Kluane Country

Kluane National Park is one of those regions that, like Kananaskis Country in Alberta, has inflamed my imagination for years. While I would love to explore the region in depth and camp there, just a brief day trip into those fabled peaks was enough to satisfy the itch.

After the car repairs, I headed west on the Alaska highway and, for the first time, pushed past the turnoff to the North Klondike Highway. The landscape became arid, with soft round peaks rippling through, grey and weathered, reminding me of elephant skin. The road imitated the mountains, with one frost heave after another threatening my suspension. I would not have enjoyed this ride with Miranda!

And then, just like that, they were before me, the Kluane Ice Ranges, just as I had always envisioned them. Pointy, slate grey, and snow covered. Beautiful.

I only went as far as Haines Junction, heart of Kluane Country, and turned back. And it was enough for this current incarnation of my traveling life. I would love to come back that way again, in another version of this life where I have more time to explore the territory, but it was enough.

Haines Junction, by the way, is tiny, little more than a swell on the highway, and should not be confused with Haines, Alaska. Alaska Highway travelers headed for Fairbanks should note that they should turn right at Haines Junction for Fairbanks rather than going straight to Haines. I think that someone was trying to confuse the tourists. 😀

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