Circle was established in 1893 as gold was discovered in the Yukon. It sits on the banks of the Yukon river and was an important site for offloading goods shipped up the Yukon and then transported to a number of mining camps.
The miners named ther settlement “Circle” ad they believed it was on the Arctic Circle. The actual Arctic Circle is still about 50 miles north.
On my was to Circle, I stopped at a pullout with a view of the Alaska pipeline. I continued on to Fox which is located at the junction for the Steese highway. This is my last chance for fuel. There might be fuel at Central and the station at Circle closes at 5:00.
The first 81 miles of the Steese highway is paved with a good share of frost heaves. A few miles out, the road starts to climb through a pine forest with a few twisties.
The pine forest gives way to tundra as you climb higher and higher. Eagle Summit is spectacular – even if a bit windy. The road then descends to Central and then another 33 miles to get to the end of the road at Circle.
The majority of the road is gravel. Some of it was very easy riding – as smooth as the pavement. Most was loose gravel, but fairly easy to ride. There were short sections under construction; passing gravel trucks at high speed, water truck turning the road to mud, and grater laying out new deep gravel.
The gas station in Circle closes at 5ish, sometimes 4ish, and even as early at 2ish – which was the time I drove up to see “closed” signs on the doors. As there were still some folks inside, the gentleman told me to just fill up and then let him know how much I got. It was an interesting store with a variety of provisions, aviation needs, and who knows what else.
Highlights on the route include very large herds of carribou on the tundra, Eagle Summit, the guy wearing camo driving his plane on the road to fillup at the same station as I fueled up, and a great camp site on the river.