Congdon Creek Campground

We decided to skip Pine Lake Campground and instead head for Congdon Creek Campground, another Yukon Provincial Park about an hour further along our route toward Alaska.

It turned out it was a great choice!   We got there and what I thought was the best site was in the process of being taken when we arrived.  We had to wait for those folks to detach their car so he could back up and pull into the site as we could not get past them.  If only we hadn’t stopped at a rest area, that coach wouldn’t have passed us and gotten there first.   But later we figured out it really wasn’t the best site.  Turns out we got the best site in the campground (#9)  But I will get to that later on..

I saw Campsite 9 and it looked good to me, so I needed to turn around and pull into it.  But at the end of the sites, the turnaround was about 5 feet short of allowing that, so I had to detach the car to get back out of there.  I then pulled the bus into the site so we were facing the lake.

The folks in the site left us a stack of “split” firewood which was nice of them.  Yukon Government sites offer free firewood in large bins around the campgrounds but they aren’t split yet.

We set up our chairs and reveled in the warmth of the sun right then.  Later on we brought them down to the water’s edge and it wasn’t long before the sun went behind a cloud and it got cold pretty fast!  Luckily the clouds moved and it came back out a little bit later.  The wind here was really icy cold!  But what a beautiful place.  God’s handiwork for sure.

This campground, like most other Provincial parks in Canada, is dry camping.  There were no utilities or dump station at almost all that we have been to in the past.

As we were only here for two nights, the following morning we drove over to the Soldier Summit Trailhead to hike to the original Alcan route where the opening ceremonies occurred on November 20th, 1942.  I cannot imagine how cold it would have been out here on that date.

It was an easy hike, less than a mile and only about 300′ in elevation change, but the mosquitos were horrendous!   There were American and Canadian flags along with a large wooden platform with signs about that historic event and subsequent events, like the 50th anniversary back in ’92.  No mention of the 75th anniversary though.  This is grizzly country, so we all had our bear spray, and all were probably wondering the same thing as I was:  will it help in the event a grizzly wanted to get up close and personal?  And to our surprise there were the classic Parks Canada Red Adirondack chairs at the top! 

Here is a pic of our traveling companions at the top of the hill.   After an uneventful hike, we drove over to the visitor center, which was pretty small.  And while we were there, we watched some Dahl Sheep way up on the mountainside thru telescopes positioned around the building.   As we were heading back to the car, we saw a motorhome stop on the roadway, about half a mile from us, where a bunch of sheep were crossing the highway.   By the time we got over there, the sheep were about 40 feet up the cliff wall, somehow clinging to the side.  It sure would have been nice to see how they got up there, but we missed it.   And my pictures of the cliff face somehow didn’t include the actual sheep of which there were about 8 of, a couple were very young.

If that wasn’t enough animal sightings for the day, about 8 miles down the road toward our campground we spotted a grizzly on the side of the road eating the shrubs.  Turned out it was a mamma and a cub.  As we watched, they wandered down the road toward us.  To our excitement, they crossed the road right in front of our car!!  I got a great shot of the cub looking at us, but the mamma bear never looked our way.   It was funny, no one got out of their cars to get a closer look :).  Apparently, not everyone is stupid…

After the bears crossed and headed into the tall stuff, we drove the couple miles to our campground,    I know I was thinking how wonderful it was we hadn’t encountered them on the trail a few minutes prior.

The following morning as we got ready to move a guy walked up and asked if we were leaving.  I told him yes.  He then told me this was the best site in the campground and that he lives in Whitehorse and comes here many times a year.

A bit later we drove to Discovery Yukon Lodgings less than two hours away according to google maps, but the drive was so rough it took us 4 hours to get there.  Yikes!