Having encountered much precipitation at Jasper National Park, it was almost silly to try to actually see nearby Mt. Robson, the highest Canadian Rocky (at 12,972 feet), but we tried anyway. We passed it twice in two days but never saw its peak. A forecast of “50% chance of rain” here definitely doesn’t imply a 50% chance of blue sky.
All the established campgrounds in the Mt. Robson area were full, but we found a lovely and rare “dispersed” spot to spend the night on the shore of Kinbasket Lake, named for a First Nation chief. Views of the surrounding peaks came and went during our stay.
The official start of the 1523-mile Alaskan Highway (“AlCan”) is at the town of Dawson Creek in northern British Columbia. The road was constructed in only nine months during World War II, by 11k soldiers and 16k civilians at a cost of $140 million - that’s in 1942 dollars. The original gravel road, needed as an overland route to Alaska, had 133 bridges and 8k culverts. Today many of its curves have been straightened and grades leveled, while all of it is paved.
Muncho Lake was a recommended stop, and midday we grabbed a site at the water’s edge. By late afternoon other travelers arrived, from points north and south, but originally from places like Colorado, Tennessee and Alberta.
Liard is the second largest thermal springs complex in Canada, with about 34 gallons of 98-125 degree (Fahrenheit) water per second rising from the depths. Rather than forming a stream, the spring water flows into surrounding swamps, creating a warm wetland that never freezes, even in the heart of winter.
We camped for the night on the Rancheria River, where a side road leading to a bridge had been washed out. No idea when, but it’s pretty clear why. A healthy-looking bobcat wandered off as we arrived.