Dempster Highway | Photography

Dempster Highway | Photography

A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web Extra


For some reason, I can never resist grabbing pics of this beautiful flower. In this case, I thought the yellow provided a nice background for the purple.   


The sign denoting that I was indeed in the arctic circle.  It's filled with good information (and bullet holes).


Some pine cones in a scorched, miniature forest.  In this part of the world the forest and tundra are constantly battling it out. The terrain rolls from shoulder high trees, to ankle deep scrub.  It's always good to point out that fires are good for the environment.  In fact, the "The Smokey Bear" effect actually created an excess of underbrush, which lead to bigger, and more dangerous fires.


Here's something you don't see everyday: an emergency airstrip on the highway.  It's about as smooth as the rest of the Dempster (read: Anthony Micheal Hall circa 16 candles). So you won't be landing here unless it's a real emergency. I waited, but no planes came.  Lucky for everyone.


I wasn't able to capture the crazy beauty of this pond. It's a near-perfect oval ringed with golden weeds, somewhere around the 200 km mark of the Dempster.  I would have walked down, but I forgot my bear spray. Probably a great place to wait for moose.


I liked this mountain because you can visualize how the earth does its thing.  You can actually see how it birthed this giant sheet of rock by pushing the edge up and out. Right below it, is Engineer Creek campground. 


Speaking of mountains. I took this shot for the perfect way it sat on the tundra.  It looks like the mountains I drew as a child.


The tundra is teeming with life.  However, I wasn't able to identify this little fellow. And it kind of screams "don't eat me",  so I left it alone.  If anyone knows what it is, I'd love to add the name and info on here.  Email me


 This clumsy guy had no idea what to do with himself.  I stopped my car, he stopped running. I drove, he ran in front. Eventually I gave him a friendly "get off the damn road" while I chuckled.  He stopped, looked at me, snorted, and ran into the bush. I think he might have been messing with me - Hilarious. 


These Whisky Jacks (AKA Grey Jay) are terribly bold.  I've seen shots of them eating out of peoples hands (and behind their backs). If you're camping this far north, you're going to see one, and it will try to eat your food.  


This is a lookout towards Tombstone on a cloudy day.  Note my obsession with the flowers. 


And here it is a bit clearer. That peak right in the middle is Tombstone Mountain, about 24 km away. One day I will hike there, and I will summit it.


You won't see anything else like this. The epic Canadian Tundra. Just don't go walking without galoshes, most of it is soaking wet. (On the plus side, my running shoes have a nice new ruddy/red colour).

Want more on the Dempster?  Check out Prospector Jon's take on things.

Story and Photos by

Jonathan Duncan


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