Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 14 – South of Jade City

We enjoyed breakfast at the Yukon Motel café this morning and took advantage of their facility to drain our tanks before finally heading down the road with an eye out of animals to no avail. The trees, while still small in diameter are getting taller the further we go south.

At the request of the navigator, we stopped at the Rancheria Falls Recreation Site. A short walk on a very nice trail and a very nice boardwalk led to two small waterfalls. Of all of the rest areas and pull-outs today, this was the only one on the Alaska Highway that did not sport a sign about no camping or overnight parking. It was also the nicest, with some trees to separate the large parking area from the highway.

We fueled at Junction 37 ($1.54/liter – 10 cents cheaper than at Rancheria) and then headed south on the Cassiar, eventually to Alaska, although at our rate of travel it will be a couple days yet.

We’d been warned that the northern part of the Highway was very rough and it certainly started out that way with the first hour or so maxing out at 30 mph for any degree of comfort. The further south we go, the better the road was. We saw two large groups of RVs headed north. I was surprised to see large groups heading north the middle of August.

We stopped at Jade City to wander through the shop and their rusty equipment collection. Apparently this area is the largest producer of nephrite jade in the world. While there, we did manage to buy five matching dice to replace the mismatched ones we’ve been using in our ongoing Yahtzee tournament. Hopefully matched dice will help me win more often.

The large boulders look fairly nondescript to the untrained eye

until they are cut with saws of varying sizes.

In addition to the old rust on display, they also have a lot where they offer free overnight parking. We elected to continue south where we found a nice shady spot along the Cottonwood River at a rest stop on the old road alignment.

This was posted compliments of the free wi-fi at Rumors Cafe in Dease Lake.


  1. We stayed at the Yukon Motel RV Park on our way up....but there was no need for A/c and we parked under the sign. Also stopped at Rancheria but did not see the falls.

    Looks like you are making great progress!

    1. The falls are 3-4 miles west of the resort. I was pleased to see they'd done some remodeling in the office/cafe since I was there about 2 1/2 years ago.

      The Cassiar was BEAUTIFUL and the road with the exception of 40 kilometers around Dease Lake smoothed out by the time we got to Jade City.

  2. Have you been up and down the Cassiar in the past? On our first trip in 2002 we did it southbound. Since then both the Alcan and the Cassiar have been straightened, and rerouted considerably. As I recall, the first few hours were quite a workout. In the two trips since, then it has been greatly improved, but no place to lose your concentration. Last time through an older single guy had lost a big class A at the edge of the road, and rolled it down a slope. He and his dog were O.K. He got a ride to Bell 11, and called the Mounties. They arranged to meet him to do an investigation the following Thursday, it happened on a Sunday. Obviously not a good place to get hurt, eh? Somewhere in cyberspace is a website dedicated to the mining community of Cassiar. (EDIT: found it, For a mid to late twentieth century remote village, they had quite a place. Nice homes, community center, sports teams etc... Once the asbestos mine was closed, most of the homes were moved north to Watson Lake. Hope you find the time to do a proper tour of Hyder, which hopefully includes a night at the Run-A-Muck campground, the bears, the glacier, and diner at the bus. Have a great time.

    1. This was the first time on the Cassiar for us. I was going to get a picture of the sign near the north end saying you're now out of 911 territory but was too lazy to go back for it. I loved Hyder and was very disappointed that the bus was closed. Camp Run-a-Muck would have been a better choice than Rainey Creek where the wi-fi didn't work.