One of the struggles of living in Alaska is transportation. For the majority of the state, one must travel by plane. Last year, living in Naknek, we had to take a small “bush plane” into Anchorage, then take a jet to our final location. In Juneau, you can travel by plane or ferry-boat, but there are no roads in or out.
One of the benefits of living in Haines – we DO have roads that lead out-of-town. About 40 miles from town you will come to the Canadian border. Show your passport and enter the province of British Columbia – an area locals refer to as “the pass.” The pass (officially called The Chilkat Pass) is a stretch of highway nestled in-between the Coast Mountains and St. Elias Mountains.
BUT before you cross the border, make sure you make a pit stop at 33 Mile Roadhouse. We actually frequent this spot even when not traveling. It’s still technically in the U.S., and part of Haines, but is just a few miles from the border. And their burgers are AMAZING.
As you find your way through the mountain pass, and out of British Columbia, you’ll enter Yukon Territory. In the summer, this patch of road of beautiful. You can utilize the rest stops and take in the views of the Kluane National Park and Reserve. In the winter however, it takes a brave individual to leave the comfort of their car and step into the howling wind and snow for a photo-op.
P.S. – I am not that brave. My photos are all from my car. ;P
The next town after Haines is Haines Junction. Despite the name, Haines Junction is about 150 miles from Haines, and is a part of Canada, not Alaska.
On the way to Whitehorse, we usually stop in Haines Junction to fill the tank, stretch our legs, and use the washroom.
Then begins the shorter part of the journey from Haines Junction to Whitehorse.
Haines locals make this trip fairly regularly. Whitehorse provides many venues that we simply don’t have including – restaurants, shopping, doctors and dentists, a movie theater, and a sports complex that has a pool, ice-skating, and an indoor playground.
We visit both for pleasure, and sometimes, out of necessity. Our schools also travel back and forth regularly for sports and activities. Imagine that 4-hour drive through the Yukon with a school bus full of junior high students!
Ready for a 4-hour drive (one way) through the mountains for a round of ice-skating and a trip to Wal Mart?! Welcome to Alaska! 😉
"Think of it as an adventure." Xoxo Ramie