2012  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
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   JOURNEY THROUGH THE YUKON:
CONGDON CREEK PROVINCIAL PARK
CAMPGROUND & HIKE AT KLUANE LAKE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13

"Kluane Lake is the largest lake in the Yukon and there are two communities -- Burwash Landing
and Destruction Bay -- and several campgrounds along its length. The lake's unusual color
is caused by glacial silt suspended in the water and reflected in the sky."

~ from Traveler's Guide to Alaskan Camping by Mike and Terri Church, 2011, p. 106

 
 
This is a continuation of our journey through the southwestern part of the Yukon Territory yesterday and today.

CONGDON CREEK PROVINCIAL PARK CAMPGROUND

Milepost and the Church's Alaskan Camping book both list many provincial campgrounds along the Alaska Hwy. in British Columbia and the Yukon. This is the first one where we've stayed.

We liked it enough to consider staying at others on our way back down the highway in the fall.

Most of the 40 pull-through and back-in sites at Congdon Creek are large enough for our Cameo. Some other provincial parks have sites that are too small for large rigs so we were happy to find big sites at this location.

About a dozen back-in sites are near the lake. There were a few sites still available when we got there but Jim wanted to see the pull-through sites before choosing. The back-ins by the lake are angled the harder direction in which to turn and we thought there might be more mosquitoes close to the water:

The rest of the sites are on a large loop farther inland. Pull-throughs are on the outer part of the loop, back-ins on the inside (and the easier direction in which to back).

We ended up in a spacious pull-through site on that loop:

 


See the corner of our patio rug to the right? We forgot to take it this morning when we left.
Oops. We realized it too far down the road to go back for it. Fortunately we have two more.

Only two other RVs came in that section later in the evening and we couldn't even see them through the woods. It felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Ourselves and the mosquitoes, that is! They were swarming around our campsite, even away from the lake. This is the first real problem we've had with them. I didn't notice any on my hike later, though.

We had no hookups at our site -- didn't need them for one night -- but two very clean, attractive little pit toilets were about 100 feet away. I liked these units better than any park or National Forest Service pit toilet I've ever used in a campground in the United States:

Flush toilets are better than pit toilets . . . but pit toilets are better than filling up the black tank in our camper when we boondock.

Even though we rarely start a fire in a campsite another trend I like in local and provincial parks in Canada is free firewood in many of the campgrounds:

That prevents folks from bringing in potentially infested wood from the outside or cutting down trees in the campground. It also eliminates the hassle of collecting money for the firewood.

Above and below:  interesting spruce branches; we haven't seen the red growth before.

We paid $12 Canadian (slightly less American at the current exchange rate) for the privilege of staying here. I believe most of the provincial parks are in the $10-20/night range, depending on their location and facilities. The self-pay station accepts American dollars and checks, which was convenient.

[Today in Alaska we noted the same courtesy in a state park where we considered staying; Canadian money is accepted in the iron ranger.]

TAKE A HIKE

After supper Cody and I went on a one-mile walk on a mostly-level interpretive trail along the lake. The trail goes through a lightly wooded area with willows, aspens, and pines. It ends in a meadow with a viewing deck.

 

 


Pretty lupines in the meadow

 

Above and below:  these willows usually turn green before the snow begins to melt in April.

There are several interpretive signs along the way that describe the forces of nature in this area and the people who have called it home. The earliest human activity has been dated back to 12,000 years ago..

The views of the lake toward both the Ruby and Kluane Ranges were very scenic, especially with more sun in the evening as the sky cleared a little:

 

 

On the way back I walked down to the rocky "beach" to take some more pictures. Ice that forms on the lake in the winter expands, buckles, and pushes the rocks into piles called "ice push ridges" on the shore.

I didn't notice any rocky ridges, only tree trunks and branches that have washed up:

 

Bears are prevalent in this area so I kept Cody close to me. We saw a large pile of bear poop but no bears. Previously he has let me know if one is nearby -- the hairs on the back of his neck go up, he tenses up, and he growls. He doesn't chase any large game or stock animals so I don't worry too much about him engaging a bear.

Because of heavy bear activity later in the summer when berries ripen the park advises against camping in tents at Congdon Creek from mid-July through August. Hard-sided RVs are OK then.

Continued in next entry:  Kluane Lake to the Alaskan border -- yay!!!!!

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

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2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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