Two week road trip to Whitehorse from Fort St John
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Feb 17, 2013 6:47 AM Last Post By: yamthrower
Feb 8, 2013 9:41 PM
Two week road trip to Whitehorse from Fort St JohnHi all,
Are there any northerners or experienced travellers here who might have some feedback. I'd like to drive to Whitehorse while we are living in the northern part of western Canada. We have just under two weeks to get from Fort St John to Whitehorse and back. We will be travelling with a toddler and a new baby (the tot is very accustomed to long road trips). I realize that it is a LONG drive, especially with children. We usually do ok with long distance, as long as we break it up with activities. I'm not a big fan of sitting on my fanny, so if you know of any specific activities en route that would suit an adventurous Canadian family (fishing, hiking, light canoeing, hot springing, hunting, etc)
So far I'm thinking:
-side flight to Nahanni National Park
-Liard hot springs
-Muncho Lake (fishing?)
-wilderness cabin in Muska-Ketchika
-Kluane National Park
Any specific activities for the area, please recommend. Also, is my two week time frame realistic for 1,331km one way/17 hours? Any other jaunts in the area that we must do while we are north (Chilkoot trail)? Which guidebook do you recommend. Thank you!
Feb 10, 2013 5:35 PM
1I think you already have a sense of the highlights en route. There are many nice spots en route but, in general, I suggest that you focus on the more interesting mountainous areas and make time between, for example, Ft St John and Ft Nelson, Muncho area and Whitehorse.
While the drive is a least pleasant pretty much the whole way, there are sections that are more scenic. Stone Mtn./Muncho Lake area is very nice and I suspect you may already have been looking at the offerings of Northern Rockies Lodge/Liard Air out of Muncho.
Chilkoot Trail may be a bit tight to include but not impossible.
I highly recommend the side loop from Jakes Corner down to Atlin (gorgeous) and over to Carcross. (Locals in Atlin can point you to the short Monarch Mtn. trail for a lake view. If you are feeling more flush, try and hire a boat to take you to the south end's glaciers.) The drive to Skagway is very much worth it and, if the ferry schedule works for you, I also highly recommend that you consider putting your vehicle on the Alaska Marine Highway system (book in far in advance if you can) for the short trip to Haines AK and then drive up to Haines Junction YT and Kluane Park (scenic with a fun, marine twist). Kluane is really the next best scenery on the AK Hwy. after Muncho with a number of day hike trails.
And the kids will like Liard hot springs not far W of Muncho.
Feb 16, 2013 8:05 AM
2Probably hiking in Kluane would be more flexible than the Chilkoot - in the sense that if you end up wanting to just hike for a day or two, it´s possible, whereas as the Chilkoot is more all or nothing once you decide to do it (4-5 days).
Kluane has day hikes, and some 1 night in & out type hikes. Haines Junction has a campground right in it as a base.
Feb 16, 2013 3:13 PM
3Ok thanks yamthrower. What about having to decide between Nahanni, Kluane, or Muskwa-Ketchika (or top two of those)? Definitely won't be doing the Chilkoot this time around. Thanks for the advice Zutalors... I actually found the Skagway-Haines route and added it to our schedule last week, but in the reverse order. Good to know about booking the ferry ahead. I love western Canada/Alaska!!
Feb 17, 2013 6:47 AM
4Nahanni is in the NWT and more of a canoe tripping park that requires a bush plane to fly into. The regular length canoe trips are 2 or 3 weeks, so besides being quite out of your way, it´s really a whole trip onto itself.
Muskwa-Ketchika I´m not familar with, but perhaps that´s worth investigating especially if it´s on route. Kluane involves a few extra hours of driving west from Whitehorse, but in my opinion it´s the prettiest area of the southern Yukon, the mountains are just grander. And I remember lots of different length hiking options. I did a 3 day hike, and a 6 day hike there, but there were definately shorter trails and loops to do.
I think the park can mail you an information package on the park that includes a map and list of the trails, lengths and diffuculty ratings, just go to the Kluane section of the National Park website.
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