Hiking up King's Throne, Kluane National Park, Yukon

This is a steep trail up to a spectacular cirque -- the "seat" of the King’s Throne. The hike up to the cirque (and return) is 10 km (6 mi). If you keep going up to the summit (unmaintained, unmarked trail on steep scree), it is a 16 km (10 mi) hike. The hike to the summit is extremely steep and hiking sticks are highly recommended (slippery moraine most of the way). Elevation gain is 548 m (1,800’) to the cirque and 1 442 m (4,729’) to the summit. If you want to try the summit, assess the weather carefully, it can get very windy very quickly. Not a good thing on an exposed ridge. Clouds can also descend rapidly and make finding the route difficult.

As usual, be very bear aware. Kluane is home to the most important concentration of grizzlis in the world. We had been informed that there was a mama grizzli and cubs in the forested part of the trail, so we were very loud and stuck very close together, with an adult up front (with a bear spray) and an adult behind (also with a bear deterrent).

Kluane National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is over 22,000 km2 in size, and 82% of it is covered in mountains and ice. It’s home to the St. Elias Mountains, the most massive range in Canada, and the second highest peak on the continent, Mount Logan.