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Life on the Edge: Images of Carcross, Yukon
July - December

by Murray Lundberg

Life on the Edge: January - June

A Guide to Carcross

Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it.

    This Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucas) was just one of many who, along with scores of bees, are enjoying the luxuriant crop of fireweed around the deck on July 1, 2005. The butterflies uncoil a tube called a proboscis to sip the flowers' nectar. This is a common species throughout North America. See more of the animals seen that week here.

Aerial view of Carcross, YUkon An aerial view of Carcross in 2001.

Aerial view of Carcross, YUkon An aerial view of Carcross in 2001.

Near the summit of Montana Mountain, Yukon In the Montana Mountain high country on August 16th, 2002. This road was built in 1905 to access several silver mines.

Below, the Montana Mountain backcountry, with Columbian Lake in the valley, as seen on August 17, 2002. The lake is the furthest that a 4-wheel drive truck can reach today, and then only for the few weeks a year when the road is free of snow.

Montana Mountain panorama

Is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? When this photo was shot on August 18, 2003, the WP&YR railway had recently resumed passenger service to Carcross and sure hoped so!

The photo to the left shows the road into the historic North West Mounted Police Post (1898) and Dominion Telegraph Station (1900) near Tagish, on August 19, 2002. Below is the telegraph station and the seats in the family-oriented outhouse. A funny Web site has the telegraph station posing as a cabin for rent. Note the tree growing out of the sod roof - in the not-too-distant future that will probably collapse the structure.

The Tagish River in front of the historic (and long abandoned) North West Mounted Police post on August 19, 2002. This short river, part of the Yukon River system, drains Tagish Lake into Marsh Lake.

Montana Mountain is a very popular recreation area year-round. For most 4-wheelers, this is where the beautiful drive turns into a beautiful hike. Click here for a short piece about mountain biking on the mountain. August 25, 2003.

A spectacular view over Tagish Lake is obtained from the north-east side of Montana Mountain. This was shot early on a late-summer morning - August 26, 2003 at 07:45. Directly below this spot, the South Klondike Highway runs between Whitehorse, Yukon, and Skagway, Alaska.

This young bull caribou was seen about a mile from the location above, the following day - on August 27, 2003 at 12:50.

Montana Mountain has many old silver mines sites, most of them dating back to the Conrad rush of 1905-1906. This one was the original, the Montana - it's seen here on September 1, 2003.

A very close look at the carpet that lies in the boreal forest near Carcross. September 4, 2003.

This is the most impressive of the many aerial tramway towers that remain on Montana Mountain. Seen here on September 4, 2003, it had the longest unsupported span in the world when built by the Riblet company in 1905.

Below, two more images of the fall tundra on Montana Mountain.
September 4, 2003.

Along the Tagish Road, returning to the cabin from a firewood-cutting day - September 19, 2004. Caribou Mountain dominates the scene.

Life can be a beach in the Yukon. A magnificent fall day on the main beach of Lake Bennett - October 11, 2004.

Lake Bennett is as notorious for blowing up like this as it is famous for its beauty, and is the main reason that boats aren't seen on it very often. Tough Canoeing on Lake Bennett tells the story of this day! October 12, 2003.

Lake Bennett doesn't get much prettier than this. This view is up the West Arm on October 14, 2003.

The Carcross aquarium. Throughout the year, the clear glacial water of Lake Bennett that flows out through the Nares River provides people with both good fishing and fish-viewing of Arctic grayling (seen here) and Lake trout. This photo was shot from the railway bridge on October 15, 2003.

The date of the arrival of the first snows can vary greatly from year to year. This was shot on October 16, 2004.

A Yukon bank vault. As winter approaches, bales of bedding straw for the huskies and a huge stock of firewood are essential when you live in a cabin away from city services. October 20, 2004.

On October 26, 2004, several WP&YR tank cars and flatcars were pulled out of Carcross storage and taken to Skagway for conversion into useful rolling stock.

The spray from waves on aptly-named Windy Arm can produce some beautiful effects. These branches pretty well hide the old Venus Mine mill. October 31, 2003.

The hoar frost on December 17, 2003, made for some excellent photography in downtown Carcross for those who braved the cold.

Pine grosbeaks are among the few species of birds which will winter in the southern Yukon. This male visited my feeder on Christmas Day, 2003.