Posted by: cherylyoung | February 29, 2012

Day 63 Atlin, Some say the most beautiful place in the world.

Day 63 Atlin, Some say the most beautiful place in the world.

 

Tucked into the far northwestern tip of British Columbia,

 the remote and spectacularly beautiful community of

 Atlin graces the eastern shore of the mighty Atlin Lake,

headwater of the Yukon River and named after the

 Tlingit word atlah, meaning ‘Big Water’ – very appropriate

 for the largest natural lake in the province

This once-bustling centre was born during the

 Great Rush of 1898, when gold was discovered in

 nearby Pine Creek.

 

Most of the year-round residents of Atlin have staye

d for more than one reason, but in general, they quite

 simply want to live in one of the quaintest and most

 colourful little towns, nestled in the heart of a valley

 that is simply stunning in its beauty and grandeur.

 

 

Along the lake’s western edge, the majestic Coast Range

 stretched to the north and the south, as far as the eye

 can see.

 

There, snow-laden peaks keep silent watch over the

 entrance to the Torres Channel, gateway to the

 incredible  wilderness area which lies beyond.

 

To the south, where rock combines with ice and water

 to form some of the most spectacular scenery found

 anywhere, lies Atlin Wilderness Park, fully one-third of

 which is occupied by glaciers.

One of the most prominent of these is Llewellyn, whose

great tongues of ice melt into Atlin Lake, releasing the

sediments that give the lake its incredible

 aquamarine hue.

 

Population: 400

 

Location: Atlin is located in the extreme northwest

 corner of British Columbia, about 112 miles (180 km)

 southeast of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory.

 

 Access to Atlin is by floatplane on Atlin Lake, or by road

 from the Yukon to the north.

 

Atlin was the site of the final great gold rush in Canadian

 history, with many of the area’s streams producing some

of the best gold panning in the history of

 British Columbia.

 

The early miners on Pine Creek discovered the remains

 of long abandoned flumes and old sluice boxes.

 

The mystery still remains as to who panned Pine Creek

 before the rush of 1898.

 

Atlin`s nearest neighbour in British Columbia is

 Telegraph Creek, 250 km to the southeast (as the bald

 eagle flies) on the Stikine River.

 

The communities of Atlin and Telegraph Creek were

 once connected by the Telegraph Trail, originally built

 by work parties from the Collins Overland Telegraph

 Company and intended to provide North America with

 direct communication to Europe.

 

 However, an Atlantic cable was completed first, in

 September of 1866, eliminating the need for an

 overland cable.

 

The Klondike gold rush saw the trail extended to the

 Yukon – completed in 1901.

 

 Now overgrown, the 375-km trail was once bustling

 with travellers, hunters and the men who operated and

 maintained the Dominion Telegraph line.

 

 

Re-live the Gold Rush by visiting the Atlin Historical

Museum, housed in the 1902 schoolhouse, stroll through

 the Pioneer Cemetery or pan for gold on Spruce Creek.

 

Wander through the forlorn remnants of nearby Discovery,

 founded on Pine Creek 10 km above Atlin. Also known as

Pine Creek, the once busy gold-mining town started to

 decline in 1915, once the gold dried up.

 

Don’t miss the graceful old paddlewheeler M.V Tarahne

 which, in her glory days, carried passengers and freight

 the length and breadth of the lake; now she rests on the

 lake waterfront.

 

Anglers can fish right off the town dock, or cast their lines

 in the local lakes and streams, where rainbow trout,

 arctic grayling and northern pike abound.

 

Troll Atlin Lake, where large lake trout are plentiful, or

fly-in to the Taku watershed for world-class salmon and

steelhead fishing.

 

Fishing in British Columbia.Winter enthusiasts love Atlin

 for the cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling,

curling and ice fishing experiences.

 

Picnic beside Pine Creek Falls, splash around with the kids

 in the natural warm springs, hike a mountain trail,

 canoe an  isolated lake, or camp on the water’s edge. 

 

 

Marking the extreme northwest corner of the province

is the Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Wilderness Park.

 

The park – the largest in British Columbia – covers

 2,366,260 acres (958,000 hectares) of rugged

 north-coast wilderness and, together with the other

 three adjacent national parks, comprise the largest

 contingent area of  protected wilderness in the world, at

 around 21 million acres (8.5 million hectares).

 

The Tat, as it is known to people who have difficulty

 pronouncing the full name, is also designated by the

 United Nations as a World Heritage Site,

BC A DAY AT A TIME  www.bcadayatatime.com

 CHERYL YOUNG, cbythesea@shaw.ca

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