Photographer's Note

Golden road for the first daylight but also because it was the golden way of the goldrush.

The original 53 km section known locally as the Carcross Road was actually made into a part of the Alaska Highway in 1942, until the Marsh Lake route was opened the next year. As Yukon Highway 5, it formed a loop road with Highway 6, the Tagish Road (now numbered as 8). It was renumbered as Highway 2 in 1978, being incorporated into the Klondike Highway designation. The road underwent alignment improvements during the 1980s. Residents living as far south as 25 km from the Alaska Highway still give their residential addresses as historic mile measurements that start at zero at the Alaska Highway, even though the distances are no longer accurate, and kilometre posts count distance from Skagway's ferry terminal.

Construction of the "Carcross-Skagway Road" began in the 1950s, was abandoned partway up a mountain from Skagway, resumed in 1976-1977 and was completed between Skagway and Carcross in August 1978. It was only open for a few weeks before seasonal closure. The first full summer season of use was in 1979.

The highway originally was built for tourist traffic, but in 1986 became important as a commercial transportation route, coincident with what seemed to be inevitable abandonment of the White Pass and Yukon Route railway. The new owners of the Faro mine secured government agreement to open the highway for trucking. The last winter closure ended in the spring of 1986.

The Carcross-Skagway Road portion of the highway underwent substantial rerouting, widening and paving in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although mining product does not currently traverse the highway, fuel tankers continue to travel the highway, which remains a popular tourist route (cars, RVs, buses), and provides an economic means for the White Pass railway to offer train excursions connecting at Fraser to buses from or toward points north.

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Additional Photos by claude vallier (claudio74) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 613 W: 5 N: 880] (7263)
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