A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web Extra
I’m sitting here in Haines Junction a day before the bluegrass festival. There’s a cozy little spot called the Village Bakery, just off the highway. I am eating too much, because the food is too good, and I have a ravenous appetite for croissant.
There is a big wooded deck surrounding the front of the building. But it is too cold and grey for that today. Instead I’ve taken up residence in a wood cabin across from the shop. The inside is all yellow, knotty wood. Except for the black fireplace, which is burning just for me.
Haines Junction is cozy in the shadow of Mount Martha Black. The village is small enough that people know who all the travellers are, but they see enough of them that they appreciate the sight.
It’s one of the main access points to Kluane National Park. Which borders Tatshenshini-Alsek in BC, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, in Alaska and Glacier Bay National Park, also in Alaska. Together, these four parks make up the largest international protected area on earth. The place is even a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I’ll give UNESCO this. They choose their parks wisely. The place defies all logic in its beauty. My mind tries to rationalize it by pretending it’s just on TV. I hope that feeling fades.
There’s a bit of culture to see in the area. The Da Kų Cultrual Centre is home to the Visitor Information Centre, and Kluane National Park & Reserve Visitor Centre. You can spot some changing art exhibits there, and scope out some traditional art.
The St. Elias Convention centre, the main site for the bluegrass festival this year, also houses some works worth checking out. Twenty-miles outside of town in either direction there are beautiful campgrounds: Kathleen Lake to the south, and Pine Lake to the west.
If today wasn’t so grey I’d spend it hiking around the outskirts of town. There’s a few one-day and half-day hikes to be had and everywhere you turn the views are astounding.
Haines Junction is an easy place to breeze past, but you shouldn’t. The town is warm and friendly, the food is great, and the views are world class.
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