Northern Rocky Mountains

On the way to Summit Pass, the highest point of the Alaska Highway

Over the last couple of days I have crossed the Northern Rocky Mountains from West to East. Coming from Contact Creek, the last settlement in Yukon, down to the Liard River hotsprings, then South through the Muncho Lake Provincial Park and on East via Toad River and the Summit Pass (at 1260m the Alaska Highway’s highest point) across to Fort Nelson.

Ride along the Toad River in the Northern Rockies

At Summit Lake

Looking back East to the Rockies from the last big hill at Steamboat Mountain

The scenery of the Rockies is just stunning: Clear rivers, aspen and birch trees, rocky slopes and canyon walls above the highway, all very scenic. And the wildlife in this area is the best along the Alcan: I saw bison, moose, caribou, mountain goats, eagles, beavers, bears, and a fox. This is the Muskwa-Kechika wilderness management area, at 1.5 times the size of Switzerland the largest wilderness area in the Rockies – they call this the “Serengeti of the North“. Wildlife on the road is a real traffic hazard, including the rare wild recumbent 😉

Wildlife is a real traffic hazard up here - including wild recumbents

Unfortunately there are lots of hills, not just the namd passes, but just many 20-30m hills in the road, up-and-down like a roller-coaster. With a car or motorcycle you take those hills using momentum, but with my heavy bike and bags I have to slowly grind up everyone of those little hills. At the end of the day I have an average of about 1500m total elevation gain per day! I was going to calculate the calorie demand from the weight lifting, but I’m too tired for that right now – my mostrous dinner portions taste as delicious as ever without doing the math, just listen to your body cravings…

I updated the Canada ride photo-album and split it into a Yukon and British Columbia part.

Whitehorse to Fort Nelson, 978km in 7 days, or about 140km per day. I need to keep up that pace for another 2 weeks in order to get to Seattle by Aug-8. My wife is coming out to the Pacific Northwest for a 2 week vacation, so I better be there :-)

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