2017/01: Smithers - New Hazelton

  Stage 2017/01 [A044]
Smithers - Moricetown - New Hazelton (Yellowhead Highway)
⇨ 53 mi / 85 km
⇧ 720 Hm (garmin edge 1000)

 

 

 

 

 

Mit dem Fahrrad von Smithers nach Whitehorse. Radtour über den Yellowhead Highway und Cassiar Highway. Etappe Smithers - New Hazelton.
 
 
Airport Smithers.
Arrival at Smithers airport. The bicycles did survive the flight well. However, the boxes in which the bikes were packed look as if a bad-tempered grizzly bear had handled them at Vancouver airport. Yet one more connecting flight would probably no longer be possible because the holes in the box have exceeded the size of a bicycle.
 
Yellowhead Highway, Glacier View Rest area.
Today we follow the Yellowhead Highway westbound. A few miles west of Smithers, a sign promises a parking lot with toilet and glacier view. We stop and check it out: the toilet is available, the glacier view is not. I would rather have given up the toilet and had the glacier view instead, but I'm not sure if Marion sees it that way. Anyway, we have to take it the way it is. Directly above us, the white stripe under the white clouds: that's the glacier. 
 
Cycling from Smithers, British Columbia to Whitehorse, Yukon. Stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
Traffic on the Yellowhead Highway is much lower here than to the east of Smithers. The mountains around us rise to heights of about 2500 m / 8200 ft. 
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
In Moricetown we leave the highway for a short while to take a look at the canyon and waterfall. The Bulkley River has in its course a width of more than 400 m / 1300 ft, but here the river narrows dawn to 5 m / 17 ft. Depending on the season, salmon and trout swim up the river and jump the rapids. First Nations take samples of the fish population and provide a statistic of the development of the fish population. Strange but true: For tourists, fishing is only allowed for a fee and only downstream on the so-called idiot rock. Yes, the place is really called that way.
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
There is a wooden bridge over the canyon from where you can watch the fish pause in the low-flow areas before tackling the rapids.
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
We can not figure out how many tries a trout needs to pass the rapids, but the traffic upstream is considerable. In contrast to salmon, trouts swims several times to the spawning areas in the upper river in their life .
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
Back on the Yellowhead highway cycling westbound. 
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
In this area, the highway follows the Bulkley River closely, which runs smoothly here.
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.   Hagwilget Canyon Bridge.
Before we cycle to our accomodation in the city of New Hazelton, we take a detour via the Hagwilget Canyon Bridge to 'Ksan Historical Village. After three bridges have already collapsed at this location, the steel bridge erected in 1931 is the fourth attempt to span the canyon of the Bulkley River. 
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
The single-lane bridge has a steel grid as a roadway and thus offers not only a great view to the left and right but also provides a straight view 80m / 260 ft down to the river. Hard to believe: the single-lane traffic works fine without any traffic lights. 
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
The 'Ksan Historical Village is located at the confluence of the Bulkley River and Skeena River in a place that was inhabited 800 years ago by the indigenous Gitxsan people. 
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
At the Historical Village we visited the traditional longhaouses, wich were build in a line each building facing the river. From this position, the large decorated house fronts and totem poles of the village are visible from the water.
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
The view over the Bulkley River into the mountains gives a first impression of the weather to come.
 
Cycling from Smithers to Whitehorse, stage 01: Smithers - New Hazelton.
Entrance to New Hazelton. If you follow the course of the main road, at the upper end of the road you can see the end of the town.