Originally Posted by selkins
The Yukon is really big and incredibly wild. Emphasis here: It is difficult for a person from the middle latitudes to accept with credibility just how wild the Yukon is. For perspective: The Yukon Territory (pop. 34,000) is pretty much the physical size of Colorado and Utah combined (pop. ~ 8 million), or Germany + Switzerland + Austria (pop. ~98 million). About 70% of Yukon’s population resides in one town, Whitehorse.
In the lower 48 we think of Colorado and Utah as sparsely populated western states. Their shared population density is 235 times greater than the Yukon. Outside of the “metropolitan” areas (Denver region, Salt Lake City region and Whitehorse), the population density of the two states rises to 500 times that of the Yukon.
Alaskans like to think of their state as wild. It’s certainly big – more than three times the size of the Yukon. But it’s also relatively crowded, with eight times as many people per square mile. (Not a terribly illustrative measure, since for both Alaska and the Yukon we’re talking tiny pieces of a person per square mile.)
So, again – really big, incredibly wild.
For you East Coast Americans out there, you can think of the Alaska Highway as the I-95 corridor of the Yukon. It’s difficult to get a sense of its wildness if you just travel that route. So, I’ve decided to get as remote as I can on a big R1200GS. I’m heading up the Dempster Highway.
I've driven the Dempster hwy 3 times and been up to Tuk. I've backpacked in Tombstone and treked through the Richardson Mtns (seen hundreds of Caribou up there) and I've paddled the Yukon river 3 times, I've treked through Kluane park (best hike in the world BTW) and I've trekked through several places in Alaska 6 times now. If I had to choose, I would choose the Yukon hands down. I concur with your thoughts. "Larger than Life"... It's TRUE.
I bought my 09 GS to ride up there and, as of yet, have not done the trip on my bike. I keep getting sidetracked with other treks up there. I swear one, could spend a lifetiem up here and not see everything.
Regarding the Dempster Hwy, I posted these thoughts on my blog
"One of only 2 roads to penetrate the arctic in North America, the Dempster Highway in Canada and the Dalton Highway in Alaska. The Dempster Highway, we’ve heard is the most beautiful of the two. It stretches beyond the Klondike gold fields to the Mackenzie Delta. It snakes a path of over 450 miles long through the mountains and the artic lowlands. Once part of Beringia, the northern Yukon and Northwest Territories were largely unglaciated, with Wolly Mammoths and Saber tooth cats roaming the tundra alongside prehistoric man. Words and pictures alone cannot describe this part of the world. The sun shines not for a day, but for an entire season. Wildlife abounds, unfettered by the ever expanding domain of man and his propensity to plunder everything in sight. The road is like no other, and to call it a highway is somewhat misleading. It is a gravel ribbon spread over a vast wilderness frontier, which was inhabited first by nomadic tribes and then trampled by fur traders and avoided by the Klondike gold seekers. We drove this road up to the upper boundaries of Canada to a native village, Inuvik, and back again -- over 900 miles of gravel. In a period of 2 weeks we hiked, backpacked, climbed and interacted with the descendants of the first people to live in this land. It was an adventure like none we ever experienced. We were sad to leave". ~ GrizzLee commenting on their first experience on the Dempster in 2007
Last year we brought home a souvinier from Wrights pass
We looked pretty feral coming home. We got a permit to bring them home. THey now reside in my family room with my other collection of antlers from up there. I have to get my B.C. cabin built someday.
Love your great pics of of the Dempster.... Love it!!!!
It is hard to capture the tundra beauty in photos. You did a good job.