Hiking Under the Midnight Sun: Kluane National Park

I'm planning on heading up north this summer to do some hiking in Alaska and the Yukon. Where should I go?

Kluane National Park midnight sun hiking

    Photo: Josef Hanus/Shutterstock.com

A:Enormous, glacier-covered Kluane National Park occupies the southwestern corner of the Yukon Territory, with Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park to its west and Glacier Bay to the south, and the Alaska Highway skirting much of its northeastern boundary. The interior of the park is an icefield, with Mt. Logan, the second-highest peak in North America, at its heart. But the fringes of Kluane are more accessible.

One of Kluane’s best multi-day trips is the Slim’s River trail, accessible from the Tachäl Dhäl (Sheep Mountain) visitors center on the Alaska Highway. As the name suggests, the main body of the trail follows the braided Slim’s River through a wide valley fenced in by mountains. It’s a two-day out-and-back with an optional third day loop up Observation Mountain for big glacier views. Most of the trail is marked and maintained, though some routefinding is required, and there are several creek crossings. The Observation Mountain loop is an unmaintained route. When I did this hike on a sunny July weekend, I saw only five other people—equal to the number of grizzlies I spotted along the way.

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