After we spent 5 months in Alaska in 2016, we knew we had to come back. It was so incredible. Finally on May 8, 2023 we headed north from Chilliwack, British Columbia to Haines, Alaska, arriving on May 12, 2023. It feels so good to be back. This first leg of our summer journey took us 5 days (1,873 miles) through some of the most incredible scenery and wildlife – with overnight stops at Quesnel BC, Dawson Creek BC, Toad River BC, and Little Atlin Lake, YT.
Day 1 to Quesnel gave us beautiful and varied scenery along the Fraser and Thompson Rivers on mostly 2 lane highways with well positioned passing lanes. Only minor delays around a few flooded areas and some smoke and haze from the wildfires burning in Alberta. (Sorry about the bugs on the windscreen – we do clean at the end of each day)
Day 2 to Dawson Creek was sunny but the smoke haze continued to build which you can see in some of the photos. We got to see the first of the wildlife – Elk, Mule Deer and nesting Trumpeter Swans but not close enough to photograph.
Day 3 from Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway to Mile 422 at Toad River, BC was beautiful, warm and sunny. Judging by the leaves on the Aspen trees we moved in and out of spring several times. So much more wildlife today including Mule Deer, Black Bear, Caribou, Big Horn Sheep, Beaver and a variety of birds. Encountered some very BIG mosquitoes – fortunately not all were biting yet.
Day 4 to Little Atlin Lake near Jake’s Corner, YT was our longest day of driving – 10 hours. Toad River to Liard is a gorgeous section. The wildlife put on quite a show for us with multiple sightings of most – Big Horn Sheep, Stone Sheep, Porcupine, Caribou, Moose, Black Bear, Wood Bison. The Watson Lake Signpost Forest (Mile 635), started in 1942, has certainly grown since we last saw it.
Day 5 of our drive to Haines, Alaska was from Little Atlin Lake, YT through Haines Junction, YT to the Oceanside RV Campground on the water in Haines. We stopped in Whitehorse at Mac’s Fireweed Books on Main St. for a copy of The Milepost (2023) as we forgot ours and this was the first place that had it in stock since we crossed into Canada in April. Lesson learned: never be without Milepost. What amazing snow capped mountains to Haines Junction and then Haines – one of the most beautiful drives on the continent. Kluane National Park and Reserve is majestic. Fewer bugs on the windscreen, probably because of the intermittent rain.
Oceanside RV Park is our new home, right on the shores of the Lynn Canal, North America’s longest fjord. We have amazing ocean and mountain views right out of our windscreen. Some mornings we wake up to humpback whales and thousands of scoters diving for mussels. Aa few Bald Eagles are always perched nearby. And local fisherman sell us their fresh catches.