Protected Lands and Parks near the Alaska Highway
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BC’s untamed Muskwa-Kechika is the size of Ireland, with unnamed 1,000-foot waterfalls. Kluane and Denali, in the Yukon and Alaska, are home to the two highest North American peaks.
The Muskwa-Kechika Management Area (M-KMA), in northern BC, is a globally significant area of protected wilderness. It is, quite simply, one of the biggest, wildest nature zones on Earth. Some call it the Serengetti. For adventurers, it offers an immersive opportunity to drop in on uncivilized perfection. Its name in Cree means bear (muskwa) and long, inclining river (kechika).
As you arrive at the popular pit stop of Liard River Hot Springs, outside Fort Nelson Fort St.John, you’re also at the Northeast corner of the Muskwa-Kechika.
Muskwa-Kechika is a beautiful, quiet area, with mountains, forests, lakes and flowing rivers. It is home to sheep, mountain goats, elk, grizzly bears, moose, plains bison and wolves.
Fort Nelson and the Northern Rockies is a spectacular environment with limitless adventure: Bird watching. Hunting. Hiking and biking. Fishing & boating. River boating. Northern Lights viewing.
Along this stretch of the Alaska Highway, you can stay at beautiful lodges and bed and breakfasts (bed and bail, if you’re riding horses). You’ll awake in beautiful surroundings with stunning vistas that will get you going. You can start or end your day with a relaxing soak in a hot tub while you enjoy the crisp mountain air and changing light.
Here, the northern rivers flow wild through the ruggedly cut landscapes: The Sikanni. The Buckinghorse. Prophet, Tetsa, Toad, Coal and tributaries. Along these rivers, highly skilled outfitters will take you to where the fish are. They’ll guide you to view exotic, northern wildlife and even outfit you with crossbow equipment to hunt a buffalo.
Up the highway you’ll arrive at Mucho Lake (“Big Lake” in Kaskan dialect). A beautiful jade green colour, it runs 7.5 miles or 12 kilometres with the highway skirting its edge for most of that distance. There’s an RV park here and a campground. Muncho Lake is base camp for hunting, fishing, hiking, mountaineering and camping excursions.
More than 80% of beautiful Kluane is covered in mountains and ice.
Here, a world away from the everyday, sunlight flashes from towering, ice-blue peaks.
This is where you’ll find the challenge of the St. Elias Mountains, the most massive in Canada. Among them — and reaching beyond them to the skies — is the continent’s second highest peak: Mount Logan, Canada’s highest.
It’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Area. And it’s guide country. This is where you can push yourself and your group well outside your comfort zone, without actually getting yourself into any serious trouble.
With a hiking, canoeing or mountain biking guide – or with a pilot/guide and bush plane, you can reward yourselves with an exquisite wilderness adventure reserved for the imaginative few.
Hike in and pitch a tent in a beautiful spot where nobody has camped before. Ride some steep, old mining roads and enjoy the vistas. Or cross the Kluane sky in a floatplane on your way to the toe of a glacier, for a superior photo opportunity and picnic!
As you come to the end of the Alaska Highway, you reach a vast wilderness area of boreal forests, rivers, tundra and mountains. Visitors to the Delta Junction area love its peacefulness, excellent fishing, wildlife, views and people.
The towering granite spires and snowy summits of Denali National Park are now a half-day’s drive away. This park is a worldwide beacon, attracting 400,000 visitors every year between late May and September. The Alaska Range lives here, with so much elevation its peaks are often lost above the clouds. North America’s #1 peak, Denali, dominates the skyline, looming (on a clear day), 20,310 feet in the air. It is a mountain that takes the lives of climbers.
There are 37 species of mammals in Denali National Park: Moose, caribou, wolf black bears, grizzly bears, lynx, marmots, sheep, foxes, snowshoe hares, 130 different bird species and the impressive golden eagle.
Large numbers of visitors from the Lower 48 and from other countries climb aboard buses for sightseeing tours through Denali, many along the 90-mile Denali Park Road, closed to private vehicles after Mile 15.
From the bus, along the roads of the park, they have excellent viewing opportunities. This is one of the only easily accessible place in the world where the species of bear you’re most likely to encounter, roadside, is a grizzly.