Burwash Landing YT to Haines Alaska

Good morning! We caught this babe picture on our drive from Tok to Burwash Landing two days ago. Thought we should open with it since girly pictures supposedly increase readership. Besides, it’s her birthday all week.

A nice stop is this Tetlin NWR Visitor Center, operated Apr – Sep and off the electrical grid. They have a large solar panels array with batteries plus a back-up generator. Heat inside is provided by a high-efficiency vented propane heater and by a nice soapstone wood-fired heater. Exhibits are limited although they offer a very nice video plus free coffee and tea and great hospitality.

We wondered at these old telegraph poles, running lots of open pairs and looking pretty new despite their drunken appearance. The insulators are new, all the wires seem intact, but the runs seem discontinuous. We asked about it at the Visitor Center and learned these aren’t telegraph, duh.

They are telephone all the way to the international border, running above and below the ground in a fashion similar to the Alaska pipeline. The tilted appearance is due to permafrost heave and thaw and is the bane of the visitor center and other phone customers. How would you like three week outages on yours? I’d get a ham radio!

“When fireweed turns to cotton, summer’s long forgotten.” We heard this throughout the summer and wondered how fireweed turned to cotton. This is the first time we’ve seen it. Now we know, and you do too.

We stopped overnight between Tok AK and Haines Junction YT in Burwash Landing YT. Burwash Landing was, for us, unserviced camping sites on freshly graded gravel. We were packed in very tightly to each other because of the large number (37) of rigs in our group. They fed us roast beef and mashed potatoes in their cozy lodge, and pumped our gas at $1.46/liter ($5.65/gal U.S.).

From Burwash Landing we drove to Haines Junction for coffee and hot rolls at Village Bakery. I hesitate to recommend Village Bakery because we won’t be able to get in next time if everyone knows about it. On the other hand, if people don’t speak for good businesses then we won’t find the places next time at all. We found lots of parking in the former Yukon Visitor Center across the street from Village Bakery. When/if the visitor center becomes re-purposed then parking for the bakery will be back to on-street. Nice stop — the cinnamon rolls and coffee are great.

The Haines Highway between Haines Junction YT and Haines Alaska is easy driving, some of the smoothest we’ve had anywhere. There were perhaps two spots with major heaves, and one potentially long construction delay, but very smooth sailing. Lake Dezadeash is gorgeous, as are the views throughout most of this drive.

A consistent image for us, members of a 38-rig airstream caravan, is multiple airstreams following us. We’re accustomed to seeing ours in the mirror year-round and sometimes one or two more. But to glance back in our mirror and see up to a dozen? Whoa! This is uncommon, even in our caravan, because we travel just three or four rigs together and maintain large spacing between rigs. This photo is as the road construction flagger released us after a 10-plus minute wait, so three groups gathered.

Our mail package awaited us in Haines Alaska. We ordinarily receive through U.S. Mail General Delivery but on the caravan we are using several campgrounds as approved mail drops. Mail arrival times from the U.S. to Canada are less predictable so we’ve only selected stops in Alaska, and results have been fine. Deb received her birthday greetings cards one day before her birthday — great planning!

I just realized all the photos in this blog post are formatted full-size instead of thumbnail. Hopefully it won’t be a problem for you since the pictures are all less than 200kb size anyway? Let me know which you prefer, thumbnail or full-size? Same level effort from us, either way. We’d love your input on this question.

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey, chasing 75 degrees

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12 responses to “Burwash Landing YT to Haines Alaska

  1. Whoops, one more copy of side-view mirror image than intended — deleted duplicate photo and updated post.


  2. My vote would be for full size. I always click on them to enlarge them, so it would not make a whole lot of difference. The landscape has a great background with the mountains, an interesting middle ground with the trees (some turning color), and a fantastic foreground with the birthday woman’s smile. Airstreams in a row always get my attention. It was good you included an explanation as to why so many were so close together.

    • I know, we’re trained not to bunch up. We were all leap-frogging throughout this driving day and just couldn’t help bunching up at the road construction. If I’d been quicker or had any anticipation, I would have caught them all arrayed in close-spacing. This picture is as they are starting through the flag stop.

      Thanks for the vote on picture size — I’m listening for the votes on this!

  3. Selene Montgomery

    I’d vote for full size, then I wouldn’t have to make the extra click to enlarge, and then another click to go back to the post. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Happy Birthday, Debbie!

  4. Happy Birthday all week Debbie. J and M

  5. I’m new to this and vote for the full size saves key strokes Thanks

    • Joe,
      Welcome to our blog, we’re glad to see you here and appreciate your visit. Our Alaska/Yukon/BC odyssey attracts much more attention than my old rants. I’m feeling another non-travel topic, though.

      Your vote counts, all the more because only five have voted.

      Thanks again for visiting, see you again we hope.

  6. Full size! Happy Birthday Debbie all week long and lots of good health and joy all year long!

    • Gris, Okay, votes so far are all positive for full-size photos in the blog. Thank you for the comment on this.

      And Queen Debra is enjoying her week-long birthday — We are between Swift River and Watson Lake YT for the night, loving a beautiful drive through this spectacular country.

      Thanks again,


  7. It seems as though Debbie had a fantastic birthday trip. The photos and commentary were great. Have a safe trip. Les

  8. It looked like our paths may have crossed in Alaska for we were there too about the same time as you. We have encountered a few caravans there.

    • You’re right! We kept leapfrogging with caravans, from Dawson Creek onward for much of the two months. Gosh, I hope we were the well-behaved ones you noticed in those places, he he.

      We can hardly wait to go back, do it all again but on our own next time with friends. What a great treat AK is?

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