Driving the Dempster: Klondike Corner to Eagle Plains

The first half of the Dempster highway winds and wends its way through the Tombstone, Ogilvie, and Richardson Mountains. I have many times heard people say that the section between the end of the mountains and Eagle Plains is boring and not beautiful. I don’t think we were driving the same road…

Having previously driven the first 150km of the Dempster twice, as far as Two Moose Lake, it wasn’t until after that point that I really felt that my adventure had begun. I still stopped to retake old photographs just to test out my new camera!

This first portion of the Dempster is the most isolated. There are really no services between the Klondike River Lodge and Eagle Plains, just a lot of wide open country, the Tombstone interpretive centre, and a highway maintenance camp.

It’s really a good idea to bring a spare tire or two, but I really don’t see the point of bringing extra gas unless you plan to zip past Eagle Plains when the gas pump is closed. I filled up at AFD Petroleum in Dawson for $1.12 when I set off and had nearly a half a tank left by the end of the day. It would have been the same had I been traveling with Miranda.

This first 400km or so was in reasonably good shape; dry and recently graded. I still had to watch out for pot holes, pointy bits of shale which are known to shred tires beyond repair, and speedy drivers throwing up rocks. All of this meant focusing more on the road than on the landscape; it might be nice to do this trip again as a passenger. 😀

I left Dawson City at about 11:45 am and, even though the drive hadn’t been that difficult, when the oasis of Eagle Plains came into view at quarter to seven, I was very grateful and more than ready to stop!

coming in for a landing!

coming in for a landing!

Tombstone valley

Tombstone valley

Tombstone valley

Tombstone valley

Tombstone valley

Tombstone valley

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Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

placards dedicated to the Lost Patrol

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Red Creek

Red Creek

Red Creek (stinks of sulphur!)

Red Creek (stinks of sulphur!)

Red Creek (stinks of sulphur!)

Red Creek (stinks of sulphur!)

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Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

nothing as far as the eye can see and then... wait... are my eyes tricking me?

nothing as far as the eye can see and then… wait… are my eyes tricking me?

civilization!

civilization!

beginning of the Dempster highway

beginning of the Dempster highway

this looked like a lot of fun!

this looked like a lot of fun!

0 thoughts on “Driving the Dempster: Klondike Corner to Eagle Plains

  1. The pictures show a really beautiful country. Here’s to you and the courage it takes to strike out on your own on such a trip. I’m looking forward to hearing more, and of course, the pictures.

  2. Martha, this country is more beautiful than anyone could ever imagine. I think it’s enough to make just about anyone believe in some higher power.

    • What people need to experience more than just ‘nature’ is a way of life that is close to the earth and lacking in superficiality. What I saw in Tuk made me realise some pretty harsh truths about what I consider to be ‘the good life.’

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