Today we are leaving the Alaska highway and going to Skagway. Skagway is a port city in Alaska. The Alaska Sate ferry, part of the Marine Highway stops here. Skagway is a very popular cruise ship port. It is also one of the few cities in southeast Alaska that are accessible by roads. We will see tourist stops in Skagway, something missing from most of our road trip. Let’s go.
You have to see Carcross, Yukon Territory. Carcross, Canadian Yukon Territory, situated on the shores of Lake Bennett, was formerly known as Caribou Crossing.
But there was a problem. The Yukon, British Columbia and Alaska all had towns named Caribou Crossing. Mail delivery wasn’t so good. So, now we have Carcross in the Canadian Yukon.
The Yukon Visitor’s Center here has the “Welcome Man” crest. As do the community buildings.
Also featured are totem poles.
These are made by Native carver, Keith Smarch. Carcross was a stopping place for gold stampeders in the late 1890s. It was also a stopping place on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad during that same gold rush. But there is something special about Carcross. It is home to the world’s smallest desert.
This small desert is 640 acres or 1 square mile (2.6 square kilometers). Carcross Tagish First Nation has constructed a single track bike trail which attracts international cyclists.
This desert has mountains for a background and some trees.
Carcross desert is right along the highway. But it is really a desert?
It has been called the world’s smallest desert, but we learned that really is the remains of an ancient lake. And insects?
This is the home to some rare insects and some even more rare insects that are only found here, in the Carcross Desert.
One more view of the world’s smallest desert, with our dog Chloe. A few miles north of Carcross Desert is Emerald Lake.
We Colorado Traveling Ducks love this lake. It is sometimes referred to as Rainbow Lake.
Aren’t the colors fantastic? We love the green in the water. Our guide book says the color comes from blue-green light waves, reflecting off the white sediment of the lake bottom. This white sediment, called marl, consists of fragments of decomposed shell mixed with clay.
But we just think it is beautiful. If you drive between Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and Skagway, Alaska, be sure to stop and admire these lakes, and explore Carcross Desert.