Travel northwest from Whitehorse through rugged Gold Rush country, cross the US border and go deep into the Alaskan Interior. Here, a serene, sub-Arctic plateau is flanked by two massive mountain ranges to the north (the Brooks Range) and south (the Alaska Range).
Don’t leave Whitehorse without seeing Skagway, Alaska!
By 1900, Whitehorse was the northern terminus of the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway from Skagway, Alaska, a gangster town with a bloody past. To get there on a day trip from Whitehorse today, a luxury motorcoach will drop you off at the famous narrow gauge rail line. Prepare for a 28-mile descent from the White Pass Summit into downtown Skagway where shopping has replaced gun-slinging as the core activity.
Driving northwest out of Whitehorse, you’ll come to Haines Junction, near beautiful Kluane Park, which features Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak. Next, the highway passes Destruction Bay on Kluane Lake and Burwash Landing, with exciting glacier flights.
At Burwash Landing, there’s also the Kluane Museum of Natural History, which offers (in its own words) “a world-class wildlife exhibit along with displays on the Southern Tutchone people and the many plant species that make their home in the national park. The museum features realistic diorama displays of over 70 animals, birds and fish native to the Yukon. It also contains displays of Southern Tutchone artifacts, clothing and tools. A video theatre continuously shows movies with northern themes.”
When you get to picturesque Beaver Creek, you’re in Canada’s westernmost community.
Go deep to Delta Junction, the end of the road
Across the Canada/US border, your approach to the end of the road in Delta Junction takes you through Tok, which rhymes with “poke”. On January 10, 2009, Tok made headlines when the temperature there plummeted to -62C.
Delta Junction greets you with spectacular views of distant Alaska Range peaks across a largely agricultural area.
This is one of the only towns in the world with a big, bad buffalo for every couple of people (humans: 984; buffalo: 500). They live the good life on a sprawling, 90,000-acre spread outside town, a large herd of their ancestors having been moved here in the 1920s from Montana.
The Visitors Centre, at the junction of the Alaska and Richardson Highways (Milepost 1422), will be waiting for you with a cup of coffee and a certificate stating that you drove the Alaska Highway from beginning to end.
This intersection is known as the Triangle. Across from the Visitor Centre, still in the Triangle, is the Highway’s End Farmer’s Market, where you can taste the local produce.