Silver Trail Highway (Hwy #11)
The Silver Trail Highway is the main highway route in the Yukon Territory for traveling to the villages of Mayo, Keno City and Stewart Crossing. The highway follows the banks of the Stewart and Mayo Rivers deep into the wilderness backcountry - it explores the alpine meadows, mountain ranges, historic rivers and recreation lakes of the Stewart Valley.
The Silver Trail Highway is a one-way (there and back) transportation route measuring 112 kilometres (70 miles). The highway was completed in 1950 for the mining industry. The first 62 kilometres of the Silver Trail Highway are paved. The rest of the roads are gravel. Some are well maintained gravel roads while others can get pretty tough when the weather conditions get rough.
Unique to the Silver Trail Highway are the survival huts located along the side of the route near the 61 kilometre point on the highway. The huts are for travelers during the winter months for emergencies when traveling the gravel road gets rough.
The Silver Trail Highway begins in Stewart Crossing, Yukon Territory. In Stewart Crossing there is a junction where the Silver Trail Highway meets the Klondike Highway. This junction is Mile "0" of the Silver Trail Highway. From Mile "0" the route follows the high banks of the Stewart River to Mayo.
Kilometre 51 is an important intersection on the Silver Trail Highway. It is where the loop route begins and ends. It is where the paved road is about to become gravel. It is the turn off to Mayo and services. It is the last stop for gas before continuing on to Keno City.
Turn right at kilometre 51 and you enter the village of Mayo, Yukon. Most of the services important to travelers are in Mayo. If you take a left at the junction, you travel to Keno City via Duncan Creek Road which is really the Silver Trail Highway. Keno City is located at about the 112 kilometre mark of the Silver Trail Highway.
The Silver Trail Highway does provide access to backcountry gravel roads and recreation trails which lead deeper into the wilderness. Roads like Minto Lake, Mayo Lake, South McQuesten and Hanson Lake create access for such activities like fishing, canoeing, atving, wilderness camping, hunting and snowmobiling.
When driving the Silver Trail Highway always watch for wildlife on the road. Wildlife sightings on the Silver Trail Highway are common and unfortunately so is road kill. - so please slow down. Wildlife sightings in the Silver Trail region may include black bears, wolves, foxes, grizzly bears, moose, beaver, Fannin Sheep and porcupines.
Along the Silver Trail Highway are pull out sections for sightseeing, rest stops and wildlife viewing. Some pull outs provide pit toilets, picnic tables, sitting benches, interpretive signs, road maps and garbage cans for travelers.
There is a couple things to keep in mind when traveling the Silver Trail Highway - always have your seatbelt buckled in and headlights turned on. We would also advise to travel with a spare tire and never take a chance on having enough gas.