St. Elias Lake

St. Elias Lake near Haines Junction, YT


This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars
8 kms
3hours
easy
Snowshoeing, Hiking, Back Country Skiing
Winter, Summer
Haines Junction, YT
User wanderlust

This is a nice leg-stretcher if you need a break from the road. It is an easy trail that winds gently through a hanging valley, with only a moderate amount of elevation. (360 ft climb to 2900ft at the lake)

The trail through the woods is quite unspectacular, but the hanging valley is green and lush.

At the end of the valley the trail dips to a small lake with a campground (benches, table, fire pit, bear cache, outhouse). The lake is more of a large pond, with much greenery growing in it and no clear shoreline (brushy and muddy). As the lake is not ideal for swimming, and there are no additional maintained trails, I can see no real reason for camping there - unless you go fishing and boating on the lake. Someone left a canoe up here.

It is possible to go around the lake on animal trails, and climbing slopes above the lake is OK with some willows and dwarf birch. Moose can be seen in the swampy areas.

Directions:

From Haines Jct drive south on the Haines Hwy - all trails are very well signed from the highway. St. Elias lake hike is a few kilometers shy of the Yukon/BC border. If you reach Million Dollar falls, you've gone too far.

The trail is wide and well-maintained, your only chance of getting lost is if you attempt it in the snow. Topo map above is courtesy of http://www.gotrekkers.com , extracted from TopoTracker DVD for Canada's Northern National Parks (Item #GT1012), an excellent resource to use along with Memory-Map software to explore all the northern National Parks.

More information on this and other Kluane Park trails are in the Kluane Park Hiking Guide, by Vivien Lougheed, available at Park Visitor Info Centre in Haines Junction, at http://www.newstarbooks.com and at http://www.gotrekkers.com.


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