Kluane National Park and Reserve

Length of stay: 4 days
Visited: August 2023

Kluane National Park and Reserve is located within the Saint Elias Mountains in southwestern Yukon. It is home to the largest non-polar icefields in the world, contains some of the tallest mountains in Canada and features an abundance of wildlife. It offers a variety of hiking trails, a few different options for camping and other opportunities to explore the park’s rugged interior.

Day 1: St. Elias Lake

After spending the past four days driving along the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek to Haines Junction, we arrived at Kluane in the early afternoon. We stopped at the main visitor centre to check into our campsite and inquire about the trail conditions. We were eager to stretch our legs after spending a lot of time in the car over the last few days and wanted to go for a hike.

To ease into things, we opted for the St. Elias Lake Trail (7.6km round trip, rated moderate). It’s located near the southern edge of the park, about 60km south of the visitor centre. There was one other car in the parking lot when we rolled up to the trailhead. The path follows an old gravel road to a sub-alpine lake nestled between the mountains.

The first section of the trail winds up and down a series of rolling hills through the forest. We passed the other pair of hikers shortly after starting. Typically we enjoy having the trail to ourselves, but somehow being so remote and in bear country, made it all feel a bit eerie. This portion of the trail was rather uneventful, but provided a few glimpses of the mountains ahead and of a variety of mushrooms on the forest floor.

After the 2.4km marker, the trail opens up to a sub-alpine valley and the views become more interesting. The vegetation had started to change colour and it felt like the beginning of fall. Near the end of the trail, there’s a turnoff for a small backcountry campground which consists of four tent pads and an outhouse. It looked like no one was camping here today. Along the shore of St. Elias Lake there’s also a fire pit and seating. This seemed like a good spot to take a break.

On the return journey we encountered another pair of hikers, which gave us some reassurance that we weren’t completely alone out here. Once we wrapped up our hike we headed to our campsite at Kathleen Lake campground. It’s a relatively small campground with 38 sites, five of which are oTENTiks. We’ve stayed in these before at a few other Canadian national parks so naturally we were curious to test one out in Kluane. But let’s be real, we just wanted a bit more comfort while camping.

An oTENTik is a mix between an A-frame cabin and canvas tent. It consists of a single room and comes fully furnished to accommodate up to six guests. Inside there are three sleeping platforms with mattresses. There’s also a table and four chairs, solar-powered lighting and a wood-burning stove. Outside there’s a picnic table which was enclosed with a bug shelter, a fire pit with two chairs, and a bear-resistant food storage locker.

The oTENTik sites are all walk-in only and are located a few hundred metres from the parking lot. There’s also an outhouse and portable water located at the parking lot since there is no plumbing or running water inside the oTENTik, as well as unlimited firewood. In addition, each oTENTik contains their own wagon to help lug your gear in.

We made a couple of trips back and forth from our car before settling in for the evening. We then got started on dinner, which we ate at the picnic table outside. As the sun began to set, it started to cool off, so we headed indoors.

Day 2: Sheep Creek

We planned to stay in an oTENTik for the next two nights, but we weren’t able to book the same one for all three nights. After eating a late breakfast, we packed up our stuff and headed out. Our game plan was to head to the northern section of the park, which involved driving a bit further along the Alaska Highway past Haines Junction to the Thechàl Dhâl Visitor Centre.

As we neared the visitor centre, the landscape changed drastically from open meadows to sand dunes with even better views of the mountains. This section of Kluane is characterized by dry and cooler weather from its close proximity to the icefields.

We stopped at the visitor centre, which contains a few small exhibits about the land and its relationship with the local First Nations. After inquiring about the trail conditions, we set off for the trailhead for Sheep Creek Trail (10km round trip, rated moderate). This involved driving on a gravel road for a short stretch. Once reaching the parking lot, we got our daypack ready and continued along the road for a few hundred meters on foot. The first turn off is for the Sheep Creek Trail.

The trail begins by meandering through a pine forest. The path is sandy and involves a gentle incline, which progressively gets steeper. At the 2km signpost, we got our first glimpse into the valley and glacier plain below. This provided great motivation to keep going.

It was a steady slog uphill the side of Sheep Mountain. Once we were above the treeline, the views of Slims River Valley just kept getting better and better. There were a few rolling hills before the terrain levels out just after the 3.8km marker. We even felt a bit of a breeze, which was a nice relief from hiking in the full sun.

The trail then follows the rim of the ridge to a point that juts out, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding area. There was a bench at the end by the 5km marker, but the spot was in full sun. We decided to just start heading back to find something better in the shade to take a break.

Ther hike back down took about half the time to climb up. The trail was mostly in full sun until we were back in the forest. Overall it took us three and a half hours to complete the trail. On the way back to Kathleen Lake, we stopped at the other visitor centre in Haines Junction to refill our water bottles and check into our second oTENTik. We’d be staying here for the next two nights. We then made our way to our site to get settled in and to relax.

Day 3: Failed Attempts and Shorter Trails

We woke up the next morning to cloudy skies, which was a first for us since entering the Yukon. But at least it wasn’t supposed to rain, especially since we had an ambitious hike planned for the day. After eating breakfast, we got straight to it.

We planned to hike the King’s Throne Trail (10km round trip, rated moderate). The trailhead can be accessed from a connector path in the campground (which adds at least another 600m one-way) or by driving there. Typically we’re all about the steps, but we opted for the shorter option since we figured it would be a strenuous hike already.

For the first couple kilometres the trail follows a wide path through the forest that was once an old mining road. It’s relatively flat, but a bit rocky. There are two turnoffs for the Cottonwood Trail on the right, but we kept straight to continue along the King’s Throne Trail. After the second junction, the path narrows considerably and becomes rougher in terms of the terrain. It’s also a steady ascent up the side of the mountain with a few steep sections.

The trail then reaches a clearing through the trees. From here on out the path consists of loose shale rocks. And this is where the real elevation begins. We huffed and puffed our way up a few switchbacks to the bench which provides a nice viewpoint of Kathleen Lake. But after this point the path becomes much steeper. After a few more switchbacks, I made the executive decision to call it quits. Being six months pregnant has really affected my balance and I didn’t quite trust my footing. Better safe than sorry.

And so we took a break at the bench to drink some water and eat a snack before heading back down. We then returned to our oTENTik to come up with an alternative plan for the afternoon. After eating lunch, we were ready to hit some of the easier trails. We started with the Rock Glacier Trail (1.6km round trip, rated moderate). The trail follows a boardwalk through the forest to the toe of a rock glacier. The path then weaves up the rocks to a few benches overlooking Dezadeash Lake.

Along the trail there’s a series of signs that provides more information about the landscape. The rock glacier here is considered inactive. But when it was active, the rock mass was much higher. As the ice core underneath melted, the rock mass stopped moving and gradually settled to its present level, which has remains stable for centuries.

On the way back to the campground we stopped to hike the Kokanee Trail (0.4km round trip, rated easy), located in the Kathleen Lake day-use area. The path follows a boardwalk along the shore of the lake. There are a couple of signs at the trailhead to explain that kokanee salmon are found in Kathleen Lake, a rarity since its land-locked. They likely evolved from sockeye salmon that migrated to the lake from the Pacific Ocean.

We returned to our oTENTik to relax for the rest of the afternoon and started a fire since it was getting windy and a little chilly outside. Even though the wood stove is small, it’s quite efficient and doesn’t take much to warm-up the place. In fact, it got a little too warm and we had to open all the windows at one point.

This sure beats sleeping in a tent.

Day 4: Auriol Trail

It was 0°C when we woke up the next morning. This made it a little tough to get out of our sleeping bags. But we started a fire in the wood stove to help warm things up. We then braved the cold to boil some water for coffee and tea and made some breakfast. At least the sun was shining.

We retreated back inside to play a few rounds of cards before packing up and heading out. We had one more hike planned for our last day in Kluane, the Auriol Trail (15km loop, rated moderate). The trailhead is located just south of Haines Junction. There were a couple of cars in the parking lot already when we rolled up just after 9:30am.

The Auriol Trail is a lollipop trail. It was first created to serve as a community ski trail prior to when the park was established. As such, the first stretch of the trail follows along a wide path. It’s relatively flat, but there are a bunch of roots to watch out for. At the 2km marker, the trail branches off to form a loop.

At the junction we turned right to hike counterclockwise around the loop. The trail narrows, but continues to weave through the mixed boreal forest. It’s a gradual climb to reach the meadows, but there are a few viewpoints of Haines Junction along the way.

Once above the treeline, the path weaves through an open meadow and provides a nice view of the Auriol Range. The path narrows even more, but it’s relatively flat and pretty easy to navigate.

At the 8.5km marker there’s a creek that intersects with the trail. It took us a bit to realize that we were supposed to cross the creek to continue onwards. This is where it helped to have hiking poles as the water level was pretty high and some of the rocks looked a bit unstable. K decided to just take his hiking boots and socks off and cross the freezing water barefoot.

Once we crossed to the other side, we came across another pair of hikers which provided some reassurance that we were going in the right direction. They warned us that we’d have a couple more creek crossings coming up. It wasn’t too bad, but I imagine the creek crossings can be pretty sketchy earlier in the season with all the snow melt.

After passing the backcountry campsite, the path follows along the river. But then we reached a point where it looked like the river had started to claim the trail. We were able to cling to the sides to keep our shoes dry.

The next section weaves through an open meadow, passing a few marshy areas and a pond.

The path then weaves through the forest towards the initial turnoff for the start of the loop. From this point we only had a couple kilometres to go and the path was relatively flat. Overall it took us just over five hours to complete the trail.

From there we headed back to Whitehorse to more fully explore the city.


123 thoughts on “Kluane National Park and Reserve

  1. Lily's road says:

    The world is small! I discovered your blog a few years back when I was looking for hiking trails in Ontario, as I was going to travel that way from the Yukon where I live since 2016 (I’m originally from France). It’s now funny to read your articles close to home. I hope you liked the area. Kluane is super pretty and you hiked some beautiful trails in there! I can confirm that after the ‘seat’, King’s Throne is definitively more challenging!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s pretty neat that you moved to the Yukon. There’s something nice to be said about being surrounded by nature. Plus the views of the mountains never get old. We were actually planning to take a ferry from Skagway into Juneau for a few days, but ended up cancelling that portion of our trip so we could spend more time in the Yukon. We had a wonderful time exploring the trails in Kluane. I was a bit bummed that we couldn’t complete the King’s Throne, but I’m glad we quit when we did, especially after hearing that it only keeps getting more challenging. Who knows, perhaps we’ll come back someday!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The terrain in Kluane is breathtaking and it’s amazing how much the landscape changes from the south to northern edge of the park. If we had a bit more time and more money, we would have loved to take a helicopter ride to see the icefields. Perhaps another time. We figured we treated ourselves already by staying in an oTENTik for a few nights. I must say, it was pretty nice having the wood stove to stay warm overnight!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. We typically like to have the trail to ourselves, but not so much when we’re in bear country. We made sure to get a bit of a later start and we stuck to the popular trails so we weren’t ever completely alone. But at the same time, the trails never felt crowded, which is always nice.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It is definitely considered glamping and sure beat staying in our tent. It was especially nice to have the wood stove as it would get quite chilly overnight. Even though we did a lot of driving to reach Kluane, it was so worth it to enjoy the wilderness and mountains.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for leaving a comment. The landscape in Kluane is incredible. I’m glad we mostly had nice weather to appreciate the views. And it was a real treat to stay in an oTENTik, especially since it had a wood stove so we could stay warm overnight and in the mornings.

  2. Rose says:

    So many gorgeous views! Good call on deciding not to continue hiking the King’s Throne Trail, while being 6 months pregnant. And Congratulations on your future bundle of adventure! ❤️

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks!! I’m quite pleased overall with how much we were able to hike (and still do some camping) given how far along I am with my pregnancy. While it would have been nice to complete the King’s Throne Trail, which is reputed to be the most popular trail in the park, I have no regrets about turning back. It’s not worth the risk and I’d rather not push my luck. Plus this way we got to explore a few other trails instead that weren’t on our radar.

  3. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    Thank you for this very enjoyable post, Linda. It’s such a beautiful area and very different from NWT although there are some similarities to Nahanni. I found the second trimester to be fairly easy for continuing my normal activities. How are you doing now?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. We were initially contemplating whether to visit the Northwest Territories or the Yukon for our trip. I’m glad we went with the latter as we likely would have had to cancel our trip otherwise given all the wildfires. But it’s still on our list for a future adventure as it would be nice to explore the different landscapes there.

      I found the second trimester wasn’t too bad either. Overall I was pretty pleased with how much I was still able to hike (although at a much slower pace). I’m starting to slow down a lot more now that I’ve entered my third trimester and have been feeling more tired and just generally uncomfortable. I’m sure it’ll only get worse. Only 2.5 months to go!

      • Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

        I think you made the right choice, Linda. Nahanni wasn’t affected, but getting there would have been a challenge with the main road into NWT so frequently opening and closing and supplies not getting through. Another road that enters the NWT at Fort Liard (much further west) remained open as well as the supply chain, but I think that community (in addition to so many lodges, campsites, hotels, etc) were occupied by evacuees.

        You’re due in December! Glad to hear you had a good second trimester. I experienced the same fatigue in the last trimester as well as shortness of breath with a growing little person pressing into my lungs. It can get worse with lots of little things happening but many people don’t experience much at all. Not long to go now, though! Cheers.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Good point. Plus it seemed the area around Nahanni was quite hazy from all the smoke, which would have been challenging to hike (or spend much time outdoors) in those conditions. I’d say our trip to the Yukon was meant to be! We’ll have to save the NWT for another time.

        That’s right, the baby is due in December and should be here before Christmas! It’s crazy how quickly the time flies! We’re hoping to still squeeze in a few short weekend trips this month to enjoy the fall foliage.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Thanks! And that’s not a bad idea. We’re actually brainstorming ideas for a trip to take later next year with the little tater tot. My husband will be getting an extra five weeks off for a sabbatical and I’ll be on maternity leave, so we figure we might as well make the most of our time off.

      • Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

        That will be such a great time for the three of you! Very precious. We had a couple of those as well. Once you figure out how to organise everything you need along, it becomes a snap to bring your little “tater tot” (very cute). Have fun!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I’ve actually been looking into renting a campervan based on Allan’s experience. Seems like a great way to travel around with an infant. Plus renting a campervan in general has been something we’ve been meaning to try out for awhile.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Despite being so remote, there were surprisingly a lot of hiking options in Kluane. And all the trails were very well signed and (mostly) easy to navigate. It was a great way to admire the scenery.

  4. Monkey's Tale says:

    Kluane has been on our list now for years. Somehow we always seem to be out of Canada or have other goals each summer. Glad you were able to get some good hikes in and enjoy Yukon at 6 months pregnant! Maggie

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Kluane is definitely a fantastic spot to have on your travel list if you’re into spending time in the mountains. We could have easily spent an entire week there. Hiking was definitely more challenging while pregnant, but I’m quite pleased with how much we were still able to do, even if it was at a slower pace. As you can tell, we’re already starting to share our love of the outdoors with our little one!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      You never know what the weather is going to be like in the mountains, but we certainly lucked out with a lot of clear skies and sunshine. We had perfect weather for hiking. It did get a bit chilly overnight (the temperature dropped to around 0C), but it was nice that our roofed accommodations had a wood stove so we could stay nice and warm.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Sometimes a hike is all about the journey rather than the destination. But the trails in Kluane check off both boxes. It was a great way to enjoy the scenery and views. We could have easily stayed for an entire week.

  5. Little Miss Traveller says:

    Stunning scenery Linda and I’m sure you made the right decision to turn back when you did on that strenuous hike. Great to hear about the baby news, I’m sure you’ll still travel and enjoy walking trails wearing a papoose (baby carrier). Hope to visit Alaska and the Yukon one day.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s too bad that we weren’t able to complete the King’s Throne Trail as it’s reputed to be one of the best trails in the park, but at the same time, I have no regrets about calling it quits. I’m not a fan of steep trails in general, but even less so when pregnant as my balance is way off. Overall I was quite pleased with how much I was still able to hike, even if it was at a much slower place. I may be getting ahead of myself, but I’m already in the midst of planning a few trips with the baby while on maternity leave. Hopefully you’re able to make it to the Yukon and Alaska someday. It’s far to travel, but the scenery is spectacular.

  6. Ab says:

    What an amazing experience, Linda. The trails, mountains, lakes and creeks, glacial areas, and views are all stunning. I can see why it’s reassuring to run into hikers, because I’d be terrified about getting lost, especially in the dark.

    I love how you always find and stay at the OTENtiks. They sure look convenient although the weather did get very cold.

    I’m glad you decided to play it safe than sorry with those steep hills. It’s a good call. If I calculated correctly, you’ll be celebrating Christmas as a larger unit this year! 😊🙏💕

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      After all that driving along the Alaska Highway, it was nice to stay in Kluane for a few days and do some hiking. It’s a great way to explore the landscape. It’s funny because we’re typically among some of the first hikers to hit the trail. But given how remote and quiet the park was, we took our time to get ready in the morning just so we wouldn’t be the first or only ones there.

      I’ve always enjoyed staying in an oTENTik, especially when the weather isn’t ideal. While it was pleasant during the day, the temperature dropped to around freezing overnight. So it was nice to have the wood stove to keep us warm. Just because we’re camping doesn’t mean we have to rough it!

      You have some great detective skills! You’re right in terms of timing. My due date is mid-December so the baby will be here before Christmas.

      • Ab says:

        It’s all about comfort in the outdoors. And safety too! Did you read about the couple killed by the bear in Banff? Absolutely horrifying.

        December will be here very soon! Enjoy this final stretch and the new chapter soon to open!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Yes, I saw that on the news! It came shortly after the other incident where two grizzly bears were following a group of hikers near Moraine Lake. And here I thought there was safety in numbers!

        And thanks! I typically look forward to December and the holiday season, but this year even more so!

  7. Lookoom says:

    This is the first time I’ve read about the baby, I may have missed the previous announcement, I’m very happy for you. Even without hiking as much as you, I was fascinated by the landscapes of the Yukon, by their scale and power.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We severely underestimated just how huge this national park is. And here we thought we’d get a bit of a break from driving! We could have easily stayed for the entire week. Despite being so remote, the trails that we hiked were well signed and maintained. And thankfully we didn’t come across any bears.

  8. elvira797mx says:

    Wow! Wonderful, beautiful and very relaxing place. Love the cabin, so cozy and cute.
    Must be so nice towake up there with a cup of tea or coffee, thank’s Linda.
    Keep enjoying and caring. Have a lovely week!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for leaving a comment. It was a real treat to stay in one of the roofed accommodations at Kluane. It was nice that it had a wood stove to keep us toasty warm. I typically like to start my day with a cup of tea, especially this time of the year when it’s starting to get cooler outside. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Linda

  9. kagould17 says:

    A beautiful park Linda. So glad you made it there and shared it as it is unlikely we will. Good on you for knowing your limit. Hiking for 2 must be a unique challenge. Those are some wild looking mushrooms and that reflection photo is wonderful. What were the temps like while you were there? Thanks for sharing. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      After spending the first four days of driving, it was nice to stay in one spot for a few nights at Kluane. Even though it’s quite remote, the trails were in good condition and well signed. It’s too bad that we weren’t able to complete the King’s Throne Trail as it’s reputed to be the most popular trail in the park, but it was way too steep for my level of comfort. Overall I was pretty pleased with how much I was able to hike and ended up doing a lot more than I initially thought I could handle. The temperature was quite warm during the day (around 20 – 25C), but pretty chilly overnight (just above 0C). Thanks for reading. Linda

  10. Diana says:

    Wow wow wow, this looks awesome! I love the expansive views and the colorful flora. And even though you turned around early on the one trail, it looks like you still made it up to a pretty nice viewpoint!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The timing of our trip to Kluane worked out well as the weather was still warm during the day and we got an early preview of the fall colours. Even though we didn’t get to complete the King’s Throne Trail, I’m actually surprised I was able to do as much hiking as we did. And The nice thing about this park is that there are so many great hiking options to enjoy the mountainous landscape.

  11. salsaworldtraveler says:

    This park is a real wilderness experience. The tent/cabins seem luxurious in that environment. Thanks for sharing the spectacular scenery and confirming for us folk in the lower 48 that wild places like Kluane NP and the St. Elias Mountains still exist.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Kluane is definitely the most remote national park we’ve ever visited. It was quite the journey to get there, but so worth it to enjoy the wilderness and wildlife. It was a real treat to stay in an oTENTik for a few days, especially since it had a wood stove. If we had more time, we would have loved to take a helicopter ride to see the icefields and more of the St. Elias Mountains. Perhaps another time.

  12. wetanddustyroads says:

    Wow, just look at those big mushrooms! And, as always, I love your reflection photos and the beautiful mountains. I wish we had such nice oTENTik accommodation – it’s perfect when you don’t want to take your own tent with you. You had beautiful views on all the trails (I especially like the last one – Auriol Trail).
    I also just want to add: I think few women who are 6 months pregnant would dare to walk that far. I think you’re very brave (for trying to do it) and smart (when you know it’s time to turn around).

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. While the overlooks of the mountains are incredible, sometimes it’s the small things like finding mushrooms on the trails that catch my attention. Many of our national parks in Canada offer oTENTiks as a more comfortable and convenient way to camp. Even though we had our tent and all our camping stuff with us, it was nice to treat ourselves and stay in one of these roofed accommodations for a few nights, especially since it had a wood stove.

      I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was still able to hike while being six months pregnant. My pace of hiking was much slower and we took a lot of breaks along the way, but it felt good to be active. Even though there were a few trails that we didn’t fully complete, it’s always good to know your limits. Besides, there were plenty of alternative options to still enjoy the scenery and keep us busy.

  13. Lyssy In The City says:

    It’s just so stunning! I have never hiked somewhere so remote and id’ definitely be a little on edge because of the bears. The accommodation looks great too. Congratulations on the future little one!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. This is definitely the most remote national park that we’ve ever visited. We typically like to get an early start to the day, but in this case we took our time in the morning in the hopes that we wouldn’t be the first ones to hit the trails. Thankfully we didn’t come across any bears while we were in Kluane.

  14. michellecj333 says:

    Once again, the beauty in this trip is unreal! Just stunning!! I am floored that you’re able to hike these inclines 6 months pregnant?!?! You’re going to sail right through L&D my friend!!! The otentik units are so great!! I’m sure you and baby were much more comfy than on the ground 😬. Love the shot of Lake Kathleen with mountains behind- just gorgeous

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The scenery in Kluane is stunning. I’m not going to lie, hiking is much more challenging while pregnant and my balance is way off. I took my time and made a lot of stops along the way though (which was also a great excuse to take more pictures). I’m trying to stay as active as I can as I’ve heard it helps with some of the unpleasant side effects of being pregnant and with recovery.

      Even though we had our tent with us, it was nice to stay in an oTENTik for a few days for some extra comfort. It sure beat sleeping on the ground. We also made good use of the wood stove to help take the chill out of the room in the evening and morning.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. We travelled a long way to get to Kluane, so it was nice to stay for a few days to soak in the scenery and stretch our legs. Even though it got a bit chilly overnight, at least we didn’t have to deal with any rain (or snow).

  15. Linda K says:

    Having lived in northern-western BC I can appreciate those Yukon photos where the view goes on for miles. It really is a very special area of Canada and still so pristine. You certainly had gorgeous weather and the skies look clear in most of your pictures…which is fantastic considering all the forest fires we’ve had around that area. Do love the oTentik sites…a little comfort while camping goes a long way!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I couldn’t agree more that our wilderness up north is rather special as this doesn’t exist in most countries. We really lucked out with the weather and hardly had any rain during our 2.5 week road trip, which always helps when spending time outdoors. Thankfully we had clear skies as well and weren’t too impacted by the recent wildfires. Even though we had our tent with us, it was nice to treat ourselves by staying in an oTENTik for a few nights. Just because we’re camping doesn’t mean we have to rough it!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The oTENTiks hold up pretty well in the cold if you get a fire going in the wood stove. We even had to open all our windows a few times because it got a bit too toasty inside. For context, the temperature was just above freezing in the evenings and early mornings.

      We’ve stayed overnight in an oTENTik during the winter at Point Pelee National Park in Ontario a few times and never had any issues with the cold. Those ones come equipped with an electric fireplace and thermostat, which was nice so we don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to keep the fire going. The only downside is that the floors can get pretty chilly, but we brought indoor shoes with us so it wasn’t an issue.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh I know, what more could you want when spending time outdoors!? The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. It was a real treat to spend a few nights in an oTENTik. They’re offered at many our national parks across Canada and they all have a similar set-up. It was so nice to sleep in actual bed after camping for the past couple of days. Plus the wood stove was a great way to keep us toasty warm in the evenings and mornings when the temperatures got chilly. I’d highly recommend if you ever want to go camping at a national park in Canada.

  16. Thattamma C.G Menon says:

    So wonderful post to view and read 🌷❤️👍 mind blowing sceneries, like mountains, lakes,
    And the atmosphere of nature marvelous 😮👏🏼 thank you for shares and grace wishes my
    Friend 👍🥰 worth to view the world wonders 🌷👏🏼😍🙏🌷

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. Visiting the Yukon was quite the adventure (and quite the drive). Their slogan, “larger than life”, seems appropriate. I’ve never heard of the term rock glacier either. I’ve always enjoyed trails like these that have interpretive panels along the way that are educational.

  17. Wetravelhappy says:

    Linda it’s really good that you stopped when you did. It’s not easy to be pregnant (I remember), and you’re actually very strong and brave to be able to still hike at 6 months. Anyway this is another lovely post and I would want a night in a ‘tent’ like that. Inspiring photos as always. 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure, it’s always good to know your limits. Even though we weren’t able to complete the trail to the King’s Throne, overall I was quite satisfied with how much hiking I was still able to do while being six months pregnant. My pace of hiking is obviously much slower and I made sure to take a lot of breaks along the way to catch my breath, drink some water, and eat some snacks. It was so nice to stay in an oTENTik for a few days and sleep in an actual bed. Just because we’re camping doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some comfort! Thanks for reading and for your kind words. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m so glad we got to spend a few days in Kluane as it’s such a huge national park and there’s so many trails to explore. Plus after all that driving along the Alaska Highway to get here, it was great to finally stretch our legs and enjoy the nice weather.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Kluane is a fantastic national park to appreciate the wilderness and the wildlife. The views of the mountains never get old. It was nice to treat ourselves and stay in an oTENTik for a few nights. It sure beat sleeping in our tent!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. There’s always something so special about being in the mountains. And the mountains in Kluane are in a league of their own as they are home to some of the tallest ones in Canada. The scenery truly is breathtaking.

  18. leightontravels says:

    That little stove, it made me feel warm just looking at it. I really like these oTENTiks that you sometimes stay in, cozy and comfortable. Your photos are stunning, the little pops of red and yellow add some extra magic to these already beautiful landscapes. Stopping the strenuous hike was a wise decision. Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The little wood stove was surprisingly quite efficient! We ended up having to open all the windows inside the oTENTik whenever we had the fire going as it got way too hot inside! No complaints as it sure beat being outside in a tent in the cold. We sure picked a good time to travel up north to get a sneak peak of the early fall foliage. The colours were especially vibrant in the subalpine meadows. I wasn’t too bummed that we weren’t able to complete the trail to the King’s Throne as we ended up doing way more hiking than I was actually expecting.

  19. Bernie says:

    We were going to rent a small camper when we got to the Yukon, and now I am thinking perhaps we will do the OTenitik option. That scenery!! Stunning photos, especially that reflection one. Good executive call to decide proactively what worked for you and babe.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! Staying in an oTENTik is definitely a comfortable way to camp, especially when the weather isn’t ideal or its cooler outside. It was nice to have a seating area inside, an actual bed to sleep on, and a wood stove to keep us nice and warm. I initially looked into renting a small campervan, but because we planned this trip at the last minute, there wasn’t much availability and it was also incredibly expensive. But that would be another good option if you plan on driving through the Yukon.

      • Bernie says:

        I will do some research and figure out if they are just in National Parks and if there are enough of those for where all we want to go. I had a list when we were supposed to go back in 2020 — will have to find it. Bernie

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I looked into this awhile ago too. I believe some national historic sites offer oTENTiks as well. Some provincial parks have other roofed accommodations available like yurts and cabins that are also fully furnished. I’m not sure what’s all available around the Yukon. I seem to recall the parks along the Alaska Highway were pretty limited in terms of their facilities and services.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      You bet! This is the furthest north we’ve ever travelled to and definitely enjoyed the longer days, the wilderness and all the wildlife sightings. Our visit to Kluane was certainly a highlight. It was also nice to stretch our legs and do some hiking after a few days of driving along the Alaska Highway.

  20. Yanti says:

    that point where it looked like the river had started to claim the trail, wow that sounds scary… as you’ve said, I suppose it’s scarier when it’s season of melting ice.

    lovely post! I aspire to be able to hike in a four season country in the future, looks like the sky the mountains the river have different feels than in the tropics! thank you for sharing. -yan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It wasn’t clear at first whether it was another creek crossing, but then we saw another pair of hikers walking towards us and figured we were still on the path. Thankfully we managed to cling to the sides to keep our shoes and feet dry.

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment. The Yukon is such an incredible place to explore. The views of the mountains never get old. Thanks for reading. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Hiking is always a great way to enjoy the scenery. There’s always something interesting to see along the trail, whether its an overlook or something small like a set of mushrooms. While the days were warm, it cooled off quite a bit once the sun set. It was a real treat to stay in an oTENTik, which had a small wood stove to keep us nice and warm.

  21. Christie says:

    Wow, congrats of being able to still do some great hiking being 6 months pregnant. The scenery is breathtaking!
    Glad you encountered some other hikers along the paths, this is very reassuring while hiking in remote areas🙂
    Looking forward to read about all your experiences! How long did you take the whole trip?
    Have a great weekend, and a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! Hiking has been more challenging while pregnant and we definitely had to go at a much slower pace and take more breaks than usual. We also turned around on a few of the trails as I didn’t quite trust my balance over steep terrain. But overall, I’m quite happy with how much we were still able to do. It helped that we had fabulous weather which is always great motivation for being outdoors.

      Our entire trip was for 18 days. We sure racked up the milage on our rental car and ended up driving just over 7,000km!!

      Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving as well. It’s too bad our warmer weather didn’t extend into the weekend.

      • Christie says:

        7K km wasn’t too bad for 18 days! The most we did was 9,950 km in 21 days🙂
        Glad all turned out well, weather wise and all the rest.
        I guess you are all excited about the little one, great timing to expect during the winter, by the summer you can introduce the baby to the lovely outdoors. A Sagittarius will automatically love the nature and being outdoors🙂
        Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy!! xx

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Driving nearly 10,000km in 21 days is pretty impressive! Thanks for your warm wishes. We’re definitely getting pretty excited for the baby to come. Even more so for me as each passing week I’m getting even bigger, which is starting to become uncomfortable at times. And glad to hear that Sagittarius’ love nature!

  22. rkrontheroad says:

    Perfect shot of the mountains reflected in St. Elias Lake. Glad to see you are making careful decisions in your condition! I know what you mean about being alone in bear country.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! We typically like to get an early start to the day. This is probably the only instance where we purposely took our time getting up and ready in the morning in the hopes that there would be other people on the trail by the time we got going. Overall I’m pretty pleased with how much I was still able to hike (at a much slower pace of course). I have no regrets about turning around when the terrain became too steep or I wasn’t feeling it. It’s all part of the adventure. And this way we got to explore some of the other trails in the park instead.

  23. alisendopf says:

    Oh my goodness!!! First – congratulations!!! I somehow missed that you are pregnant!!! Woot! Woot! Way to go. I’m so happy for you!

    Second – that is NOT a fail! Knowing when to turn back is a fine art, and requires just as much commitment fortitude as keeping going. I applaud you for travelling and driving so much at this stage.

    Third – what amazing scenery. I’ve always wanted to visit Kluane. I didn’t know how accessible it would be, but it looks amazing with excellent trails. Your ‘yurt’ is so well equipped. I guess you just need your sleeping bag and food. Sweet!

    I with you the best in your final trimester. Congratulations once again.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Thanks for your kind words. Overall I was pretty pleased with how much I was still able to hike while being six months pregnant. I had to go at a much slower pace though and found my balance was way off. Having hiking sticks helped, but I couldn’t handle anything super steep. While it would have been nice to hike to the summit of the King’s Throne, I have no regrets about turning around. Plus it was a bit of a crappy day anyway with all that overcast.

        Kluane was one of the highlights of our road trip through the Yukon. It’s not too far from Whitehorse and not nearly as remote or rugged as we thought. All the trails were well signed and hey, the campground even had a few oTENTiks, which are always a real treat to stay in.

        The third trimester has been a bit rough and uncomfortable at times, but I find going for walks and staying active has helped. I’m still able to do some light hiking, which has been nice as the fall is my favourite time of the year. I have less than 8 weeks to go!

        Hope all is well with you these days. Linda

      • alisendopf says:

        Oh, I remember those days well. I have twins, so I was pretty much on bed rest by the third trimester. Going for walks and hikes is ideal. While uncomfortable, it’ll all be worth it. I’m just impressed you were still travelling at six months!

        I just love the name Kluane. I drove through it on my way to Haines, and thought this was definitely worth a trip back. It’s so remote, so I’ll have to move it up on my wish list.

        Thanks for your very excellent tour and reports. There is so much to see and do in Canada.

        Stay healthy, and put your feet up. You deserve it!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Oh gosh, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be pregnant with twins! That’s double the amount of kicks, punches, twists and turns. Plus not to mention the extra weight to carry around!

        Agreed, there is so much to see and explore in Canada. And we have some of the most pristine wilderness in the world. I’m hoping our little one enjoys the outdoors as much as your twins do and that we can do some family hiking and camping trips! Less than a month to go! I can’t wait.

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