The Hills of Haines Junction, YT

On Wednesday August 22 we made the long drive south from Dawson City to Whitehorse, then west to Haines Junction, which lies at the edge of Kluane National Park. Canada’s highest peak, Mt. Logan, resides far into the park and would not be accessible to us, but even the mountains near the highway were rather huge.

Highway into Haines Junction. There’s a coyote in the shot that is about 2 pixels tall.

We stayed at the Wanderer’s Inn hostel, where we keenly observed that we were the least athletic people there. There were plenty of German and Swiss-German hikers who were happy to spend weeks hiking and paddling through the backcountry. We slept in an old canvas fire service tent, which had been used by crews fighting wildfires in BC and the Yukon. The night dropped to 2C in Haines Junction, so we were thankfully given an effective space heater.


On Thursday we set out for the most highly recommended hike, King’s Throne.

King’s Throne. The “seat” is the plateau in the bowl about half way up.

The guide rated the hike “difficult” and the return trip could be 8 hours, but we decided to give it a shot despite our lack of “hiking gear” and “experience”. We started strong and made it to the seat of the throne (the end of the maintained trail) in under two hours. We then started venturing up the steep left ridge before Wendy started feeling a bit light-headed, so we decided to break for lunch and then take our time descending the mountain. Regardless, we made it far enough to be rewarded with some fantastic views.

View from King’s Throne. Our car is parked just above the sandbar at the right end of the lake.
Evidence that we were physically on the mountain.

On Friday we drove down to Skagway, AK, taking our time to stop at Winterlong Brewing, Deep Dark Wood brewery, and viewpoints along the highway.

More sand dunes! – Carcross Desert
A wildfire had been burning (and was still smouldering) when we passed Tutshi Lake, BC.
Mossy rocks on the lakeshores near Fraser, BC.


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