Kluane National Park is located in the southwest corner of Yukon, Canada. It borders up against Alaska of the United States and shares some of the St. Elias mountain range. The park covers an area of 8,499 square miles (22,013 sq km).
Kluane is part of the Kluane-Wrangell-St. Elias-Glacier Bay-Tatshenshini-Alsek bi-national park system which is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Glacier Bay National Park are both located in Alaska.
The Saint Elias Mountains make up much of the park. The magnificent mountains and tremendous glaciers blanket the park’s landscape accounting for 83% of the terrain. The remaining 17% of the park is comprised of forests and tundra. Balsam poplar, trembling aspen, and white spruce make up the majority of the tree species.
Kluane National Park is home to an abundance and array of wildlife. Some of the most popular species include beaver, black bear, caribou, coyote, Dall sheep, grizzly bear, lynx, mink, mountain goat, wolf, wolverine, and the Yukon moose. The park is also home to a unique ecotype of caribou.
There are approximately 120 species of birds with the bald eagle, golden eagle, and rock ptarmigan being some of the most coveted sightings.
Fishing is incredibly common in Kluane with some of the targeted species being rainbow trout, Arctic grayling, northern pike, and of course the renowned sockeye salmon.
Kluane National Park features mountain extremes that leave visitors standing in awe. The stunning wilderness is a highlight capped off with the largest mountain, largest ice field, and one of the most unique populations of grizzly bears.
Mount Logan is the tallest mountain in Canada and the pinnacle attraction of the national park. It reaches a summit of 19,550.5 feet (5,959 m). It is the second-highest in North America only yielding to Denali in Alaska.
The ice fields and glaciers of Mount Logan serve as the source of the Hubbard and Logan glaciers. It is estimated that Mt. Logan features the largest base circumference of any non-volcanic mountain in the world. This is statistical significance worthy of recognition.
Mountain Logan is a massif with eleven summits that reach heights over 16,400 feet (5,000 m). Currently, the tectonic plates are continuing to drive the mountain to new heights. As the tallest mountain in Canada, it beckons climbing by the adventurous mountaineers.
Kathleen Lake features a boat launch for exploring the lake and capturing views of the surrounding mountains from atop the water. It has a campground and provides access to a number of different hiking trails.
Kathleen Lake is accessed off of the Haines Highway and is one of the most coveted destinations in the national park. The view from the campground and around the lake are stellar and highlight the dramatic nature of Kluane.
Trails of Kluane National Park
Kluane National Park is features abundant and extreme wilderness that will not disappoint travelers who venture into this Yukon haven. There is a solid collection of easy, moderate and difficult rated trails making it easy for everyone to enjoy the park to some degree.
King’s Throne Trail: This is a difficult 3.1-mile (5 km) ascending from Kathleen Lake campgrounds. The endeavor leads to a panoramic view of a glacially formed amphitheater that looks out over the lake.
Soldier's Summit Trail: This is a quick .6-mile (1 km) trail with an elevation change of 300 feet (90 m). It is a quick glimpse of the views of Kluane Lake.
Dezadeash River Trail: This is a 2.2-mile (3.5 km) loop with only 50 feet (15 m) of elevation gain. The park meanders along the Dezadeash River through wetlands, meadows, and forests with ecosystem providing different chances for seeing wildlife.
St. Elias Lake Trail: This trail is rated moderate and travels 4.8 miles (7.6 km) out to St.Elias Lake. The elevation gain is 400 feet (120 m). It meanders through a variety of habitats with chances to see birds and wildlife.
Sheep Creek Trail: This is a 6-mile (10 km) point-to-point trail with 1,400 feet (430 m) of elevation gain. This trail climbs up Thechal Dhal and over Sheep Creek providing lookouts over the Slims River Valley. It is quite possible that you will see Dall sheep.
- Mount Logan
- Kathleen Lake
- All Trails, Best Trails in Kluane National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/canada/yukon/kluane-national-park-and-reserve, retrieved June 2020.
- Britannica, Kluane National Park, https://www.britannica.com/place/Kluane-National-Park-and-Reserve, retrieved June 2020.
- Britannica, Mount Logan, https://www.britannica.com/place/Mount-Logan-mountain-Yukon, retrieved June 2020.
- Canada Parks Canada, Kluane National Park and Reserve, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/yt/kluane, retrieved June 2020.
- National Geographic, National Parks of North America, Canada-United States-Mexico, National Geographic Society, 1995.
- The Canadian Encyclopedia, Kluane National Park and Reserve, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/kluane-national-park-and-reserve, retrieved June 2020.
- UNESCO, Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/72/, retrieved June 2020.
- Yukon, Kluane National Park and Reserve, https://www.travelyukon.com/en/things-to-do/article/kluane-national-park, retrieved June 2020.