Slims River West | Yukon, Canada, 1998

Distance : 37.9 miles (61 km)d_4

Avg.Time :  2 – 3 days

Start / Finish :

  • Tachal Dal Visitor Centre, Kluane National Park.

Season :  July to September

Maps / Info :

  • 1:50,000 Slims River 115 B/15 covers the entire route. If unable to purchase beforehand, you can most likely pick up a copy at the Visitor Centre.
  • You need to register at the Visitor Centre before setting out.

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  • Bring all supplies from Haines Junction, Haines or Whitehorse.

Route / Conditions :

  • An out-and-back route, which parallels the true left side of the Slims River to the end of Kaskawulsh Glacier. The side trip to the summit of Observation mountain is not to be missed. For an overview of the route, click on the following link from the Canadian National Parks website.
  • Care must be taken fording Columbia Creek. Take your time to assess the best place for crossing. See River Crossings in the SKILLS section for tips and advice.

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  • This is grizzly bear country. In fact one of the biggest bears I ever saw was rambling along Columbia Creek. If you don’t have any previous experience in bear country, it is imperative that you take the time to “study-up” before hitting the trail. See Animal Encounters in the HEALTH & SAFETY section for more information.

Sleeping :  Bring your own shelter.

Overview :

  • The view of Kaskawulsh Glacier from the summit of Observation mountain rates as an all time favourite.
  • I was joined on this and a couple of other hikes in the Alaska/Yukon region by a French lady named Delphine. To this day, I have yet to meet a more enthusiastic hiker. She sprang out of her sleeping bag every morning; each meal, no matter how basic, was appreciated as if it were her last; flora, fauna and landscapes were all taken in with child-like wonder in her eyes. She was one of those people who was simply made to be outdoors.

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