After a short delay we finally set out on the road on June 20th, heading to the Yukon, planning to be gone about 2 months! We were traveling with our good friends for the first leg of the trip. Them in their truck and trailer and us with our motor home, towing our car. We had planned on 2 nights in Barkerville, BC but due to the delay we had to pass on it for this trip. We did a few long driving days up highway 97 to Prince George, then west on highway 16, so our first real stop was along the Skeena river in the Hazelton area. Gorgeous scenery and Old Hazelton has many historical buildings.
The Seven Sisters mountains overlook the river valley.
The Bulkley River also runs through this area.
We stayed at the the Ksan campground.’Ksan is a historical village and living museum of the Gitxsan Aboriginal people who have inhabited this area for centuries. For a reasonable price you can get a tour of the village, well worth it!
Further up highway 37 you come to Meziadin Junction, the Stewart-Cassiar highway. We turned left to go into Stewart for a few days. Not long after the turn we came across the Bear Glacier! Stunning! The toe of the glacier even looked like a bears head! I think it was named for the Bear River Pass, but it sure looked like a bear!!
We carried on to Steward and set up camp for a few days. The next day we planned to cross the border into Hyder, Alaska and take the truck up to the Salmon Glacier. Stewart and Hyder are deep water ports at the head of the Portland Canal. There is still some mining activity in the surrounding area but that, and the population, have dwindled since the pre WW1 boom of 10,000 people. Population now is under 400.
Along the road to the Salmon Glacier we came to Fish Creek Wildlife Area. They have built large viewing areas to observe the bears who come in the late summer, early fall to feed on the spawning salmon. As it was June there were no fish or bears, but it was still a gorgeous area.
Next was the Salmon Glacier, approximately 16 miles North of Stewart! WOW! It is amazing!
We had a perfect day for the drive there, and mostly had the place to ourselves too!!
On the return trip to camp we stopped in the tiny town of Hyder, Alaska, right across the border from Stewart. Hyder’s boom years were the 1920s, when the Riverside Mine on the U.S. side extracted gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, and tungsten. The mine operated from 1924 to 1950. I think the population now is under 50 people. Hyder has some notoriety as the place where people become “Hyderized.” The Glacier Inn issues certifications to patrons of being “Hyderized” if the patron consumes a shot of 151 proof (75.5% alcohol), Everclear! So….it was just something that HAD to be done!
My husband snapped this one, you can tell by the look on my face just how good it was!!! LOL!
The next day we were off to Dease Lake, BC. Although the road is very narrow with hardly any shoulder in a lot of areas, the scenery more than makes up for it! There were so many wildflowers blooming along the side of the road and the mountains towered over us!
We found a beautiful lunch picnic stop at Mehan Lake.
There were sections of the highway between Mehan Lake and Dease Lake that had no pavement, and were filled with gravel. The drop off between the pavement and gravel was about 3 to 4 inches! The shoulders along the side of the road were non existent, we even found one poor person who had dropped off the road and the truck and camper were on its side in the ditch! Luckily no one was injured!
Upon arriving in the Dease Lake Campground on that Saturday afternoon, we discovered our radiator, in the rear as we have a diesel pusher, was leaking fluid!!! The one mechanic who could help us was away until Monday! We had planned two nights in Dease Lake so we could take the drive out to Telegraph Creek. Nothing we could do about the rad problem until Monday so the next day we set out in our friends truck, as planned!
Until next time!
Next up: Telegraph Creek/Dease Lake