Atlin is a small town on the lake of the same name in northern BC. It got its
start from a gold discovery, as most of the towns in this part of the world did.
That was in 1898 and a year later 10,000 had arrived to seek their fortunes.
Not all were after gold and so an orderly community was established.
After the gold bloom the community was discovered as a tourist and sportsmans
destination and so it continued to prosper until the world wars brought things to
The Atlin Road was finished in 1949 which sustains the community as a tourist and
sportsmans destination once again. Today it has a population of around 500.
An interesting note is that the Atlin road was built by the Army Corp of Engineers
and those who travel it will note their influence on some of the names. Such as
Snafu Lake (Situation Normal - All F...ed Up). There is another lake named Tarfu
which we think stands for "Totally and Really F...ed Up".
From either Whitehorse or Watson Lake, take the ALCAN to Jake's Corner and turn
south on Hwy 8 which turns into Hwy 7 at the Atlin turnoff. From there the road
is dirt for the first 70 km and then is paved for the last 30 km to Atlin. It is
a 3+ hour drive with great scenery once you get on Hwy 7.
These are some pictures we took as we came down the Atlin Road. We even found
some mountain goats along and on the road.
SIGHTS AROUND ATLIN
The picture to the left is the view of Atlin mountain from our campsite on the
shore of the lake. This is the largest natural fresh water lake in British Columbia.
The area is beautiful and very relaxing to be in.
Left: Looking back into town from our campsite
Right: A nice evening rainbow as some weather moves to the north
MV Tarahne, launched June 1917 for tours on Atlin Lake and beached 1936 when tours
Left: A Beaver float plane delivers some people who are going to take the houseboat
for a fews days on the lake
Right: Looking out the window from our coach one evening in Atlin
The grayling fishing is very good in the waters around Atlin. The easiest to get
to is Pine Creek. Drive up the road to Surprise Lake and fish the creek as it flows
out of the lake. Brown or black flies work the best. I used drys with great success.
I caught and released over a dozen averaging in the 10-12 inch range before I quit.
Grayling are a beautiful fish with a large dorsal fin that is outlined in an
iridescent green, most easily seen while they are in the water. They are fisty
little fighters and fun to catch on a 3-4wt fly rod.
On the road to Surprise Lake you will go through what is left of Discovery. Today
it is just piles of tailings left from the gold mining and a few old buildings.
Originally it was the location of the gold discovery that caused the goldrush
of 1898/99. It was also know as Pine City. About $16 million worth of placer gold
was produced from its discovery until 1953.