We had the pleasure of driving past the astounding Kluane Lake twice while on our journey from Florida to Alaska. We first drove past Kluane Lake (the proper order of the name) on the way up to Tok, Alaska during a mild snow storm. We then drove past the lake a second time on a beautiful , clear day on our way back out of Alaska. It was a little hard to believe that it was the same lake on the same stretch of road. Both times we found the lake absolutely stunning, and can see why it is a major attraction to visitors year round. I put together this short photo essay (with video) to share the natural wonder and beauty of Kluane Lake with the world.
Kluane Lake is located in the southwest area of Canada’s Yukon Territory. At approximately 400 km2 (150 sq mi), and 70 km (43 mi) long, it is the largest lake contained entirely within the Yukon’s borders. The Alaska Highway follows most of Kluane Lake’s southern edge, and the drive offers many spectacular views. On our frist trip to Kluane Lake, we found ourselves driving through a bit of a snow storm. Many of the turnouts and stop offs to see the lake were packed full of snow, and were unreachable. Thankfully, we found a boat ramp that was still clear enough to park on.
We got out of the car and were immediately pummeled by biting cold wind. It was gusting so strongly that we found it difficult to stand. To make matters worse, the wind was picking up water from the lake and spraying it in our faces. We took one look out at the lake though and knew we had to get up close for a better look.
It’s hard to imagine this place as somewhere you would come and enjoy leisure time, considering how stark and cold it was on this day. There was such a persistent fog, it was difficult to see the mountains just across Kluane Lake.
The waves were crashing so hard we could have sworn we were oceanside. We took a moment to capture a short video to show how intense the lakeside was.
Strangely though someone found it appropriate to come out and build a small shelter. Maybe it was just a remnant of a past Summer’s day.
Despite being enthralled by the beauty and wonderment of nature’s force, we could only withstand so much of the wind and cold. We reluctantly left and continued on our adventure towards the Arctic Circle, knowing we would see this majestic lake again on our return trip through Canada.
Several weeks later, and deeper into Winter, we returned to the Yukon and Kluane Lake. This time though, we were blessed with rare clear day as we approached the lake from the north. Along the way were able to stop and see one of the rivers that feed this massive lake. It was mostly dry and frozen now, but it will be a raging river when the Canadian Spring melt-off occurs.
We then made it a point to return to the same spot as before. It was shocking to see how starkly different the same location could be, when Mother Nature was behaving well.
We spent a few moments at the lake, staring in awe at its peaceful and calm surface. The last time we were here it was a turbulent and foreboding force of nature, now it was almost zen-like in its stillness. This spot is easily one that I could return to again and again, and can only imagine that each visit will be just as unique as the last.
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