Watson Lake is the first town in Yukon Territory for all drivers heading north from British Columbia. Even though it’s not pretty, it’s a welcome sight after the several hundred kilometers on the Cassiar Highway or the all-day ride from Fort Nelson on the Alaska Highway.
Originally inhabited by Kaska Indians, Watson Lake (the town) was created to serve one of a string of airfields constructed across northern Canada in 1940, and its existence was ensured when the Alcan was routed through to service the airfield.
Today Watson Lake functions as the hub of a large area of southern Yukon, southwestern Northwest Territories, and northern British Columbia. With a population of 1,500, it’s the third largest town in the territory.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition