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The Klondike Highway South – From the desert into the snow

The Klondike Highway South – From the desert into the snow

The Klondike Highway connects the harbor city Skagway with the gold fields close to Dawson City. The northern part to Whitehorse we already had driven down but there was actually nothing interesting to report about. Only forests and a couple of hills along the roadside. But now the southern part, which connects Whitehorse with Skagway, Alaska, was waiting for us. Exactly that way the gold seekers came from Skagway to Whitehorse back in the days. And from Whitehorse, they continued on the Yukon until they finally arrived in Dawson City. Today, the highway makes this way much easier and gave us a good opportunity to just explore the scenery along the way from our car. And the scenery is really worth it! As I already mentioned in the title and as it is also visible in the header image we passed a lot of different microclimates in a very short distance. First, the highway went through the dense forests of the Yukon, magnificent, turquoise lakes laying beneath them.

The magnificent Emerald Lake in the Yukon Territory. Not to confuse with the well-known one in the Yoho National Park, but definitely beautiful as well.

Then something left us being breathless. At another viewpoint we stopped we suddenly looked into the Carcross Desert. Indeed, there was a real small desert in the broad valley. Actually, it was just a dune landscape created by the continuous winds that blew all the sands from the surrounding glacier forefields to that point, but it really felt like being in a desert.

Walking through the sand. Barefoot. In the Yukon Territory!

Or nearby the ocean. I felt a little bit shifted to one of the family holidays that we did in France back in the days. Walking barefoot through the sands in the Yukon Territory! Strange things! Shortly after the desert, we arrived in the small village Carcross, that is idyllically jammed between two lakes lying among the snow-covered summits of the surrounding mountains.

The lovely center of Carcross.

Carcross is well known as the Makkah of mountain biking in the Yukon Territory and is also a nice place beside of that.  Thanks to the gold weather Moritz and me enjoyed an ice cream on that day. At first, we were a bit shocked, as they wanted five dollars for two scoops, but when we held the ice cream in our hands we knew why. It was just huge! Real pleasure!

This ice cream was sooo huge. And it tasted absolutely delicious. Fantastic!

Later on, we proceeded our way to Skagway and stayed overnight at the beautiful Tutshi Lake. Only the wind tended to make those awesome places a little bit less comfortable. But you can actually also have a meal in your car and enjoy the magnificent scenery from there, too.

Quickly take a picture and then go into the car to avoid the cold wind.

The next morning we drove on until we reached a small place called Fraser, which was laying among a rocky, gaunt landscape and once was a stop on the famous White Pass Railway, which was built in the end of the 19th century.

The rails of the White Pass Railway close to the border at Fraser.

Shortly after that place, we reached the pass, which also marked the border to Alaska again. We were at such a high elevation that there were some patches of snow around us again.

View from the pass down into the valley. That way we would drive down now.

Quickly passing the border customs and down it goes again towards the sea and Skagway, which is jammed between large, steep mountains. Skagway is similar to Dawson still a historic town, but you quickly realize that this is only done for the tourists and not really authentic. And there are a lot of tourists. Each day several cruise ships stop there flooding the city with its passengers.

Big cruise ships stop in the harbor of Skagway each day, bringing thousands of tourists there.

Luckily we spent a night in Skagway, so we could walk through the empty roads after all the other people returned to their cruise ships.

In the evening we had the whole town for us alone.

In and around Skagway we did two more hikes, that brought us to beautiful waterfalls, lakes, and coastlines. Definitely a nice place in a breathtaking scenery.

The Lower Dewey Lake is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Skagway.

And then there came the point where Moritz and I would split up to go to different destinations. No worries, only for a week. Then we would go on for two more weeks together.  So I left Moritz and our car Max behind me and traveled on on the Alaska Marine Highway, that would bring me to the Glacier Bay. The biggest adventure of my whole journey was waiting for me, but more about that later…

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2 Comments

  1. Oda
    Sunday June 18th, 2017 / 08:25 PM

    Lieber Moritz, seit Wochen kann ich deine Blogs nicht öffnen…und heute Abend klappt es doch! Ich freue mich riesig, dass es Dir gut geht und Du so viele interessante und begeisternde Erlebnisse hast …und ich heute mal wieder daran teilnehmen kann. Vielen herzlichen Dank dafür! Ich genieße deine wörtlichen und bildlichen Darstellungen. Lass es Dir weiterhin gutgehen, bleib gesund, genieße weiterhin die Zeit und freue Dich weiterhin an allen diesen Erlebnissen!!!! Ganz herzlich, deine Patentante Oda

    • Sunday June 18th, 2017 / 08:44 PM

      Hallo Oda, der Newsletter ist leider immer noch fehlerhaft, ich habe hier leider kaum die zeit und das gute Internet um den herzurichten. Aber einfach immer die Startseite aufrufen und nach den neuesten Einträgen suchen, dann klappts! Es freut mich riesig, dass du es immer wieder versucht hast und jetzt wieder auf dem Laufenden bleiben kannst!

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