Our journey through Kluane National Park will include a combination of day-hiking and backpacking through stunning mountain scenery. Hikes in the Haines Junction area up the King’s Throne and along Sheep Ridge will prepare us for our multi-day journey along Slim’s River on the way to Observation Mountain. The view from here, over looking the Kaskawulsh glacier, is a moment you are unlikely to forget!
Cost: Cdn: $1795 + 5% GST [Federal Tax]
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A non-refundable deposit of 30% of the trip fee is required to hold your reservation.The balance of the fee is due 60 days prior to commencement date of the trip. As a significant portion of our trip costs is already committed well in advance of each trip, there is no refund after 60 days. If payment is not received when due, Sea to Sky Expeditions reserves the right to treat the reservation as cancelled. Sea to Sky Expeditions will refund both deposit [less a small administrative fee] and full balance of payment, if we can replace your spot with another participant, less any non-refundable moneys from third party deposits. Cancellation notice must be received in writing. Please note that all tours in B.C and the Yukon. are subject to a 5% GST federal tax. No one may depart on a trip unless all payments and necessary documents (including medical and liability release forms) are received by Sea to Sky Expeditions. Due to the nature of operating in the wilderness and international destinations, prices are subject to change [rare]. Where necessary to change a price, we will try to provide as much notice as possible, and offer you the choice of another trip, or to cancel, with full refund. Our prices are quoted in Canadian dollars. If you choose to pay by credit card, we have to process the payment in Canadian funds. Your credit card company will automatically change it to your currency based on their exchange rate. If you paid your deposit in Canadian funds, please continue to make all further payments in Canadian funds to avoid any confusion in the daily changing exchange rate. Sea to Sky Expeditions reserves the right to alter itineraries or cancel any trip prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient booking levels or logistical problems that may impede trip operations. A trip cancellation due to insufficient booking levels will generally occur at least 30 days prior to departure. Sea to Sky Expeditions is not responsible for expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for the trip (i.e. non refundable airline tickets, visa fees, equipment, etc.).
KLUANE PARK ITINERARY
A complete itinerary along with maps, clothing and equipment list, will be issued upon registration.
Included: Transportation from the point of origin and return, national and provincial park user fees, camping fees, cooking gear, camp stoves, tents, meal preparations, meals/snacks/beverages on the expedition, tarps, major first aid supplies, emergency radio or satellite phone, and professional guides. Meals: All meals while on the backpacking portion of the trip.
Excluded: Transportation to point of origin, transfers, accommodation and food other than included in the itinerary, and personal equipment.
- Gratuities are not included. Our guides make every effort to ensure your holiday is all you expected and more. Recognition of a job well done is always appreciated; $10-20/day per guide is recommended.
Day 0: Arrival in Whitehorse, Yukon. This denotes the day or days spent in Whitehorse before the listed start date of the trip.
Day 1: L/D
After you’ve had breakfast in Whitehorse we will pick you up and start our drive to Haines Junction. The Parks Canada Interpretive center in Haines Jct is full of history and information and where we will pick up our permits and sit through our Park orientation. If time / weather allows we may also do a short half-day hike on either the Auriol trail or what the locals call Pink Mountain. Accommodation tonight will depend on the local campground status based on bear activity at this time of year. An alternative might be the Wanderer’s Inn Hostel with shared bunk rooms.
Day 2: B/L/D
Today we do a “warm up” hike up the King’s Throne. The trail has a couple of possible destinations. The climb to the cirque has an elevation gain of approx. 550m and is 10km round trip. Climbing the unmarked route to the summit is 1440m of total climbing and a total of 16km round trip. Views from either location are stunning, overlooking Kathleen Lake and the surrounding peaks of this part of Kluane National Park.
Day 3: B/L/D
Moving camp location once more we will travel to Kluane Lake and continue on our second day-hike up either the official Sheep Creek trail (430m gain) or the Thachäl Dhäl ridge route (880m gain) to the summit of Sheep Mountain. Views are stunning from anywhere on the ridge: Kluane Lake, the Ruby Range, the highway corridor, Mt. Wallace, Kluane Plateau, Outpost Mountain, the Sheep-Bullion Plateau and Red Castle Ridge.
Day 4: B/L/D
Time to shoulder the “big” backpack today as we start our journey along Ä’äy Chù (Slim’s River) East. This 46km round trip journey along Slim creek will allow us access to Observation mountain and its spectacular views of the Kaskawulsh glacier. While elevation gain is not a factor on today’s hike; weather and water level play a key role as there are a number of creek crossings. Sometimes these crossings are an easy, uneventful part of the journey and at others they will require excellent team work and the ability to handle really cold toes!! Camp tonight is between 14-15kms along the valley.
Day 5: B/L/D
Today we cover the final 10.5km’s towards Canada Creek our staging area for our climb up Observation mountain tomorrow. There is a small amount (100m) of elevation gain near the end of the day.
When the water level is lower, people have been known to hike along the riverbed. Remember that the English name of the river (Slim’s) refers to a horse that sank and was killed in the dangerous ‘quick mud’, so it’s best to watch where you step!
Interestingly the Slim’s Creek area of Kluane National Park is still active geologically. As recently as 2015 a landslide likely caused by earthquake activity blocked Vulcan creek (a tributary of Slim’s Creek) and formed a brand-new lake!
Day 6: B/L/D
The practice hikes up the King’s Throne and Thachäl Dhäl ridge were in preparation for today’s ascent up Observation mountain. A full ascent is a 19km round trip with 1291m of elevation gain! The good news is that the amazing views of the Kaskawulsh glacier don’t require reaching the summit to enjoy! The Kaskawulsh glacier is a vast sea of ice covering more than 39,000 square kms. In some areas it is up to 6.5 kms wide. Interestingly the outflow of the glacier is recently famous for being the only modern documented occurrence of “river piracy”. The glacier has retreated so much in recent years that it’s meltwater abruptly switched direction. Instead of flowing into the Slims River and then north to the Bering Sea, the water has changed course and now flows south toward the Kaskawulsh River, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean.
Day 7: B/L/D
Today we will start are hike back out of the Slim’s River valley. Our goal tonight is approximately km 6 near Bullion Creek.
Day 8: B/L
We will attempt Bullion Creek early in the morning when the water will be lower and hike are last 6kms out of the valley. After driving back to Whitehorse for well deserved showers we will meet up for dinner and share stories from our adventure in Kluane National Park!