Canadian photographer R. John Knight shares the stories behind some of his nature and wildlife images

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More Winter Madness - Yukon, March 2012

After enjoying our mid-winter get-away to Yellowknife two years ago, we decided to drive north to the Yukon last March.  To many of our friends and family, this was just more 'winter madness' by the Knight's.  Whatever you think, we had a GREAT trip.  We saw another part of our great country that many never get to see, and during a season when many people head south to warm sunny beaches.  While most people do not like winter or snow, we do.  And, winter travel has some other benefits.  There are few other tourists, no line-ups, and definitely no bugs!

Alpine-glow, St. Elias Mountains, Kluane National Park, YT
We traveled in our 2009 Toyota Tacoma and Four Wheel Camper.  The winter roads were generally well maintained.  If the weather forecast was marginal or poor, we stayed put or didn't venture far.  We over-nighted in motels most of the time because it was difficult to find serviced pull-outs or camping areas with running water and toilets during the winter.  Nevertheless, we did camp out half a dozen times and thoroughly enjoyed it, even with temperatures down to -28'C!!! 

Tacoma & Four Wheel Camper, Kathleen Lake, Kluane National Park, YT
Our favorite campsite was at Kathleen Lake in Kluane National Park where they keep half a dozen campsites plowed during the winter for the occasional stray visitor, like us. We had 10-15 cm fresh snow each night.  We cross-country skied right from our campsite through the woods, down to and along the shoreline of Kathleen Lake.  The picnic shelter at the lake had a large wood-fired stove.  This was a great place to read and cook supper at the end of the day.  We even managed to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis through a brief gap in the clouds at about 0530 one morning, but alas, not long enough to photograph.

Based on the images, I'll let you decide whether or not we were entirely mad to travel north during the winter.  We don't think that we were 'mad', but then assessments by the mad tend to be unreliable.

Sunrise over the St. Elias Mountains, Kluane National Park, YT


  1. Gorgeous, John and Sherrill. I admire your fortitude for overnighting in those temperatures, although it doesn't surprise me. Rising before sunrise was worth it, huh?

  2. It's wonderful to see you in the picture. Kerry and I have been where you were in the summer. My first ever Canadian winter experience was last April when we went to Jasper via Yellowhead highway, I was so thrilled to see Mount Robson in full view and snowy Rocky Mountains. Thank you once again for sharing your wonderful photographs.