This was a great traveling day. We didn’t travel several hundred miles, but we saw animals and a huge gold pan. Leaving Beaver Creek, the most western Canadian community, our first stop was to see the world’s largest gold pan.
World’s largest gold pan
Here we are in Burwash Landing, Canadian Yukon. This gold pan is 21 feet in diameter and features a gold miner panning for gold. The picture of the gold miner is painted occasionally. The last time was about 10 years ago. It could use a new painting. We saw the Kluane Museum of History; not open while we were there.
Kluane Museum of History
Outside we enjoyed a great display of life after fires. After fires, small plants and trees begin to emerge, attracting insects and small animals. Then larger vegetation and larger animals. The circle of life is regenerated after forest fires.
Also there is the outdoor exhibits of original buildings. Burwash Landing was the traditional home of Southern Tutchona Athabascan Indians and was their summer camp. In the early 1900’s, a trading post was established here by the Jacquot brothers. Of course, for a short time gold mining was a major source of income. We enjoyed the statues around the museum area.
Working on tractor
The tractor was rather surprising, but we liked it. Food must be grown everywhere. Burwash Landing, according to the 2011 census, has a population of 90 permanent residents.
Located on the southern shores of Kluane Lake, Burwash Landing is the administration center of the Kluane First Nation people. Continuing down the Alaska Highway, we were happy to see this grizzly bear.
One grizzly bear
Isn’t she wonderful? But wait.
Three grizzlies. And motorcycle
Not one grizzly, but three. Mom and her two cubs. They stopped to roll and play in the road. Then to the lake.
Mom and cubs heading to Kluane Lake. Bath time
After crossing the road, they approached Kluane Lake. Here they will bathe and have a short swim in the cold Kluane Lake.
The few other vehicles that were on the road also stopped to watch this fabulous grizzly bear family. Continuing south on the Alaska Highway, we soon reached Thachal Dhal Visitor’s Center.
Thachal Dhal Visitor’s Center
Unfortunately the Visitor’s Center had not yet opened for the season. Most places on the Alaska Highway open in mid or late May. But there are enough motels, campgrounds and restaurants that are open year round that travelers can be comfortable any time. Winter in the far north is the determining factor for most tourists, and when they want to travel. Last year we stopped at the Thachal Dhal Visitor’s Center. It is very interesting and definitely worth a stop. It is a great place to see the Dall Sheep, during spring and fall.
Dall Sheep on mountain side
We did see some Dall Sheep on the mountain side. They are fun to watch as they run and jump around the rocky mountain areas. Also on our drive, we saw three caribou or reindeer playing in the woods by the road, and a moose in a lake, too far away for a photo. We love seeing all the animals, the lakes, snow capped mountains and very little traffic. We hope you drive the Alaska or Alcan Highway in late May or early June. It is beautiful.