Robert Campbell Highway is a remote yet delightful drive

Robert Campbell Highway is a remote yet challenging scenic drive through the Yukon, a territory in the northwestern part of Canada.

Robert Campbell Highway

Why is it called Robert Campbell Highway?

It’s named after Robert Campbell, the region's first Hudson's Bay trader.

When was Robert Campbell Highway built?

The road was built in the late 1960s, and completed in 1969.

How long is Robert Campbell Highway?

The road, also known as Campbell Highway, is 583 km (362 miles) long, running from Watson Lake (on the Alaska Highway) to Carmacks (on the Klondike Highway).

Is the Robert Campbell Highway unpaved?

The road, officially known as Yukon Highway 4, is mostly gravel-surfaced. It is about 60% gravel and the road condition can vary dramatically according to recent weather and maintenance. Expect potholes in some places. Luckily, the pot holes and rough sections of the highway are identified by small orange flags.

Is the Robert Campbell Highway challenging?

The conditions of the road are pretty challenging and dangerous in some ways. To call some sections a “highway” is really stretching the truth. Flooding and washouts make the situation of the road even worse and some residents say that the road is in such bad shape that they fear driving on it. In some parts, the road is narrow and it has lots of rocks on it instead of gravel, and potholes everywhere. Here, you can drive long stretches without seeing another vehicle and often have roadside pull-offs all to yourself. The highway crosses many creeks and rivers, many with bridges - some are one way wooden bridges, metal bridges or log bridges.

Is the Robert Campbell Highway remote?

The road runs through the remote, spectacular wilderness of the Yukon and the unspoiled Campbell Region. Due its unique location and passing through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. There are a couple simple things to keep in mind when traveling the Robert Campbell Highway. Two important ones are to always have your seatbelt and headlights on. The drive leads through one of Yukon’s most lightly developed, sparsely populated regions in the territory. Remember this is a lonely wilderness drive with long distances between services. As you leave Watson Lake, a sign warns drivers that the next fuel is 383 km away (in Ross River).

Is the Robert Campbell Highway open?

The road is typically open all year round, with the occasional closure in winters due to dangerous weather conditions. The road can be rough any time of year and might be slippery in winter. Be flexible and don’t drive the road after heavy rains.

How long does it take to drive the Campbell Highway?

Plan around 10 hours to complete the drive without any stop. However, the drive will take longer due its beauty running through the central portion of the Yukon. People usually make it a two-day trip to stop and enjoy nature for a little while. 

Is the Robert Campbell Highway worth the drive?

The region boasts endless kilometers of dense forest, meandering rivers, and tranquil creeks, as well as rugged canyons and captivating wetlands. Throughout the journey, travelers are treated to breathtaking scenery, such as the imposing cliffs of Lapie Canyon, and abundant opportunities to spot diverse wildlife. From elusive porcupines to majestic moose, along with sightings of industrious beavers and soaring birds, nature enthusiasts will find much to marvel at. Navigating through this vast wilderness, which is among Yukon's least populated areas, offers an immersive experience in the serenity and seclusion of the northern wilds. Amidst the solitude, anglers can enjoy exceptional fishing, while wildlife enthusiasts are rewarded with unparalleled opportunities for observation.