Atlin, Photo SimonSees.com
Atlin Highway 7 is located in BC’s northwestern corner at about 94 km (58 mi) south of Jake’s Corner in the Yukon. Located on the shore of BC’s largest natural glacier-fed lake, Atlin has arguably the most compelling setting of any community in the province.
Gold seekers on their way to the Klondike discovered Atlin in 1898. At the peak of the Klondike gold rush, 10,000 filled the streets of Atlin. Today, the population is only a few hundred. Atlin is well off the beaten track, but that just adds to its mystique. The glacier tipped lake; northern Coast Mountains; and the serenity have seduced a large number of authors, artisans and artists to make this their home. The mountains shield Atlin from the worst of winter storms and at the summer solstice there are 19 glorious hours of daylight.
Travellers finding their way to Atlin have two main routes to choose from. The first is to follow the Stewart Cassiar Highway 37 North to its end just west of Watson Lake. Then head west 470 km (290 mi) along the Alaska Highway before turning south at Jakes Corner onto Highway 7. From this point, be prepared for long patches of gravel road along the 98 km (61 mi) trip south. The second route to Atlin starts at the ferry terminal at Prince Rupert. Travellers must ferry, which takes you north through the many islands and fiords of the Alaskan Panhandle. Eventually, the ferry finds its way to Skagway, the northern most destination of the Alaska Marine Highway. Then, drive north on Highway 2, and head east on Highway 8 to Jakes Corner before turning south onto Highway 7.
Atlin Provincial Park offers over 300,100 hectares of serene and varied topography for self-reliant outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors to this region should be fully equipped as there are no park personnel in the area. The only way to enter the park is by plane or boat as there are no roads offering vehicle access. Atlin Park has much to offer the outdoor adventurers. Wherever you venture, in summer and in winter, you will encounter a scenic pastiche to stop you in your tracks. You can observe blue and ruffed grouse, otters, gulls and even white-tailed ptarmigan as you scale a mountain. The most staggering feature of the park is easily Lake Atlin. It is blessed by magnificent wilderness and is a haven for those wishing to find solitude in Mother Nature’s untouched lands. At the southwest corner of the lake, Llewellyn Glacier gently melts, spreading sediments into the water, which produces a soothing aquamarine result.