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Up into the Yukon – the Cassiar Highway

Up into the Yukon – the Cassiar Highway

Once we left Revelstoke and all trails in the Glacier National Park were still closed we made our way to Lake Louise. The winter dominated the Rocky Mountains, too, so we didn’t really had something to do there. So we drove up the Icefields Parkway, a street that I will report about later because it is definitely one of the most beautiful streets I ever drove. I will drive it again on our way down again, so I will then take all those impressions together in another blog post. From Jasper, we directly went on to Prince George. From there we had the choice between two roads up to Whitehorse. We decided to take the route over the Yellowhead Highway and the Cassiar Highway. This route goes through the north-western part of British Columbia. From Prince George, we wanted to make all the way up within two days. 1621 kilometers! We had a hell of a long ride before us, but also a mostly really beautiful one. On the first day, we mostly had rain, but that didn’t really matter, as the most of the Yellowhead Highway wasn’t that interesting anyways. But later on, after we passed the junction in Kitwanga and were now driving up the Cassiar Highway, the weather turned out to be better. That was was a great thing, because the Cassiar Highway is a wonderful panoramic route. The highway runs directly behind the coastal mountains, which were still covered with tons of snow.

Beautiful scenery along the Cassiar Highway.

We were driving for hours next to those beautiful snow-covered summits, heard the perfect road trip music and were excited about going to Alaska. Part-way we reached Meziadin Junction. As the weather was so wonderful we took a short detour to the Bear Glacier, which is halfway on the road to Steward. Absolutely the best decision! We were the only ones standing at the viewpoint beside the road, which revealed the huge glacier and its lake in front of it. Generally, there were far fewer people up here in the north of the Province. Sometimes we were driving up to 30 minutes without seeing another car. The solitude made it possible for us to do some fancy shots, that we probably wouldn’t have taken when there were more people around.

Me on our car Max. (We could only name him Max because two Moritz’s can’t travel without a Max)

The detour threw us back about 30 minutes in our timetable but it brought us to one of Canadas highlights. This evening we drive on for a couple more kilometers and then drove onto the Bob Quinn Wilderness Campground. Actually, this was no official campground but if it would’ve been one, it would probably be the most beautiful campground on earth. One or two other campers were standing there, but only one other tent was occupied at that moment. Directly next to the lake, on a small platform, we could cook our dinner in front of an incredible scenery.

Not the worst place to cook a diner.

With the darkness slowly increasing the landscape turned into an artwork of snow-covered summits, treetops and the reflection of all of that in the water. And us directly within it! There’s nothing more incredible.

The Blue Hour made the light really magical.

Later on, the car of the owners of the tent rolled onto the site. It was three hunters, that were coming back from their hunt on grizzly bears and had their base camp on the campground.¬† They invited us over into their tent, which was heated by an oven. This evening we learned a lot about the hunt on grizzly bears, the licensing of hunting in Canada and saw some of their pictures before we went to bed. At this point, we already saw 17 black bears and three grizzlies, so our spectacular first meeting with bears at the Keyhole Hotsprings doesn’t seem that spectacular anymore.

A grizzly being curious about us in our car.

On the next morning, we left this campground heavily-hearted and went on to the Yukon Territory. Shortly before the border, we could get an impression of the amount of forest that burnt down during the last years forest fires, that converted large areas of forest into a moonscape.

Once there must’ve been beautiful green forests around that lake.

Then, finally, we passed the border. We arrived in the Yukon!

Still a long way up to Alaska, but the first step is done!

Only a couple of hours and we would be in Whitehorse, the capital of the Province. Two really exhausting days ended and we were excited about the adventures that will now come up here in the north.

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