Back at the house in Tagish we had a map of the whole Yukon Territory hanging over the dining table and every meal I was staring at it, studying the places and finding interesting looking spots. There were two places that were especially interesting to me: Inuvik and the MacKenzie Delta and Dawson and the Dempster Highway up to the Arctic Circle.
I started talking about how I’d like to go to the Arctic Circle – I knew that Inuvik was way too far north for a road trip. And as I kept talking and dreaming my host decided we would go up there! Yay!
Come the weekend we packed our stuff into the van and headed north. 7 hours of driving later we reached Dawson. It was no surprise that in the winter basically everything is closed and a lot of people leave for the south because tourist season is in summer but we still enjoyed our stay there! We drove around town – yes, drove, because it was too cold for walking – and then we set up our tent (in -19°C!) outside of town. Normally there is an ice road crossing the Yukon River leading to West Dawson and its campground but the river was not completely frozen so we were stuck on this side. No, there is no bridge. In summer a ferry brings you across.
my favourite is definately all those old buildings around the city that are now tilted because of the permafrost ground!
The next day we left early and headed even further north. Challenging the Dempster Highway. We drove all the way up to the Tombstone Mountain Range but it was so foggy that we couldn’t even see the mountains…that was a bit disappointing to be honest but it was still worth the trip! After we reached the Two Moose Lake we turned around and headed back. I’ll have to come back some day and go all the way to the Arctic circle!
Tips when visiting Dawson:
- If you're there for the tourist attractions (Sour Dough cocktail, dance shows...): go in summer! A lot is closed in winter...
- Don't just limit yourself to Dawson! Look around. Close to the city are some old mining sights and a bit further the famous Dempster Highway and Tombstone Mountain Range.
- Be sure to visit the tilted buildings like 3rd Avenue Complex and Jack Londons house!