This is post #4 in a 5-post series on our Drive to Alaska! Check out the other Days here:
Day 1 – Colorado to Montana
Day 2 – The Most Scenic: Banff, Lake Louise & the Icefields Parkway
Day 3 – Logging, Big Trucks & Long Roads
Day 4 – Crossing the Canadian Rockies & Arriving in the Yukon
Day 5 – Arriving in Alaska!
You know what’s funny? While I had been looking forward to this 5-day drive, I can’t deny that I was dreading sitting for 60+ hours in the car. It’s the longest road trip I’ve been on by far, and 5 consecutive days of driving felt like it might just be a bit too much. How do those long-distance truck drivers do this daily? I wondered.
But, I’m happy to say, it actually wasn’t that bad at all. At least into the 4th day, time was going fairly quickly and the scenery kept us occupied most of the time. It was almost all new terrain for the both of us and exploring new areas is one of the things we like to do most.
Anyway, back to Day 4.
Crossing the Canadian Rocky Mountains
The biggest highlight of the day would be crossing over the Rockies.
The Milepost describes in decent detail what we could expect in terms of mountain passes, road traffic and road conditions. Because of this, we knew that this day we’d be driving over Summit Pass, which is the highest summit on the Alaska Highway at 4,250 feet.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts about our drive, the roads overall have been in excellent condition. Short sections of icy puddles is about the worst we saw over all 3,000+ miles:
Puddles of water and ice occasionally crept onto and took over parts of the two-lane road. But since there was virtually no traffic and the puddles were never large enough to cover both lanes, it was basically a non-issue for us. Thankfully.
Summit Pass was quite beautiful and did actually remind me quite of parts of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
I missed the BC sign (sad face) but at least I got the Yukon one. It’s one (of many) Canadian Territories I hadn’t been to yet so I was stoked to get my photo!
The Signpost Forest in Watson Lake
Not long after crossing into the Yukon, we stopped for gas in Watson Lake and tried to visit probably their most “exciting” attraction, the Signpost Forest.
This is as close as I could get, though, since the snow banks were taller than me.
The Forest was started by an engineer working on the Alaska Highway back in 1942 and signs have been added ever since. According to The Milepost, there are over 72,000 signs. I wouldn’tve gone out of my way to see this, but since it was on the side of the road it was kinda cool to see.
After gassing up, it was onwards to Whitehorse!
I always thought Whitehorse seemed like a cool place to visit. And the Yukon, too, actually. They both sound so remote and exotic.
I had a feeling it was probably lightly populated being so far north and away from most civilization, but I couldn’t believe just how few people live out there. Whitehorse is the largest town in the Yukon with about 23,000 of the Yukon’s total 34,o00 people. It definitely felt remote.
To celebrate our last night on the road, we opted to stay in a nicer place. I chose the Sundog Retreat just outside the town of Whitehorse.
We had our own cabin in the woods that felt comfortable and cozy. It was a great way to unwind from our day and prepare for the last leg of our trip.
Total Drive Time (including stops): 10 hours
Total Miles Driven: 600 miles