What I’m listening to on my iPod: The Very Best of John Coltrane
When I was planning our journey to Alaska , I ran across a little post about Telegraph Creek and what an exciting journey it was supposed to be -something not to be missed. The write up didn’t say much except that the road down to the abandoned village was steep and winding, but worth the trip. I put Telegraph Creek on our route map and never gave it a second thought.
When we were camped at Clements Lake outside of Stewart,BC, we met Chris a self employed surveyor who mentioned Telegraph Creek. He said you can’t miss it-you have to make the 224 kilometer round trip. He said don’t worry about the first 30 to 40 minutes of the drive, just trust me-it’s not just a drive through the forest on a dirt road.
And oh my goodness, that was an understatement. When we came out of the forest road into the open, it was like entering another land. I felt like Gene Kelly when he stumbled upon Brigadoon. We literally didn’t know what to say as we stood on the bluff overlooking the valley. Absofreakinglutely unbelievable.
The road is a challenge, I would never recommend a class A, 5th wheel or anyone towing a trailer attempt it. It has sharp curves, it’s very narrow and has quite a few 20% grades. For a class B-piece of cake !
That wasn’t how I felt as we maneuvered the sharp turns with no guardrails-but a little excitement is good for the soul.
This little detour off the Cassiar is worth the time and effort. You won’t find many places like this. Wild, unsettled and no words to describe the beauty. On the plateau our temperature was in the mid 60’s, by the time we arrived at the bottom of the canyon it was near 80. It’s known as the Grand Canyon of the Stikine. And grand it is. I’m sure river rafters and kayakers know all about it. I found this article on line A Short History of the Grand Canyon of the Stikine. The quotes by champion kayakers and rafters are enough to scare me away!
“The Stikine is the river of a lifetime. If you want to run it, you need nerves of steel.”Olli Grau, World Freestyle Champion, after a 2003 descent
“I should go back someday and see if it really is as scary as I remember.”Lars Holbeck, 1985 first descent
“I’ve been here once before and the water level doubled and it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to try the Stikine again, but here I am, and there it is.” Polk Dieters, 2005
The experience of driving the road was more than enough excitement and the reward of the beauty you experience after about 40 minutes into the drive is something I will never forget. Jim said he will be surprised if anything in Alaska matches the wildness of this spot.
A handful of First Nation people live at the bottom on a seasonal basis, but you won’t run into many cars or people if you take this journey.
Happy Trails, safe travels and may you experience this type of wild beauty at least once in your life.
PS Another momma and her baby (hiding in the trees) popped out to say good bye as we left this gorgeous place.