We fell in love with Atlin! Not only is it a stunning location, the local people are so friendly and so proud of their little town!
We stayed at the Norseman RV park and had the Penthouse! The site was on it’s own little peninsula, all to ourselves, with the lake right outside our door! You cannot beat the view of the gorgeous Atlin Mountain!
Atlin is a small community, population between 300-500 depending on the season! Mining and tourism are the main boost to the economy but there is also a large and influential group of artists, artisans and authors.
Atlin is unincorporated. This means they have no local government. It is not a village, nor a town, nor a city! Much of Atlin is run by volunteers. Volunteers make enormous contributions of time, energy and other donated resources. Much of what is built around town is made from salvage from other jobs! The closest building supply store would be Whitehorse, Yukon.
We wandered the waterfront when we first arrived. The MV Tarahne used to sail the waters of the lake bringing tourists and miners and supplies. By 1926/27, to accommodate the burgeoning tourist trade, the MV Tarahne was cut in half and lengthened. When the tourist trade dropped off due to the high cost of getting to Atlin, the Tarahne was retired. The local historical society worked hard to restore her. She is available to rent out for weddings or other events.
They are also restoring the Atlinto, a smaller vessel built to run tours on Atlin Lake as well as move some freight. It was built in 1906 and beached in this same location in the 1950’s! It has been owned by the historical society since 1978, they have various fundraisers to allow them to slowly restore her.
Back to the campground for dinner and making plans for the next few days! Can’t beat this view outside your window!
We spent the next day walking around the town. It is easily walked around as it is not that big. Everywhere you look you have the backdrop of the gorgeous lake and mountain!
There are many historical buildings. Most are privately owned and the owners work hard to preserve the heritage on the outside. The streets must look much as they did years ago.
There are also many impressive murals around town.
Atlin has some buildings from the near by ghost town of Discovery. Gold was found on Pine Creek and it didn’t take long for word to get out that there was gold in Atlin and a lot of the men enroute to Dawson abandoned that idea and headed across to Atlin.
Soon a town sprung up out on Pine Creek. The town became known as Discovery and almost 10,000 people were there working the creeks. At it’s peak there dozen of saloons, brothels and of course essentials like groceries and other supplies. Soon the town moved to where it is today, along the shores of Atlin Lake.
Atlin Mountain is also home to the Llewelllyn Glacier. It is the sediment from this melting glacier that gives Atlin Lake is aqua colour!
A few day trips out of Atlin are to Palmer Lake and the Ruby mine area. Both trips offer stunning views!
Palmer Lake has a provincial campground and is very popular with families.
On the drive up to the Ruby Mine area you pass by Surprise Lake.
We drove up and up into the hills and came upon the most beautiful display of fireweed!!
The beauty on that mountain was unbelievable!
Atlin Lake is 4 miles wide and 85 miles long, all glacial fed. Atlin has been called ‘The most beautiful place on Earth’, as well I have heard it referred to as the ‘Switzerland of Canada’. Whatever it is called, it really is one of the most stunning areas we have visited and we would go back in a heart beat!
From Atlin it was time to begin the journey home. We stopped again in Teslin and Watson Lake on our way out before heading back down the Stewart-Cassiar highway.
We fell in love with Yukon and Atlin and will definitely plan another trip to both in the future! Thanks for travelling along. I appreciate your views and love it when you leave a comment or two!
Until next time…..