South on the Dempster
and the Top of the World Highway
We now knew what to expect on our long drive back down the Dempster and therefore took our time (even more than usual). It was nice to know roughly what was coming and whether it was worth pushing onward a bit to make it to a great spot to stop and fish or a viewpoint to camp at.
The drive was still long and slow and tedious, but we at least felt more experienced and were able to pick our spots for maximum value.
The campsites we chose were lovely and quiet and remote. The overlooks and the rivers and stream so remote and natural. The fishing was unbelievable. Im clearly no fisherman and have almost not fly fishing skills whatsoever but I’m pretty sure i pulled a fish on 4 of my first 5 casts.
It did in fact slow down a bit after that… the fish clearly growing wise to me, but the percentages still remained high everywhere we stopped and at our last river stop I got us a couple of grayling for dinner before continuing on our way down the highway, which we cooked over the fire that night at camp somewhere along the Top of the World Highway.
The end of the Dempster highway was almost as much a celebration from us as getting to the north end and the arctic. The calm of a smooth paved highway underneath us, being able to talk without shouting and to top it all of the quick leg to Dawson City meant all new territory for us, which is always a welcome sight!
In Dawson we boarded a ferry, to take us across the Yukon river and onto the Top of the World Highway, which takes us up and over the mountains en route to Alaska and the town of Chicken.
Our drive was actually mostly filled with haze and smoke, no doubt from the fires in BC…but still easy to see why people rave about this highway. Views abound in all directions around every twist and turn, and we can only imagine what this drive must look like under clear skies!
We took an unmarked dirt road far up above the road and valleys below and setup camp, cooked our fish over the fire and took in the views and the absolute solitude.