The Yukon's Kluane park

Week of February 28-March 6, 1996

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The Yukon's Kluane park

Q: I would like to get suggestions/advice for any Yukon trips that would be appropriate for myself (age 43) and my son (age 15), as we are planning an extended trip there.

Thomas Murphy

Londonderry, NH

members@aol.com

The wild Yukon awaits you at Kluane National Park


A: While the 1,511-mile, mostly paved Alaska Highway is the main drag through the Yukon, the best way to see the immense territory is to take to the backcountry. That said, we recommend spending some time in Kluane National Park in the remote, glacier-filled southwest corner of the Yukon. Home to the snowcapped St. Elias Range and
19,636-foot Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak, Kluane is a rugged landscape--with high open hillsides, plenty of moose and caribou, and more than its fair share of rock, ice, and--of course--snow. Make your first stop the Visitor Center at Haines Junction for trail maps, hiking books, and the required free backcountry camping permits.

For a great introduction to the region's mining history, resident wildlife, and the awe-inspiring Kaskawulsh Glacier, stretch your legs on a 14-mile hike along the Slims River Trail. Pick up the trailhead near the Sheep Mountain information center. The first five miles are an easy walk along an old mining road along the west side of the Slims River. From there, the road
ends and you'll have three creeks to cross before summiting Observation Mountain for spectacular views of the surrounding ice fields. For a good day hike, pick up the 11.4-mile Auriol loop from the trailhead three miles south of Haines Junction. The route climbs steeply at first to the tree line, where you'll be rewarded with panoramic views. To make this an overnight, pitch
your tent at the primitive campground near the top. For more information, call the park visitor center at 403-634-2251, send away for Tourism Yukon's free traveler's booklet (PO Box 2703, Whitehorse, Canada, Y1A 2C6; 403-667-5340), or pick up a copy of the Alaska-Yukon Handbook ($14.95, Moon Publications).


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