Travelogues

Atlin is the most beautiful place on Earth; in any season, in any weather.

©Carolyn Moore  Last updated 02 June 2013.


Travelogue from

Jake’s Corner to Atlin BC via Highways 7 and 8 

You might want to print this off before your trip. Bring it with you.

At Jake’s Corner, turn off the Alaska Highway onto Hwy 8 West. The sign says Tagish 22 km, Carcross 53 km, Atlin 100 km.

Ahead of you is a long broad valley. Atlin Lake, Little Atlin Lake and the community of Atlin are in that valley. There are mountains to your left made of white granite, with evergreens at the base.

Follow Highway 8 for about 2 km. Turn left at Highway 7 (The Atlin Road). 

Highway 7 runs down the East (left) side of the Atlin Lakes; sometimes it runs along the lakes and sometimes inland; sometimes it’s scenic and sometimes not. Different terrains.

It is 60 miles or 100 km long, a good paved and gravel road maintained year ‘round. Speed limit 90 km (54 miles) which you should have no difficulty keeping.

bannerLittle Atlin Lake with MInto Mountain.jpg

Mtn Goats hor.jpg

22 km - 12 Mile Hill - The road formerly ran straight up this long hill. The road has a new route now. 

The top is a plateau. This is the area of interior lakes. There was a burnover in this area 50 years or so ago. Trees grow slowly here due to climate and soil; the slow regrowth is obvious. Look deep into the pine forest, you can see burnt out stumps and fallen burned trees.

Tarfu and Snafu Lakes were named this when the road was built in 1949. They are obviously named with a WWII sensibility (SNAFU means Situation Normal All Fudged Up; TARFU means Things Are Really... ). Prior to 1949, supplies and passengers came to Atlin by ice travel over Tagish Lake, Marsh Lake, etc. in the winter.

Travelogue Trading Post.jpg

32.5 km - Sweet little log cabin. "Affordable Housing". Much photographed. Not really very old; just falling down (like a lot of us). This is probably an original trapper's cabin.


38 km - Nice view of Mount Minto. It's an old volcano; a big flattened cone-shaped mountain. It’s on the border between Yukon and BC.

Mount Minto is shown in photo at right.

42.5 km - Long stretch of road. The BC/Yukon border is coming. Precisely where you see the ‘Super Natural BC’ sign and the Yukon ‘Welcome to the Magic and the Mystery’ sign, is the 60th parellel. If you stop and get out, you will see a cutline for line-of-sight surveying (before the invention of GPS). It is wide enough to be seen from commercial airplanes descending into Whitehorse. It goes down the hill to the lake and across and up the other side.

Minto Mountain Aug 2009.jpg

52 km - Atlin Lake is laid out before you. Beautiful!

61.3 - km Base Camp Creek - name is from 1949, has a WWII quality.

67 km – Gravel changes to "chipseal" pavement.

70 km - Ranchlands, outskirts of Atlin - note the various kinds of fences. Horses used to be allowed to free-range. Since many horses were only used for summer expeditions or fall hunting, they were turned out for the rest of the year. Horses would wander throughout town, and along the roads. Many of us miss them.

Gardening note: Atlin has 61 growing days, and has frost every 30 days all summer. Growing time for potatoes, from transplant to harvest, is 61 days! Impeccable timing required for that crop! I envy any gardener here who can grow anything big enough to eat.

82.6 km - Davey Hall Lake - Straight ahead, you’ll see a snow-covered mountain – that’s Birch Mountain, the highest peak in a freshwater lake in the world. Birch Mountain is on Teresa Island.

Teresa with moon.jpg

Birch Mountain on Teresa Island

DA MJ eskers MacD valley.jpg

Esker (PSF).png

Fish On.jpg

86.2 km - on your left, is the road to McDonald Lakes. In this valley, you'll find World Class eskers*, good fishing, and camping areas. Click here to see an aerial view of Atlin and the McDonald Lakes valley. Photo at left above © Mike Johnson, Colorado

*ESKERS -

Sketch above and description below are from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An esker is a long winding ridge of stratified sand and gravel, examples of which occur in glaciated and formerly glaciated regions of Europe and North America.

88 km - near Fourth of July Creek

95 km - "Welcome to Atlin" sign; straight ahead is Birch Mountain, to the right is Atlin Mountain. You can see the gravel glacier for which Atlin Mountain is known. Map Atlin Provincial Park .pdf

Atlin Mountain 2005_0909.jpg

Atlin Mountain is on the west side of the lake; the community of Atlin is on the east side of the lake, directly across from Atlin Mountain. NOTE: Atlin Lake is 4 miles wide in front of town.


DO NOT TRUST STREET SIGNS IN ATLIN!

97 km - is the intersection of Highway 7 and Discovery Avenue. Highway 7 is also called Atlin Road; and Discovery Avenue is also called Surprise Lake Road. Many roads have several names. CHECK THE DISTANCE.

Turn right to go into Atlin towncentre.

Or... at the intersection, turn left - drive half a km. Turn right at Warm Bay Road (which Google Earth calls O'Donnell Road) and which doesn't have a sign anyway! If you have successfully turned onto Warm Bay Road, you will pass Atlin School on the left within the first half km. See maps at bottom.

If you think you're lost, STOP. The farther you go, the more lost you will be, and the fewer houses there are. If you need directions, stop and ask. If you need a phone, you will have to knock on someone's door. Cell phones don't work in the Atlin area.

Enjoy BEING in Atlin! but don't trust the street signs.



NOTE: Radio transmitter station - radio station CBC AM Whitehorse is transmitted to White Mountain near Jake’s Corner, and retransmitted on 90.1 FM to Atlin. We also get Christian Radio on 100.7 FM.

No Trace Camping



Travelogue for Warm Bay Road

Distances are calculated from the north end of Warm Bay Road, at the intersection of Discovery Avenue. There are very few street signs. Many streets and roads are not labelled at all. Some are referred to by more than one name. Sometimes Discovery Avenue is called Surprise Lake Road. On Google Earth, Warm Bay Road is called O'Donnell Road.


Distances are approximate. Distances are in Kilometres. One km = 0.6 miles. Therefore 50 km per hour is 50 x 0.6 = 30 miles per hour.

Slow to 30 km (18 MPH) during school days from 8:30am to 5:00pm. Atlin School is on the left – K to 12 offered.

2.5 entrance to the Pine Creek Subdivision on left.

2.8 entrance at right to Gary Hill - guided fishing trips and taxidermy.

3.0 Slow to 20 km at Pine Creek Bridge.

3.1    Pine Creek Campground on right. Camping sites for tents and small RV’s; some pull-through sites on upper portion; some walk-in tent sites on the downhill portion overlooking Pine Creek. Picnic tables, outhouses, fire pits; some firewood available; no water (a drinking water spring is at km 4.8), no plumbing, no electricity, no telephone service. Fees are payable at any business in town. Please practice bear-safe, fire-safe, no-trace camping techniques. In general, campground is user-maintained. Volunteers from the Atlin Board of Trade maintain the campground once a week. Many supplies and equipment are donated. If you’d keep your own site and the public areas clean, it would be much appreciated. If you'd leave it cleaner than you found it, we'd love yah!

Sunrise Sep 2005

4.0 Monarch Mountain Road on left (there is no sign for it), leads uphill.

4.3 Parking lot on the right for  Monarch Mountain Trail, uphill to the left; Pine Creek Beach, downhill to the right.

4.8 Drinking water spring

5.0 Slow to 20 km at Suicide Hill and gravel pit. Stay right.

9.2 Taxgoon Road – entry to Five Mile Reserve

12.2 Lookout for Llewellyn Glacier

12.4 Sidka Tours – uphill to the left

13.2 to 16.3    Slow – road is curvy and has steep grades up and down. Stay right.

16.3 McKee Creek – site of hydraulic gold mining up to 1970’s. Note the erosion of the banks.

20.0 Palmer Lake sign for BC Forest Service – small area for overnight camping, user-maintained, pike fishing, swimming, wildlife viewing. Canoes and kayaks are ideal here.

23.3 Warm Bay sign for BC Forest Service – lakeside area for overnight camping, user-maintained, wildlife viewing, too cold to swim. Canoes and kayaks are ideal here along the shore. Note: Warm Bay is called that because outflow from the Warm Springs flows into Warm Bay, raising the temperature slightly, in theory.

24.0 Warm Springs Homestead at right is a private residence. Please respect their privacy. Thanks.

24.3 Warm Springs entrance at left – Open to the public. Look for a tiny sign on the right side of the road. Picnic area. Not an official camp site. (Warm Bay and Grotto campsites are nearby.) Treat the Warm Springs pool with respect. Use the outhouses provided. This pond is not a bathtub – no soaps or shampoos please! Soaps cause algae buildup and contamination of the water. Use at your own risk. If you’d like to take some watercress home for dinner, do not pick it from the warm sluggish waters of the Warm Springs due to risk of bacterial contamination. Go to the Grotto and pick it from the cold fast-running water.

27.1 Grotto sign for BC Forest Service - overnight camping, user-maintained, wildlife viewing, watercress at the Grotto. 

Travelogues are © Carolyn Moore. Please feel free to print copies for your own use. Copies are also available at the Atlin Museum, printing courtesy of the Atlin Historical Society.

For further information about Atlin, contact Atlin Visitors Association at 250-651-7522.  http://atlinvisitors.net/

Map of Warm Bay Road Travelogue

This website is paid for and maintained by Carolyn Moore, owner/operator of Discover Atlin. All the editorial comments are mine and can be blamed solely on me. Unless stated otherwise, all photos are mine. Feel free to use my photos if you give the following photo credit ©Carolyn Moore, Atlin BC Canada. Thanks. CM