KLUANE LAKE DISAPPEARING?
Sheep Mountain reflected in Kluane Lake
Kluane Lake is located in the southwest area of the Yukon Territory, and is from 65 km (the south end) and 145 km northwest of Haines Junction. It is the largest lake contained entirely within the Yukon at approximately 408 sq km (158 sq mi) and 81 km (50 mi) long.
Is Kluane Lake disappearing? Perhaps. Here is why:
Until 2016 Kluane Lake was fed by the A’ay Chu or Slims River which was composed of melt water from the Kaskawulsh Glacier, located within Kluane National Park, west of and at the southern end of the lake. The A’ay Chu flowed North through the Slims Valley and in to Kluane Lake.
The Kaskawulsh Glacier has retreated to the point where its melt water is now going in a completely different direction, away from the Slims Valley. Instead of flowing north 19 kilometres from the glacier's toe into Kluane Lake (and ultimately, the Bering Sea), that melt water is now draining eastward via the Kaskawulsh River towards the Pacific Ocean off the Alaska panhandle.
It's a reminder that glacier-caused change is not always glacial-paced. In 2015 the Slims River was still a potentially dangerous waterway, now the area is more prone to dust storms.
The Alaska Highway follows most of Kluane Lake's southern border, and the drive offers often spectacular views of the lake. This will be our destination on Day 7 (August 31) of the Whitehorse/Haines Junction/Kluane National Park itinerary of the Yukon Gold! Photo Tour. We will make a stop at the Tachal Dhal Visitors Centre/Parks Office near the base of Sheep Mountain. Here there may be an opportunity to photograph the Dall Sheep foraging on the mountain’s slopes (bring your long lens!). How far up the lake we travel beyond that will depend on several factors; weather, how many and how long our stops are along the way to name a couple.
Other stops along this beautiful stretch of the Alaska Highway could include Kloo and Sulphur Lakes, Christmas Creek and numerous un-named pullouts along the way. And of course we stop whenever someone spots a photo opp., be it scenery or wildlife. Here’s a tip; travel with your long lens mounted; wildlife can be fleeting, that’s what you want to be ready for. The scenery will wait while you change lenses. (Or try some ‘Landscape with a Telephoto Lens’ shots! See our blog post from November, 2017.)
With a little co-operation from the wind (we don’t want any!) reflections on Kloo and Sulfur Lakes can be spectacular (we'll be there for the fall colors!). Barry can help you with composing your shots and setting shutter and aperture to get the perfect exposure. If you have split ND filters, bring ‘em along. We’ll show you how to make the best use of them.
Merlin (Falco columbarius) near the Tachal Dhal Visitors Centre
Yukon Gold 2018!
Two Yukon Territory Photography Tours
Two Itineraries Back to Back!
Choose One, Choose the Other, Do Both!
August 18 to September 3, 2018
Contact us for all the details