Heading to Dawson City, home of the Klondike Gold Rush

We left Whitehorse early Thursday morning and filled up with diesel.   I am sure glad I topped off in Ft. Nelson as I would have been shy about 10 gallons to make it all the way to Whitehorse.

We drove north on the Klondike Highway, hoping to get a campsite at the Pelly River Crossing Campground.   It was a day prior to a 4-day holiday weekend for Canada, so we were keeping our fingers crossed we’d find a site there.    There are very few campgrounds on the Klondike Highway, especially when you want to stop halfway to Dawson,  actually just the one.

We arrived at the campground around 2 pm that Thursday afternoon and it was empty, completely empty.  We found an ideal pull-thru site and made our camp facing the Pelly River, which is a fairly wide river moving pretty quickly.    By the evening about 6 more of the sites were occupied.


All the campgrounds near Dawson were booked for the Summer Solstice party, we were not able to reserve a spot until Saturday night; so we stayed two nights at the free campground on the river!   There were a lot of trees, so my solar struggled (I struggled) to charge the batteries.  I did have to run the generator a bit that first evening and less the next evening as I was able to gather a bit more sun by moving the solar suitcase quite often to keep it out of the shade.

I think the most amazing thing about Pelly Crossing was how good the cell coverage was.  I had 4 bars of LTE on both the Cricket phones and the Google Fi hotspot.   There had been no service most of the way there and a lot of the way to Dawson City too.

We walked over to the only establishment near the campground.  It was a gas station and small general store.  I think it might have been the post office too.  They had quite a bit of groceries and every type of supplies you could need for such a small place and being so far from anywhere.

The following day we just relaxed and watched the river slide by in silence.   The only thing breaking the silence was an occasional truck that went over the bridge on the Klondike Highway about a quarter mile from our campsite.   Well, I got to relax in between moving the solar suitcase back into the sun, that is.

Saturday morning we were in no hurry to leave as we had reservations for that night in Dawson.    We left around 11 am, way after all the others (maybe 7 campers) had left the campground.

The Klondike Hwy became a lot more rough and potholed right after we crossed the bridge.  There were lots of orange flags marking even rougher pavement the rest of the ride that day, and I spent most of the time scanning ahead for those flags and avoiding all the pot holes in the road, often having to drive on the other side of the road for long stretches to avoid the worst parts.   But, thankfully, there have been no gravel sections since the ride from Watson Lake to Teslin Lake last week.

We arrived in Dawson City, to the Bonanza Gold RV Park, early in the afternoon.   We drove around the area and looked at all the other campgrounds.  This one was much nicer than the rest of them.   The worst looking place was the campground in the middle of Dawson,  no trees and I have never seen RV’s so close together in the dirt lot.   I had thought the Downtown RV park in Watson Lake was pretty tight, but now I know better.  That place was spacious.    Don’t get me wrong, Bonanza is not large by any means, but we have some trees between us and the next RV,  I think our slides are about 10′ apart.   In Watson they were maybe 4′ apart.   But the Dawson sites had maybe a foot between RVs.  We drove by one that I wasn’t sure they could open their door to get out.  Now that is way too close!!