Scenic highway 395 near Bishop, California.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Bishop, California.

Where are they going next? South, towards Death Valley National Park.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Our first taste of the Dempster Highway!

(We've been offline for 4 days in a row! Can't tell you the last time that happened. We are now only 37 kms (23 miles) south of the Arctic Circle! Here's Sunday's blog post... I'll try and get you caught up with more in the next few hours...)

Sunday, June 24

The last thing we had to do on the way out of Dawson City was to fill the gas tank. By filling it when it's still above half, you don't get as much of a shock. But once again, we knew that gasoline would be the major expense of this trip, and it is what it is. So we topped it up at $1.49 CAD per liter ($4.30 USD per gallon). We went to the public AFD Cardlock station on the outskirts of town. Far cheaper than the stations in town that were selling for $1.67 per liter!

And so, with a full fridge, empty holding tanks, a full fresh water tank, and a full fuel tank, we set off on the Dempster Highway towards the Arctc Circle, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.

We arrived at the start of the Dempster Highway at 11:00am.

At the start of the Dempster Highway.

The first thing you do is to cross this bridge.

There are a lot of stories out there regarding vehicle problems that people have had on the Dempster Highway. Flat tires due to the sharp shale rock that was used in places, broken windshields radiators and headlights from stones flying, and of course mechanical breakdowns with not a service, station for miles and miles.

But as I expected, it's just a dirt road. The problem is, that people try to drive this dirt road at highway speeds.

But Sherman takes it easy. So far, I've found that the best speed is between 50 to 70 km/h (30 to 42 mph). And, we slow down and pull over to the far right when approaching vehicles are flying by, which is what most of them do with absolutely no consideration for others. Yes, the occasional one does the same thing as us, but not many. And yes, most of the ones flying by are other RVers, with many in RV rental vehicles. We can't figure out why they are in such a rush.

Here are some pics from the drive... (don't forget, you can click on the photo to make it full screen...)

Arrived at the park boundary!

Our destination for the day was the Yukon government Campground in Tombstone Territorial Park. We had heard that it can get busy there, and for a lot of people, this is as far as they will go on the Dempster. So when we arrived at about 12:45pm, we decided to bypass the visitors center and head straight for the campground. Sure enough, that's the perfect time to arrive, with lots of available spaces. There are 48 sites, but of course some are only suited for tenting, although there are a lot more RV suitable sites than there were at the Yukon River campground at Dawson City.

We pulled into site #16 right by the river. Again, for $12 CAD ($9.25 USD) per night with free firewood, it's hard to go wrong.

We had some lunch and then took the short trail to the visitors center. We got some info about the hiking trails in the park, and then took the 1.0 km trail to the beaver pond just to stretch our legs.

Ruth, in the visitors center at Tombstone Territorial Park.

The Beaver Pond Trail.

Heading towards the beaver pond.

And, looking back the opposite way!

Beaver dam.

The beaver dam is huge. Apparently it was started in 1991 and several generations of beavers have kept it up.

Another view of the dam.

Back at Sherman, it was time for a beer and a glass of wine and a few games of backgammon. Got out the Weber grill and did some nice grilled chicken for dinner.

Sunday's drive, 111 kms (70 miles).

Site #16.

Right beside the river!

Great deal on a refurbished Dell monitor...

Refurbished 31.5" dell monitor


  1. Wondered where you got to! It looks amazing. I too am finding drivers in beautiful parks seemingly in a big rush when they should be slowing down to take in the scenery. Crazy. But especially on a dirt road.

    1. We are still alive! ;-) Just stuck out in the middle of nowhere with no internet which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

      Yep, we can't for the life of us understand how they can possibly enjoy all there is to see when they drive quickly. Driving slowly is how we see all the wild animals out there, some of them would have been easily missed if we drove any faster. Oh, I guess it is their loss.

  2. Maybe those folks rushing are working with limited time on vacation. Anyway, wow, oh wow, 360 degree scenic views! I googled the road and areas but the images are from 2011. I didn't see the visitor center in google but the park looked very primitive in google. The road looked much the same...I thought it would be paved when you said it was a finished highway...I guess you meant they improved it to your destination. Awesome drive...loved it.

    1. Tombstone Territorial Park was brand new in 2009.

    2. Whoever posted pictures in google didn't do a good job. I'm getting a better perspective of Yukon through your pictures. It's fantastic...

    3. Glad that you are enjoying our pictures Rita! :-)

  3. Awesome! The pictures are magazine worthy.

  4. Beautiful - probably nice for you to take a few days off from the blog, too!

    1. Yes, it is beautiful and we are really enjoying it.

      It was actually quite nice being away from the internet for a few days but Kevin still wrote the blog, he just couldn't publish it. :-)

  5. I don't think you mention mosquitoes in a while. Always read they were an issue. If there is one, it finds Robin so I was hesitant about Alaska etc. But seems not an issue? Thanks again for the blog.

    1. So far, they are not a real problem. It is very dependent on wind and location though. We are outside a lot and we are surprised that we have not yet had to put on bug spray. When I stopped to take a photo of a moose, I had to be very quick and the mosquitoes were on me very quickly. Again, location.

  6. Replies
    1. It is fantastic and will be even better if we could get more sunshine again. :-)

  7. No one should be rushing when going to Alaska just relaxing. Glad your both enjoying the trip. Tomestone looks amazing. Enjoy your stay!

    1. In our minds nobody should be rushing when RVing but we know everyone has their own reasons, we just don't get understand them. The main thing is that we are taking our time and enjoying every bit of the trip, even if the weather isn't as nice as it could be. :-)

  8. What a lovely spot you stayed at this time. You know how much we love beavers!

    1. Thanks Connie, we didn't really stay at the beaver pond it was about a mile's hike away. Our spot was pretty though with the river running right behind it.

  9. Lovely pictures. Dont you just love the expansive feeling! How do you get the maps into your blog?

    1. Thank you!, The expansive feeling is something like what we had in Saskatchewan, except there are lots of trees here. ;-)

      Kevin uses google maps and puts in our drive from the one location to the next and then saves a screen shot of it which he saves to the laptop.


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