Hot Springs, Wildlife, and a milestone

Comments 15 Standard

This next leg of our journey took us to a hot spring, wildlife on the highway and our second milestone.

We did not want to leave Muncho Lake but the unpredictable wind, rain and sun got to us. The lake is just spectacular but we have to move on. Our first stop was the Liard Hot Springs, a very popular stop for Alaska Highway travelers. This is on Mile 496 of the highway and used to be the site of a major camp during construction. These natural hot springs are a piece of paradise, from warm to hot to hotter depending on the spot you select. We soaked our tired muscles for half an hour and on our way out we saw a Moose.

As we moved along the highway, wildlife was the center piece. We were the only ones on the highway this early morning so we expected lots of animals on the road. We were not disappointed. We encountered Stone Sheep checking us out, a Moose that scampered away as we approached, grazing Bison and Bears munching away without caring about the tourists gawking at them. This was a slow drive due to some deterioration of road conditions and the increasing amount of wildlife along the way.  However, we have been surprised that the roads overall have been in fairly good shape.  We’ll see if that holds true as we continue.

Arriving at Watson Lake, Mile 635 is the second milestone in our Alaska Adventure.   We are now in the Yukon Territory, the final Canadian province to traverse before arriving in Alaska. This community  is a favorite stop over as it is home to a famous attraction, The Signpost Forest. It was started in 1942 by a homesick GI by erecting a sign pointing to his hometown of Danville, Il. Today, the collection of signs constantly grows due to visitors who wish to promote their own communities. We took a stroll and were amazed at how far the signs have traveled and their number, which has grown to over 70,000.

We stayed overnight at Tags RV Campground right across the Signpost Forest. Big rig friendly, quiet and okay for overnight stop.

Mountains, Rivers and a Lake

Comments 2 Standard

Leaving Ft Nelson, we headed up to Muncho Lake, Mile 456.

This leg of the trip from Ft Nelson is considered by many Alaska travelers as the most scenic part of the highway. We were not disappointed. As we veered to the west through the northern Canadian Rockies we were presented with densely forested areas, scenic vistas, picturesque valleys and long stretches of  mountain ranges. The most stunning view was at an overlook near Steamboat Mountain, overlooking the Muskwa-Kechika area which reminded us of standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon – fantastic!

SteamBoat Mountain

SteamBoat Mountain

As always we were cautioned about wildlife along the highways . For a while we were disappointed, for they were nowhere near the highway until we approach our destination. There, strutting along the banks of Muncho Lake was a Stone sheep and further along we saw a herd at the outwash plain.

Herd of Stone Sheep

Herd of Stone Sheep

Stone Sheep

Stone Sheep strutting along the highway

We chose not to fuel up at Ft Nelson as our tank was still over the half tank. Instead we got diesel at the next fuel services at Tetsa River Services and Campground. Steve got his sticker shock. The diesel was $1.75 per liter, the equivalent of $6.63/gallon. Because of the amount of fuel we got, the owner gave as a loaf of bread, the most expensive loaf of bread ever baked. This place also has a bakery and known for its Cinnamon buns.

Tetsa River Campground

This is where we got the most expensive bread and cinnamon bun

The highway climbed and descended with 8% grades, and passed thru spectacular mountain scenery to Summit Pass at 4,250 feet the highest point of the Alaska Highway. Then we drove through Stone mountain ranges  with bare rocky peaks where we experienced a dramatic change in weather. It was sunny when we left Ft Nelson and as we drove here it rained, then it stopped, then it rained again.

Stone Mountain, YT

Stone Mountain

We drove along the beautiful turquoise colored Toad River and magnificent mountain views. Our stop for the day is at Muncho Lake which is renowned for its jade colored waters. At 7.5 miles long and one mile in width, it is one of the largest natural lakes in the Canadian Rockies. The color of the water is attributed to copper oxide leaching into the lake.

Toad River Valley

Toad River Valley

Muncho Lake’s place in the Alaska Highway history was about the challenge of building the road around the lake. Workers had to cut their way through the lake’s rocky banks and use horse pulled stone boats to haul the rock away. Today the highway is wide and and winds through the deep green blue waters of Muncho Lake.

Muncho Lake

Stunning Muncho Lake

We stayed at Muncho Lake RV Park, big rig friendly with awesome views of the lake and mountain ranges. We liked it here so much that we stayed two nights to enjoy the quite serene  wilderness atmosphere: no tv, no internet and no cell phone and most importantly the BBQ master was able to show off his skills again.

Muncho Lake

Muncho Lake

Muncho Lake View, the BEST view ever we had on our RV parks

Muncho Lake

Relaxing in front of Muncho Lake

The pictures I snapped  can not capture  the real beauty we experience as were cruising along.