Grey (Canyon) Mountain
Distance: 12 km
Elevation Gain: 200 m (656 ft)
Time: 5 hours
Date Added: August 4, 2008
Last Update: March 29, 2009
The closest alpine hike to Whitehorse - only about 12 kms away! Grey Mountain is a great day hike offering a terrific view of Whitehorse and the surrounding area. You can see from Marsh Lake in the south to Lake Laberge in the north. The trailhead starts only 200 m lower than the summit, which means more alpine walking. It's only 2.5 km to the summit, which is a good turn around point if you don't want to continue walking the ridge.
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From the S.S. Klondike in Whitehorse, cross the bridge onto Lewes Blvd and make a left at the lights onto Alsek Road. After 400 m, make a left at Tutshi Road (there is a sign indicating the cemetary and Grey Mountain viewpoint). Follow this road all the way to the communication towers at the top (about 10 km). Park in the parking lot at the communication towers, but make sure to leave room for workers. Note that road conditions can be variable. Sometimes cars can drive all the way up, sometimes you need a vehicle with higher clearance.
The trailhead starts right from the communication towers. There are many trails along the ridge which end up at the same place - follow the most developed trail to prevent further erosion. After 2.5 km you will reach the summit and have a great view of the surrounding area.
If you want to continue walking along the ridge, follow one of the main trails towards the second, lower peak. The trail can be faint at times. To continue on from the second peak to the third, you will have to descend out of the alpine. This requires some very moderate bushwacking to the other side where you will ascend towards the third peak. There isn't much of a trail at some points, so pick your own way if necessary.
The third peak offers the best view of Whitehorse. From here, turn around and follow the same route back. Although this hike is close to town, there is evidence of bear activity such as bear droppings and digging marks. Act as you would on any other trail, making noise at intervals so as not to surprise a bear when you climb over a crest.
The top of Grey Mountain is excellent for a showshoeing or ski touring day trip. When the road narrows and there is a sign that says 'unmaintained', it is best to use the large parking area. It takes about 1.5 hours to walk from the parking area to the communication towers, depending on the condition of the road.
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