Travels and Tourism

Kluane National Park | A place to make memories that will last a lifetime

Kluane National Park – Yukon Territories

Kluane National Park and Reserve is in the southwest of the Yukon, in Canada. It’s a vast wilderness of ice fields, forests and towering peaks like Mount Logan. Trails include the King’s Throne, which winds above Kathleen Lake to a dramatic cirque. The glacier-fed Alsek River snakes through areas inhabited by grizzly bears. The park also shelters Dall sheep and more than 100 bird species.

Kluane National Park and Reserve is extraordinary. A protected place that is home to the largest non-polar icefields in the world, and 17 of Canada’s 20 tallest mountains—including Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada. Ancient glaciers feed the Alsek River that flows through the sprawling Alsek Valley. Dall sheep, mountain goats, caribou, wolves, grizzlies and black bears all roam various parts of the massive park.

Travellers on the two highways that run alongside the park’s border are often treated to the opportunity to watch bears near the side of the road. Depending on the season, Dall sheep can be spotted grazing or resting on the mountainsides. Watch them through the telescopes at the Tachäl Dhäl Visitor Centre, or lace up your hiking boots and climb up for a closer look. The numerous hikes throughout the park range from short family-friendly trails to epic multi-day backcountry expeditions.

Flightseeing tours are a quick way to get deep into the park and soar past mountains, over valleys and up to the icefields. Land and step out onto a glacier to take in the vast, breathtaking surroundings. Some adventurers choose to experience Kluane on the water, by rafting a Canadian Heritage River to see grizzlies, eagles and glaciers.

Paddling Kathleen Lake is slower paced, but every bit as beautiful. This recreational area includes campsites, a day-use site and trails. Admire wildflowers on an easy stroll along the lakeshore, or hike up to the cirque of King’s Throne for a stunning view of the lake and landscape.

For a look at the entire region, visit the Kluane National Park and Reserve Visitor Centre to view a 3D topographical model. The giant floor map at the Da Kų Cultural Centre gives another perspective by presenting the many sites valued by the Champagne Aishihik First Nations. The park is within their Traditional Territory, and the centre is a chance for visitors to learn about the interesting cultural and historical significance of the region.

Address: Haines Junction, YT Y0B 1L0, Canada
Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 9 am
Labor Day might affect these hours
Phone: +1 867-634-7207
Area: 22,013 km²
Established: 1976

Activities of

A day-use area with boat launch, picnic facilities and campground is located at Kathleen Lake, and is operated from mid-May to mid-September.[4] Hiking is a popular activity on trails such as St. Elias Lake, Mush Lake Road, Shorty Creek, Cottonwood, Rock Glacier, King’s Throne, Kokanee, Auriol, Dezadeash River Trail, Alsek Trail, Sheep Creek Trail, Bullion Plateau Trail, Slims West or Soldiers Summit. Rafting on the Alsek River (a Canadian Heritage river), mountain biking on old mining roads, horseback riding through the Alsek Pass, boating on Kathleen Lake and Mush Lake as well as fishing for lake trout, Arctic grayling, rainbow trout, northern pike and sockeye salmon are also among activities available in the park.

How to explore the Kluane National Park

Hiking and trekking

Although Kluane is 24.2 million acres of wilderness, it’s surprisingly accessible by air. Just an hour’s drive from the outdoorsy capital Whitehorse, it’s a great jumping off spot to tackle the Yukon’s best day hikes. Most people access the park from Haines Junction, a village 100 miles from Whitehorse. Camp or stay in a hotel there (the Raven Hotel
is the cushiest choice); get background info, maps and condition reports, and First Nations history at the Kluane National Park and Reserve Visitor Centre
there; then venture out. Unless you’re wilderness savvy, it’s best to hire a guide, such as one with Yukon Wild
or Alayuk Adventures. There are no trails, only routes. Top choices include the King’s Throne, a tough, eight-hour vertical slog that reveals dazzling vistas over Kathleen Lake and the surrounding valleys. Bushwhack and cross creeks for two to four days along the Quill Creek Route, looking out for pikas, Dall’s sheep, and grizzlies; in summer, wildflowers make a brilliant backdrop to the Auriol Range in magenta, oranges, and greens. The St. Elias Lake Trail
is an easygoing two- to four-hour hike through varied terrain. Rent a canoe you can use when you get to the lake or go fishing.


Raft the glacial-fed Alsek River, a Canadian Heritage River that flows 155 miles through the park, past the second-highest coastal range on Earth and on in to British Columbia and Alaska. Snaking through towering valleys, sand dunes, and shifting ice floes, the area is populated by grizzlies, mountain goats, and golden eagles. Nahanni River Adventures can take you out on the Alsek and also the class III/IV Tatshenshini, a National Geographic top 10 rafting river, for an exciting day trip through the St. Elias Range. Backcountry canoeing and kayaking, only for the experienced, are nothing less than incredible.


Zip down singletrack routes and along old mining roads. Favorites include the scenic 32-mile Alsek Valley Trail, 28-mile fun Mush Lake Road, and rough 53-mile Cottonwood Trail with several sporty creek crossings. Add in some backcountry overnights. For serious cyclists, there’s an annual relay from Haines Junction to Haines, Alaska.


Flightseeing excursion — the best way to comprehend the enormous scale of this park. Buzz around Canada’s highest peak 19,555-foot Mount Logan and traverse the planet’s largest non-polar ice fields on a quick half-hour trip or take to the skies for several hours. You can also get dropped off and embark on a backpacking adventure or day hike in the remote interior. Book with several operators, including Kluane Glacier Air Tours and Rocking Star Adventures.

Winter activities

Winter is a special time to explore the quiet expanses of the great white North. February and March are the best months for dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and backcountry camping for the hearty. Kathleen Lake is the wintertime day use area.


There is camping at Kathleen Lake, hiking and climbing, or fishing (June-August). There are winter facilities for cross-country skiing, ice fishing and camping. The nearby towns of Haines Junction and Destruction Bay on the Alaska Highway provide essential services.


A short drive from town, Kathleen Lake is the most popular easy-access spot, with 39 first-come, first-served spacious sites and fantastic views, hiking and boating, but you can often still feel like you’ve got the place to yourself (open May to September). Backpack and overnight in a handful of backcountry sites or rough camp virtually everywhere if that’s your style. Top spots are around Observation Mountain following the Slim River and with mind-boggling vistas, and along the Cottonwood Trail. Register and buy a backcountry permit before heading out and be sure you are bear aware.

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