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