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Lakefront Cabin For Sale in Carcross, Yukon

by Murray Lundberg

Only rarely does a property that combines all the best aspects of a Yukon lifestyle become available for purchase. Whether you're looking for a recreational cabin or a spot for your dream home, have a look at this Carcross property.

The current owner of the property lived in the 2-bedroom cabin full time, year round from 2000 until 2007, drawn by the incredible view and access to the finest recreational opportunities in the territory. Whether your interests are in canoeing, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, history-hunting, photography or any of many other pursuits, it's available right outside the front door of this cabin. The property is fronted by the tracks of the White Pass & Yukon Route tourist railway, and on the opposite side of the tracks are the pristine glacier-fed waters of Lake Bennett. Launching a boat on the lake gives you access to the entire Southern Lakes chain (the headwaters of the Yukon River), offering hundreds of miles of wilderness.

The titled land that the cabin sits on is half forested, 0.197 hectares in size (0.486 acres), 22-24 meters in depth, with a frontage of just over 84 meters. There are 2 unmaintained roads into the back of the property - one leads down to the Nares River waterfront residential area and then to the highway, and the other goes up Montana Mountain and then to the highway. The property has parking for several vehicles.

The 2-bedroom cabin is about 780 square feet. It was serviced with electricity and telephone until recently, but power has been cut until the cabin is brought up to code. Water is delivered by truck to a 500-gallon tank that gravity-feeds to the kitchen, which has a propane range. The cabin is heated with a wood stove. There is no plumbing except in the kitchen - the toilet is an outhouse, and a bucket-powered shower has been installed ensuite.

The cabin is one of Carcross' real "character" properties but although it's liveable as is, it does need some work. The original cabin was built in 1942 by some soldiers who were based in Carcross, and it's been added onto 7 times since then. The cabin is being offered as a turn-key - fully furnished from firewood and dishes to television.

The location of the property is off the direct line down Lake Bennett, so summer breezes are much more common than high winds. If you enjoy kite surfing, though, the winds needed may be just down the beach a bit.

The property was rezoned in recent years to allow for a guest cabin, and in the new Carcross Area Plan, presented on February 8, 2013, it will be zoned Comprehensive Mixed Use. That will permit a "range of housing e.g., single-family, duplex and multi-family, complementary tourist-commercial and general commercial activities e.g., retail, restaurants, office, etc., community facilities".

Carcross is located in Canada's Yukon Terrritory, at 60° 10' N, 134° 42'W. The elevation is 2,170 feet (662 meters), and the population is 429 as of June 2012.

For several years I operated a live webcam that showed the view from the kitchen window of the cabin. See some of the images I saved at The Best of the CarcrossCam.

Aerial view of Carcross, Yukon - Lake Bennett in the foreground To see a gallery of images from the period when I lived full-time at the cabin, see Life on the Edge: Images of Carcross

In the photo to the right (taken from an Air North flight between Juneau and Whitehorse), the village is at the bottom centre, to the left of the stretch of open water. Lake Bennett is in the foreground, then Nares Lake, and Tagish Lake is in the distance.

Click on each of the images below to enlarge it in a new window.

The view to the north-east from the driveway, across the fenced dog yard, the cabin, Lake Bennett and the village of Carcross to Caribou Mountain on February 2nd.

The view towards Mount Gray on August 11 - the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) tracks can be seen in the distance. The two propane tanks on the left fuel the kitchen range.

The concrete, stone and preserved-wood deck was built in 2000 to maximize enjoyment of the view year-round. This shot was taken on May 27 when the lake water level was still quite low.

The kitchen, with its propane-fueled range.

The living room, with the kitchen off to the back left.

The view from the living room.

The property as seen from the main recreational beach on lake Bennett.

The property is in red on this location map. The access road I normally use is shown going down to the right - it leads up Montana Mountain and then to the South Klondike Highway. It also goes up to the right (not clear on the map, and may not be gazetted) to the Nares River waterfront and then out to the highway.

The detailed lot plan. The left side of the property is gently sloping and mostly open, the right side gently sloping and heavily forested.

The road from the South Klondike Highway down to the property is just under a kilometer long.

The same view as above, showing the winter access. For a couple of years I hired a guy with an ATV to plow it, then I put a Snowbear plow on my pickup to do it.

The outhouse (built in about 1998 with century-old wood) and the 500-gallon water tank that gravity-feeds the kitchen.

The outhouse is on the left is this view. The shed-roofed part of the cabin on this end is a storage room.

This is the view that the webcam showed for a few years.

One of the train narrators calls it "The Fireweed Cabin" :) The brown addition on the cabin is the bucket-powered shower room, off the master bedroom's walk-in closet.

The White Pass & Yukon Route tourist train between Carcross and Skagway slowly rumbles past twice a day from May 30th until August 31st.

The view down the lake to Mount Gray from the master bedroom.

It's often said that people with outhouses see the Northern Lights more often than people with indoor plumbing. I used to get my water from Lake Bennett in the winter, and that errand took me to many sights that I would have missed if I could just turn a tap to get my coffee water in the morning.

The arrival of the swans in the Spring makes this a very special location. The small area of lake that is unfrozen except in extreme cold snaps is one of the swans' favourite locations, and there are commonly 50-60 of them there. Hearing them clucking away at each other very early in the morning when the rest of the world is asleep is one of my best memories of life there.

Lake Bennett offers superb wilderness canoeing and camping. There are several significant historic sites down the lake, including the site of Klondike Gold Rush town of Bennett.

The main fine-sand beach of Lake Bennett runs about 2 miles to the mouth of the Watson River. The new million-dollar footbridge (built in 2007) provides easy access to it.

The northeast half of the property. The car is on the road to the Nares River waterfront.

Christmas at the cabin. The WP&YR line can be seen to the right, running along Lake Bennett.