternoon.
Third try was the charm. We drove on to Beaver Creek and stayed at the Beaver Creek RV Park. We got an electric only site, basically in a gravel parking lot, but with good WiFi and across from the Visitor Center.
The town of Beaver Creek is the most westerly community in Canada. The visitor center is very nice, as always providing lots of good information and good WiFi. And the lady that we spoke with there was very nice. She was going to pick up her first RV at the end of the day, a Class B. Safe travels if you are reading this!
Now we were just over 20 miles from the border!