If you’re anything like me, during the colder months of the year,  you’re day dreaming about which trails in the Canadian Rockies you’re going to be checking off of your hiking bucket list in the summer. Each year, I make it a priority to head to the rocky mountains and explore new  trails in Jasper and Banff National Park. Instead of just staying in the rockies for this hiking season, myself, Ryan, and our friend Brooke, decided to take our KEEN boots and passion for the trail up north and explore what the Yukon Territory has to offer.

We chose to hike in the Yukon because of how remote, beautiful, and wild the mountains are. With such a vast landscape and so much wilderness in the territory, the options were truly endless when it came to deciding which hikes we were going to set out to complete.

I’m a die hard believer in the fact that the best way to see a place is to experience it on your own two feet. We made a point to hike in every area of the territory that we visited to truly get an appreciation for the land. The Yukon has absolutely captured my heart and I will be returning to continue exploring more of its trails.

Here are 4 epic hikes that will make you think twice before hiking anywhere else:

1. Grey Mountain, Whitehorse

 

Starting in the territory’s capital, Whitehorse, we hiked Grey Mountain which was a perfect trail if you want to get a quick hike in and still have the rest of the day to explore Whitehorse. The mountain is a short 15 minute drive from the city centre.  There are many areas on the mountain where you can start this hike, but we chose to drive up the mountain and access the trailhead that starts just 200 m lower than the summit. The summit is about 3 km away, but the it’s definitely not a walk in the park.

The steep and rocky terrain makes for some fun trail running and the views along the way are absolutely breathtaking. We had quite a lot of fog during our outing which made for some really dramatic lighting! When the fog broke, we received some of the best views of Whitehorse.

Although every hike we did offered completely different scenery, there were many similarities about the trails and experiences on them. All of the trails were quiet, unique, and wild. We hardly ran into other people while we were hiking and when we did meet others, the conversation was always went something along the lines of, “isn’t this the most amazing view you’ve ever seen!”. 

 

2.  Nares Mountain, Carcross

 

Carcross is located about forty minutes from Whitehorse, and is a small town that is home to the Tagish and Tlinglit First Nation people. Carcoss is a massive outdoor playground that’s surrounded by mountains, lakes, and beaches.

*Ryan wore his KEEN Men’s Durand Waterproof Mid boots for this hike, Brooke and I both wore our KEEN Women’s Pyrenees boots which were perfect for the terrain!

We chose to hike Nares Mountain, which is a “popular” hike in Carcross (we didn’t see many people on the trail but the locals say it’s one of the best hikes in the area).  In total, the mountain took us about 6 hours to complete. In terms of difficulty, it was moderate and had an abundance of opportunity for stunning views of Carcross and surrounding areas! At the top, the summit offered 360 degree views of Nares Lake, the town of Carcross, Tagish Lake, Montana Mountain, and Bove Island.

The lakes are a gorgeous turquoise blue and some of the most beautiful in Canada. I would absolutely recommend devoting a day to hiking and exploring in Carcross.

3. Sheep Creek Trail/ Sheep Mountain, Kluane National Park

 

* Brooke wore her KEEN Women’s Terradora Waterproof hikers in Rhododenron/ Marsala. I stuck to my Pyrenees for this hike!

Kluane National Park is one of the more remote national parks that exists in Canada. The wilderness in the park is so beautiful and the solitude you will find here is unlike anywhere else. It’s important to understand that Kluane National Park is home to the largest grizzly bear population on Earth, so it is absolutely crucial to be extra bear smart while on the trail. We carried multiple cans of bear spray, had an extremely loud whistle, and talked/ yelled loudly the entire time. We were fortunate not to run into any bears but we did, however, see tons of signs that we were walking through many grizzlies’ homes.

Sheep Creek trail took us through the pristine alpine of Kluane and unveiled views of the giants that make up the St. Elias Range. We shared the space with Canada’s highest mountains and felt small as we trekked on such historic land. The trail took us about 5 hours total with lots of stops for photos and snacks.  We were spoiled with gorgeous views of Slim’s River Valley.

If you have the time to hike the entirety of Sheep Mountain, the challenging hike will give you 360 degree views of the park.

4. Mount White, Whitehorse

 

Mount White is 45 minutes south of Whitehorse and is an absolute must do while in the area! In total, Mount White took us about 3.5 hours roundtrip and was an enjoyable trek both up and down.  

On the way up, the trail shortly takes you through a lush green forest and the terrain is little bit steep. Once you’re out of the woods, the trail opens up to breathtaking views of Atlin Lakes the entire way up. The summit is on a plateau where you can continue exploring the top of the mountain and have the opportunity for tons of photos!

 

Although every hike we did offered completely different scenery, there were many similarities about the trails and experiences on them. All of the trails were quiet, unique, and wild. We hardly ran into other people while we were hiking and when we did meet others, the conversation was always went something along the lines of, “isn’t this the most amazing view you’ve ever seen!”. 

We are already planning which trails we will be completing when we return to the Yukon. We are hoping to do some multi-day hiking in Tombstone Territorial Park!

Travel Yukon was our starting point for every trip based in the Yukon.

We found Yukon Hiking incredibly invaluable while we were researching which hikes to do in the Yukon. I definitely recommend utilizing their knowledge and trail descriptions when conducting your own research for which hikes to do!

Check out @KEENCanada  for some more adventure inspiration!

Author: Hailey

Images: Hailey & Ryan

 

Written by Hailey Playfair

Hailey is an accomplished adventure and outdoor lifestyle photographer, she is the Co-Founder of Life Outside Studio, and is wildly passionate about the outdoors. Her work has brought her all around the globe, specifically to some of the most remote places in Iceland and Canada's North where has been tested against the extreme elements. Hailey is an avid hiker, backpacker, and explorer. When she's not outside, Hailey can be found preparing for her next big adventure by beating herself up in the gym, dehydrating plant based backpacking meals, and spreading the message of living a vegan lifestyle while pursuing a living in the great outdoors.

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