Canada & Alaska

Michele & Stephen's trip in 2013

Getting to Yellowknife

From Fort Nelson on the Alaska Highway (in Canada, not Alaska, rather confusingly) to Yellowknife is 987km. We took the Liard Highway, the Mackenzie Highway and finally the Yellowknife Highway (you have very little option).

The southern half of Liard Highway looked strange on most of our maps. On some maps it does not even look like a road at all and is labeled as the Liard Trail. The reason for this is that the Laird Trail is that rare thing round here a surfaced (tarmac) minor road!

This was probably not the most exciting 1000km of our journey, but you have to go to Yellowknife (don't you).

Many roads in Northern Canada are wavy to some extent, usually due to frost heave, but this is the first wavy bridge we have come across. It is claimed to be the longest Baily Bridge in the world.

Most of the bears we have seen from Man disappear as soon as we approach, this one ignored us and just kept plodding along by the side of the road. Perhaps he/she was bored with the road as well.

We made a minor detour (65km and a ferry crossing) to visit Fort Simpson. Here we saw the field where the Pope held a mass in 1987....

...and the chair he sat on.

But far more interesting was the film we saw in the visitor centre, made in the 1962 by the National Film Board of Canada (Directed by Donald Wilder) about this man's search for gold and his eight epic boat journeys up the Nahanni River. I will definitely search for a copy when I get back.

To appreciate the man you need to see the video!

We were going to spend two days in Port Simpson, but the lure of Yellowknife was too strong. Which was probably a good thing as they closed the road the next day due to forest fires. But apparently it was OK the day we did it.

We had hoped to stay at Sambaa Deh Falls Park but...

The falls were still impressive but the (safe?) fire was only a few 100 metres away from the road.

One of the highlights of the Yellowknife Highway is the world famous Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary, we say dozens of bison (signs) but alas not one live bison. However we had seen a few on the Alaska Highway.

But that was all behind us now.