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Observation Mountain Route

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 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

The summit route of Observation Mountain for amazing views of Kaskawulsh Glacier.


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Map Key

12.5

Miles

20.2

KM

74%

Runnable

6,839' 2,085 m

High

2,624' 800 m

Low

4,363' 1,330 m

Up

4,363' 1,330 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (8°)

89%

Max Grade (42°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · River/Creek · Views

Permits are required for overnight trips and can be can be obtained from the Kluane National Park and Reserve Visitor Centre in Haines Junction or the Thechàl Dhâl Visitor Centre. There are several creek crossings and marshy areas, enough to substantiate bringing water shoes.

Overview

Observation Mountain is a common destination for those camping at the end of the Slim's River Trail as you get breathtaking views of the Kaskawulsh Glacier and surrounding mountains.

Need to Know

There is an overnight camping fee of about $10 CAD per person, per night.

Description

This description begins at the end of Slim's River West Trail at the campsite. From the primitive campsite, travel south towards the toe of the Kaskawulsh glacier. You'll reach the section of Canada Creek where it braids as it enters the Ä'äy Chù River. This is often the best place to cross. Aim for a 6x6 post in the middle of the delta, which will lead you in this direction.

After crossing Canada Creek, head west towards the base of Observation Mountain then continue west (upstream) up Canada Creek, until you get to Columbia Creek flowing out of the southwest into Canada Creek (about 4 kms). The cliffs around Columbia Creek are very good places to see mountain goats. Follow along the left side of Columbia Creek for a short distance (about 500-800 m) until you notice a game trail heading up the slope to your left, just prior to a cliff face that drops down to the creek. The trail starts a few feet above the creek bed due to erosion but the start is will marked with cairns. Follow this game trail up onto a steep narrow ridge into the alpine. This is one of the easier routes up onto Observation Mountain.

Remain on the ridges for the ascent and especially on your descent off the mountain (remember which ridge you ascended for your run back down). This route will take you to a large open alpine saddle or plateau. Continuing due south to the end of the plateau will bring you to a spectacular view of the South Arm of the Kaskawulsh Glacier. To the east is the peak of Observation Mountain from which there are panoramic views of the Ä'äy Chù and Kaskawalsh Valleys. It is best to return via the same ridges recommended for the ascent.

Flora & Fauna

So many goats!

Contacts

Shared By:

Abe H

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1670

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1,670

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174 Since Oct 24, 2019
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Photos

View of Kaskawulsh Glacier from the summit of Observation Mountain.
Oct 24, 2019 near Haines…, YT

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