Outdoor thrills along the Alaska Highway

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It’s doubtful the men who built the Alaska Highway realized they were clearing a future path to one of the world’s greatest hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing adventure zones.

It was 1942, and control of the Pacific Ocean was up for grabs as part of World War II. The crews simply had to get the job done. Seventy-five years later, the West is still thankful for having won a game-changing war… and people from around the world now happily use the open highway — built to defend a continent — as a luxurious, well-paved, fast-track to a pristine adventure sports destination.

As you research your travels along the Alaska Highway, we suggest you split up your planning into three regions: Northern BC, Yukon and Alaska.

In each, there are unlimited opportunities for outdoor thrills: Catch a trophy northern pike, hunt grizzlies and shoot magnificent photography of many species of wildlife. If your game is to get out there and become one with nature, there are thousands of miles of hiking trails. If you prefer to ride an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) for all or part of your backcountry exploration, that’s popular here, too.

Visit Muskwa-Kechika in Northern BC

This is a working wilderness. Industrial activity is permitted, though it’s managed by a group of officials and stakeholders with First Nations representation. This allows for a massive swath of wilderness (larger than a small country, at 6.4 million hectares) to be set aside as an “island” of limited development. The Muskwa-Kechika offers camping, hiking, rafting, canoeing, fishing, hunting, photography, and wildlife viewing. Please note, however, that the trails system is very much the same as it was 150 years ago, around the time Canada was becoming a country. Much of the access is on horseback and, as the official websites describing the area point out, “wilderness navigation skills are essential.”

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Northern Rocky Mountains Provincial Park is where most visitors access Muskwa-Kechika. There are approximately 65 campsites, with fire pits and user made latrines, at the mouth of the Tuchodi River.


In the Yukon, you’ll want to see Kluane

This high country is how most people picture the Yukon. Rightly so! Set in a soaring wilderness, the park features glistening, snow-capped peaks. Among them rises the country’s top summit: Mount Logan (5,959-metres). There are massive icefields here, too, and a unique lineup of North America’s most genetically diverse grizzlies (although to tell them apart you need to get up close and we don’t recommend that)!

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Travelers from around the world come to traverse alpine passes on backcountry odysseys, and raft past calving glaciers. With exceptional day hikes and highway-side scenery, Kluane awes from every angle.


Adventure awaits across the Alaska border

Tok is pronounced toke and is a wild paradise, full of birds, mammals, and fish that would (for obvious reasons) rather live here than anywhere else. It’s still a frontier lifestyle out here for the homo sapien species, so come prepared to camp, hike, fish, raft rivers and explore like a Wild West prospector. Yes, you can pan for gold (and keep what you find), and you can also see it in museums. There are good restaurants, plenty of shops with souvenirs, arts, crafts, local fashions and more. There’s fabulous horseback riding and since you asked, yes, there’s world class golf with spectacular holes, greens, and backdrops.

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The world-famous Forty Mile Country, which inspired the likes of Jack London, lie to the north, while the Mentasta and Wrangell mountains lie to the south… In Tok, most newly-arrived visitors get out of their vehicles wide-eyed, still not believing they made it this far north!


Photo Credit: Destination BC/ Taylor Burke Photography