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Thread: Trip Review: v.7665km Road Trip

  1. #1
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    Default Trip Review: v.7665km Road Trip

    In August 2011 I went on a rather epic road trip of over 7000km up the Dempster Highway into Northern Canada with time spent in Alberta, BC, Alaska, the Yukon & NWT. The route basically looked like this:



    Day 1

    We drove around 900km to Fort Fraser and set-up camp. Saw a beautiful black cub and some mountain sheep in Yoho National Park. It's such a great drive up to Jasper and I loved seeing the Columbia Ice Fields and Mt. Robson (3954m - highest in the CDN Rockies).



    Day 2

    We drove up to Smithers and camped at a Par 3 Golf Course. I like Smithers as a town, especially in the summer. We hiked into an old Gold Mine that was worked in the 40's to collect gold-tellurides so I picked up some nice mineral specimens while enjoying the great weather for a hike.

    Day 3

    We drove up to Stewart which is right on the BC / Alaska border with Hyder. The Stewart area is very rich in minerals and was a booming mining town back in the day. Now the population is only around 400 and many stores in town are closed. On the drive up we saw a couple of solo black bears and then a pair of black bears who walked right across the highway toward us. I got out of the vehicle and took photos from ~10 meters away. In Stewart, we crossed the border into the US side of Hyder and continued along a mining road to check out Grizzlies fishing Salmon and the Salmon Glacier, the world's largest glacier accessible by road. Wow, what scenery. A photographers dream. In the evening, we met up with a friend of my Uncle who is the longest living resident of Stewart. I believe he's in his 70s and has lived in the town his whole life. He's an old geologist / prospector type and has a really fun and quirky Australian wife who is still alive with energy despite her age. We crushed a few beers as they told stories of the town (including its snowfall records and how high the snow piles up next to the streets in the winter). The old timers also let me play with a few old revolvers. One was from the 1898 gold rush, another from some Mexico shootout in 1910, and the final one was a newer .44 Magnum that he carries "for the bears" when he's out prospecting. Pretty neat stuff!



















    Day 4

    Had a quick greasy breakfast with a bunch of miners at the King Eddy hotel and then drove up to Teslin. This is where the highways get really quiet. I quite enjoyed the drive and the scenery really begins to change as the mountains become less rocky and more forested. Had a quick lunch at Deese Lake, which seems to be the biggest town in the area, and then crashed for a night at the Yukon Motel in Teslin. My favourite part of Teslin was the bridge that brings you into town!



    Day 5

    We drove up near Dawson City and camped out. It was a long day of driving but at least we had the opportunity to cast some lines into the Klondike River. Unfortunately, no catches!

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    Day 6

    We drove into Dawson City and it was good timing as it was during the Dawson Days Festival. Lots of good looking gals were in town partying it up so I enjoyed the eye candy after so much time in the car. Bought some pieces of Mammoth Ivory dating around 14,000 years, which was pretty neat, and some antique salt & paper shakers from the gold rush in the late 1800's / early 1900's. It's definitely a gold town and it's amazing to see the piles of tailings that are left over from the dredging of the rivers and hill sides. After exploring Dawson City for most of the day we hopped back in the car and started up the Dempster Highway, stopping off at the Interpretive Center in Tombstone Territorial Park. Tombstone is definitely one of my new favourite parks in Canada and I'd love to get back there in the fall for the changing colours.











    Day 7

    We continued our drive up the Dempster to Inuvik, crossing the Arctic Circle on the way (Inuvik is ~200km North of the Arctic Circle). The highway was great in sections and awful in others. I was doing 90+km/h on parts, while we had to slow to under 30km/h for other sections. There are graders working all over the place and it must cost a lot of money to maintain the highway, but it's a great road just the same. It's a gravel highway built upon huge amounts of fill due to the fluctuating temperatures and heaving permafrost. We also saw a couple of black bears and a tundra grizzly. In total, it was 3995.2km up to Inuvik.








  3. #3
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    Day 8

    I wandered around Inuvik today. Unfortunately, it was socked in up there and our plans to charter a helicopter for a fishing trip were not looking good. The risk was that the pilot would not be able to make it in to pick us up, and with a $6k+ tab for the chopper and a risk of rain all week we figured it wasn't worth it. Pretty disappointing since that was the main reason for the trip but with all of the wildlife and great weather on other days I wasn't too disappointed. My favourite parts of Inuvik were the igloo church, colourful hospital & houses, and all of the beautiful women. I couldn't believe it. My guess is that they are a mix of Russian & Native but hot damn, they were sexy. Definitely the biggest surprise of the trip for me!







    Day 9

    Since we couldn't do the chopper trip, and there isn't much to do in Inuvik, we started the long drive home. We drove the entire Dempster in the day since the campground at Tombstone was full and ended up camping at Moose Creek. The highlight of the day was the wildlife, sighting 2 Tundra Grizzlies, 2 Arctic Fox, 2 Cats (Bobcat? Lynx? No idea, but they were big and gray and probably would take down a Rottweiler if they wanted to!) and a large Porcupine.



    Day 10
    We drove down to Watson Lake which is an interesting little town. The major highlights are a Northern Lights Center, which showed a film on Astronauts and then a film on the Northern Lights, and the Sign Post area, where people have placed over 10,000 signs over the years.





    Day 10 & 11
    The final days were just driving, racking up around 900km each day. We saw more bears, big horn sheep, caribou, and a large herd of bison, which all added to the wonderful collection of wildlife seen on the trip. We didn't pull over to take too many photos, but I did grab a couple shots of the buffalo as we drove by. We stopped in Fort Nelson & Fort St. John an I thought both towns were quite beautiful. They're hustling with O&G activity as shale gas development picks up and there were lifted trucks and new buildings popping up everywhere.





    All-in-all it was a great trip and I really enjoyed it. It's too bad the chopper trip didn't work out and we weren't able to do more fishing, but between the great scenery and wildlife I certainly enjoyed it. I'd highly recommend driving up to Tombstone Territorial Park and checking out Dawson City and Stewart / Hyder and it is likely a trip I will do again one day.

    If you have any Q's, just shoot!

  4. #4
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    That is so cool man. Fuck I need to get out and do more things like this!

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    awesome, always dreamed to do a road trip like this up in northern Canada too bad none of my friends are into wildlife.

    So all that was done in 2 weeks? any pics of the old man's revolver?

    btw I know what you mean about girls in the north.
    this girl won Miss Canada Petite in 2009 but gave her title away
    http://www.energeticcity.ca/fortstjo...e-canada-title

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    SWEET TR, David!!! I love seeing pictures from different places like that. Great shots of the bear in the river feeding on the fish! Love that old Sawmill building too.
    Must have comfortable seats to be logging 900+ km's in a day!
    Thanks for sharing!

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    .
    Last edited by Rat Fink; 12-04-2020 at 08:30 PM.
    Thanks for the 14 years of LOLs. Govern yourselves accordingly and avoid uppercut reactions!

  8. #8
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    Very nice trip, thanks for sharing the pics.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by taemo


    btw I know what you mean about girls in the north.
    this girl won Miss Canada Petite in 2009 but gave her title away
    http://www.energeticcity.ca/fortstjo...e-canada-title
    That's not really the type of girl I'm talking about. These girls were like hot dark haired russian girls with light eyes, but a darker skin complexion...like an olive white/native mix. A lot of them braided their hair like pocahontas or something which just added to the allure.

    I couldn't find a good picture to show what i mean...but picture something like this with longer braided hair. They were all super friendly too. I was with my Uncle & 12 y.o. cousin though so no picking up.


  10. #10
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    Great trip report. Thanks for sharing.
    Originally posted by sputnik
    Cell providers are the next Blockbuster video stores.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the photos man, i'd probably shit bricks if I was that close to the bears lol

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