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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Default North Klondike Valley - Tombstone Territorial Park

Hi,

Just doing some early planning for the summer and I currently have my sights set on the Yukon. I've been backpacking for around 10 years and although my dream destination has always been the Canol trail, it'll have to wait until I get a package from work since I can't take 3 weeks of consecutive vacation. Well, I suppose I could but then I'd have to find a new job after my return.

Anyways, I was looking for a shorter, introductory version of the Canol and my friend suggested Tombstone in the Yukon. Although there's a well established trail from the Tombstone campground to Divide Lake/Talus Lake, there's also a trail called the North Klondike Trail which piqued my interest :

North Klondike Valley - Divide Lake
Distance: 16-18 km
Time: 6-9 hours
Difficulty: extreme
Start point: Divide Lake or Tombstone Campground
Description: This route is extremely difficult, potentially dangerous and not recommended. You
will encounter thick brush, lots of mud, several creek crossings, and the area is an animal travel corridor so surprise encounters with large mammals are likely. Visibility is poor and the creeks can be noisy.

It sounds just like the Canol trail!

Unfortunately, there isn't much info on this. I found a small blurb on a back issue of Backpacker magazine :
http://books.google.ca/books?id=QtsM...acking&f=false

But that's about it.

Anyone have any info they can share?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 12:28 PM
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Hey,

There are great hikes in Kluane Park, depending on what you want to get yourself into.

Keep me posted on your trip up here, as I'm located in Whitehorse.



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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Darren,

I took a look at the Donjek in Kluane which looks amazing but I only have a week off. [B)]

Looking forward to visiting your area of Canada!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 08:15 PM
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That route is bushy beyond belief - per Walter who wrote the guidebook (personal conversation).

Its also perma-wet. What's more alarming is that the bush is so thick that its hard to see grizzlies so that's a pretty serious hazard. I had some route pictures of that in our trip report
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 08:54 PM
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I hiked that trail out from Divide Lake back in 2006. I didn't really think it was all that bad. One of the challenges at the time was that the trail constantly broke off into other ribbons and more or less dead-ended since it seems quite often that hikers or horse people take alternate routes to get around the boggy parts as they appear.
It's a valley bottom trail which is surrounded by scrubby and dense stands of willow. There is a very nice Visitor Centre now at the trailhead and I'm sure they could provide you with more info as to the trail's condition.
The park is really gaining in popularity so I don't think this particular trail would be a major navigational issue. The scenery in there is absolutely breath-taking. I however would recommend going in via the Grizzly Lake trail, hiking over Glissade pass and then dropping down in to Divide Lake and using the Divide Lake trail as your means of exit.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by spicytuna

Hi,

...my friend suggested Tombstone in the Yukon.

It sounds just like the Canol trail!
As opposed to the Tombstone's bushy foot trails with stream crossings, the Canol is quite different. It's an old jeep road (to build/service a pipline) that has been done by foot, horse, ATV etc. And by bicycle with extreme difficulty. The Yukon end is an easily driven gravel road. The Canol in the NWT has three significant river crossings, the Carcajou, Little Keele and the Twitya, the last of which is serious business and regularly results in rescues. The Canol involves getting across the MacKenzie River, has WWII artifacts and some buildings and even a lodge or two along it.

Here's one person's description of hiking the Canol:
http://canoltrail.tripod.com/harris.htm
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 10:50 PM
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Thanks BG! We're going back to see fall colors in the Dempster and that sounds worthwhile. Walter must be getting soft
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 11:51 PM
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Fall colours along the Dempster is amazing as are the northern lights. I will say though that that valley-bottom bush willow is nasty if you get off trail.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by LeeL

That route is bushy beyond belief - per Walter who wrote the guidebook (personal conversation).

Its also perma-wet. What's more alarming is that the bush is so thick that its hard to see grizzlies so that's a pretty serious hazard. I had some route pictures of that in our trip report
The whole Yukon is bushy, what are you talking about?
Dwarf willow is my nemesis.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by BillyGoat

I hiked that trail out from Divide Lake back in 2006. I didn't really think it was all that bad. One of the challenges at the time was that the trail constantly broke off into other ribbons and more or less dead-ended since it seems quite often that hikers or horse people take alternate routes to get around the boggy parts as they appear.
It's a valley bottom trail which is surrounded by scrubby and dense stands of willow. There is a very nice Visitor Centre now at the trailhead and I'm sure they could provide you with more info as to the trail's condition.
The park is really gaining in popularity so I don't think this particular trail would be a major navigational issue. The scenery in there is absolutely breath-taking. I however would recommend going in via the Grizzly Lake trail, hiking over Glissade pass and then dropping down in to Divide Lake and using the Divide Lake trail as your means of exit.
Thanks for the info.

I was going to hike in via the normal route and hike out via the the North Klondike Valley to form a loop but I'll definitely talk to the park regarding its current conditions before making any solid plans.

I've done some heavy bushwhacking in northern Ontario, Cape Breton and of course the Rockies but I hear the bushwhacking up north is something else. I'm looking forward to that. [}]
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sgRant

As opposed to the Tombstone's bushy foot trails with stream crossings, the Canol is quite different. It's an old jeep road (to build/service a pipline) that has been done by foot, horse, ATV etc. And by bicycle with extreme difficulty. The Yukon end is an easily driven gravel road. The Canol in the NWT has three significant river crossings, the Carcajou, Little Keele and the Twitya, the last of which is serious business and regularly results in rescues. The Canol involves getting across the MacKenzie River, has WWII artifacts and some buildings and even a lodge or two along it.
sgRant, point taken about the differences in these trails.

I've always wanted to do the Canol trail. I even posted a thread on it 6 years ago looking for partners but it still remains an elusive destination for me.

It seems like I either have the time but no money or I have the money but no time. Just can't win!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by wildtrekker

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by LeeL

That route is bushy beyond belief - per Walter who wrote the guidebook (personal conversation).

Its also perma-wet. What's more alarming is that the bush is so thick that its hard to see grizzlies so that's a pretty serious hazard. I had some route pictures of that in our trip report
The whole Yukon is bushy, what are you talking about?
Dwarf willow is my nemesis.
Willow - but as I mentioned that was second hand. With Billygoat's account I'll go check it out this coming fall.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 12:52 PM
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There is a seat sale today for flights to Whitehorse on Air North if anyone is interested. This sale is only today. It cost me about $320ish for a round-trip from Whitehorse to Vancouver
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 05:39 PM
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Darren - apparently AIrNorth phone and internet is jammed! The Yukon is beautiful. You won't regret it
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 06:53 PM
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Lee,
I live here now, and you're right. The north is amazing.
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