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At Plaza del Carmen in the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? El Faro de Peter RV Park just west of San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A steep hike in Yukon's Kluane National Park on the King's Throne Trail

We had made plans to meet up with Dan and Isabelle at 9:00am down in the day use area at the Kathleen Lake Campground in Kluane National Park.

We left our motorhomes parked there, and we set off on the King's Throne Trail. There are two sections to the trail... the first part leads to "the seat" of the King's Throne... and then the trail branches off to the summit of the mountain. But the summit is 19 kms (12 miles) return, and it's a rated as a difficult day hike.

We left the option open, and figured we would decide on the summit when we made it to the seat of the throne... one thing at a time!

That's the mountain we're headed up!

Zoomed in on the trail.

It started off easily enough... about 2 kms just walking on an old mining road through the forest... and then it began to gradually climb. It didn't take long and we were out of the tree line and getting a decent view of beautiful Kathleen Lake...

Kathleen Lake in Kluane National Park.

But then our gradual climb became a steep climb!

Isabelle and Ruth, leading the way up.

Dan, Kevin, and Isabelle.

Taking a break to enjoy the views!
You can see how steep we were climbing!

It was so steep in places, that some of the trail had lost it's rock base and had become slippery and we were honestly concerned about getting back down on these sections. 

Dwarf fireweed.

The trail we came up on.

We made it as high as that lower patch of snow that you can see.

By that point, we had already decided not to continue on to the summit. If we were doing some regular hiking on difficult trails it would be a different story, but we just didn't feel it would be a wise decision. We probably could have made it to the summit, but we might not have been able to make it back down!

In fact, we spoke to a girl who lives in the area and she's done the summit several times. She said she has seen people get stuck up there with their knees too weak to handle the steep sections on the way back down.

Essentially, we decided to act our age!

Heading back down.

Gives you a good perspective of the step trail.

Ruth, and a bit of oncoming traffic.

Even though we only made it to the seat, it was still a good hike with some enjoyable company. We ended up doing 8.7 kms (5.4 miles) of difficult hiking and it took us five hours.

We found a decent boondocking spot for the two rigs and had happy hour and a meal together.

Sherman, and his friend BIG.

Dan and Isabelle used to have a nice little class B campervan. They just bought this 30 ft class A to full time in, and it is a lot bigger than their campervan. They have nicknamed it "BIG"!

They are headed back to Whitehorse today and then south. We still have another hike to do this morning, and while it's another 8 km (5 mile) hike, it doesn't have the elevation we did yesterday!

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22 comments:

  1. Wow! Still a tremendous effort, it's good to know your limits. Stunning scenery and awesome pictures as usual!

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    1. It was a great hike and we learned that the majority of people that do this hike only go as far as we did. Definitely good to your your limits!

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  2. Thought your legs might be stiff today!

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  3. Woof...what a hike! I agree my knees would have been feeling it with this hike. I did stairs at the ball park last week and my knees were sore for a couple of days after. I'd definitely need my knee brace with a steep hike. What beautiful views from the trail. Earth is truly a paradise and we humans are the worst offenders of pollution of air, water, environment. Natural pollution is ok i.e. volcanic eruptions.

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    1. If you have any kind of a problem with your knees this is definitely not the hike for you. They take lots of pressure on this hike even with the poles.

      The views were fantastic and they would have been even better at the summit but it would have been an extremely hard and long hike to do. The second part of the hike would have been more like doing two hikes up to the part we had already hiked too and a bit more.

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  4. I've been so busy this week so I had to binge read the last few posts and must add yet another WOW! to the list. I like hiking with my dogs but for some reason I hate going uphill. Sometimes you have to suck it up because the view is definitely worth it! Great hike blog post!

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    1. Yep, it was a fantastic hike and lots of very steep uphill but if you go slowly and pace yourself it really isn't all that bad. The coming down is actually harder than the going up if you ask me.

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  5. The drive on down to Haines, Alaska is easy and beautiful. Million Dollar Falls is on the way in the YT.

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    1. We are sure it is but unfortunately we aren't headed further down that road. We are headed back to Whitehorse for a few days and then down the Cassiar Highway. Guess that route will have to wait for another visit.

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  6. Replies
    1. It certainly is! :-) Mountains and lakes are our happy place. :-)

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, the scenery certainly is beautiful in this part of the world! :-)

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  8. How gorgeous was that hike?! You were smart to stop when you did. We did a summit hike back in 2013 of Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico at over 13K of elevation, and it was very steep in parts and difficult, with much loose talus/scree. I was not in great hiking shape at that time, so it was brutal, especially at that elevation (pant pant). Well worth it in the end for the views, but still, probably not our best decision! You got amazing views without damaging your bodies too much (at least I hope!)

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    1. I think we were smart to stop too! After getting to the bottom of the mountain you could already tell that the knees were weaker and the second half of the hike is actually what they call a route, so it isn't a "marked" hike but it is even steeper up the ridge and apparently a bit precarious in areas and the going down on that particular section is for the faint of heart so I think it would have been difficult and just not worth it if you can't enjoy the hike itself. As Kevin mention, you just have to know your limits!

      No, didn't damage our bodies it the least, they got a nice workout though. :-)

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  9. Beautiful hike. Maybe if it were taken slowly.

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    1. It is possible that we could have done it and trust us, it would have been done slowly but it wasn't worth the risk. The section up to the summit from the King's Throne "seat" would have been like doing the first part of the hike all over again but at an even steeper incline and on the ridge so it would have dropped off on both sides (not for the faint of heart) and loose rock under foot. Once you get to the top of that ridge you still have to continue on to the summit, then turn around and come down. It would have been exhausting and we consider ourselves to be pretty fit and good hikers but don't want to end up being one of those that gets stuck up there and can't get down, it's just not worth the chance and it wouldn't be fun at that point either and hiking should be fun.

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  10. Great effort and lovely hike. Beautiful view of the lake. Glad you all enjoyed it. Take care and be safe.

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    1. Thank you, it was a fantastic hike! Loved the view of the lake from up there and all of it's colours.

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  11. Like Scott, Im catching up on your blogs and just blown away with this latest blog! That’s a mighty steep hike and kudos to you for the “play by play” and having fun at the end of the day! Great pictures of breathtaking scenery along the way! Safe travels!

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    1. It was a pretty steep hike but well worth it for the view. Loved being able to look down a the beautiful colours of blue on the lake and to be able to do the hike with some good company. :-)

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