International Falls

Distance: 8 km
Elevation Gain: 292 m (958 ft)
Time: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Region: White Pass
Date Added: March 15, 2017
Last Update: March 15, 2017
Winter: alpine skiing ski touring snowshoeing 

This hike is a real alpine treat, with easy walking along a beautiful fast flowing creek with waterfalls, in a wide open valley surrounded by mountains. As long as you can survive the very steep but short descent from the highway and the initial creek crossing to reach the main trail, then the rest of the hike is a walk in the park. The international aspect of the hike is because the route starts on the Canadian side of the border and then crosses into the United States. Since the views don't change too much along the route you can easily make this a shorter or longer hike. If you add another 1 km (one way) you can look over into the next valley towards the Chilkoot Trail.

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Driving Directions

From Whitehorse, drive south to the Carcross Cutoff and turn right onto the South Klondike Highway. After 71 km you will reach Canadian Customs. Another 12 km past customs there is a pull-out on the right-hand side of the road. The pull-out has a lake below it with a waterfall entering from the other side. There is an avalanche information sign in the parking lot.

Advertise your Yukon business here.

Trail Description

Follow a rough trail from the pull-out down from the highway. It is very steep so take extra caution. At the bottom (40 m descent), there will be a wide creek to cross at the outlet of a small lake. Depending on the time of year the water could be quite high. Later in the summer after much or all of the snow has melted in the alpine, it can easily be crossed over some rocks. If earlier in the season, the water may be a lot deeper (thigh high). Once on the other side a trail can be found leading to the right side of the first waterfall. Note you may need to cross another small branch of the creek coming off the waterfall.

The trail climbs gradually through the subalpine, with a few trail branches which eventually join to one trail so don't worry about getting lost. The trail continues along the right (north) side of the creek with nice lookouts and resting/picnic spots along the way, beside the falls and cascades. Once out of the subalpine trees the trail continues for several kilometers into the alpine, remaining on the right side of the creek. Again the elevation gain is very gradual and the walking easy. If you continue far enough you can get views of the back of Feather Peak with its little glacier as well as the impressive peaks of Mount Cleveland. The terrain does become a little rockier and undulating towards the end, but still makes for easy walking. If you continue even farther to the saddle, you can start to see into the next valley towards the Chilkoot Trail with some very impressive glaciers in the distance.


In the winter this is a really nice snowshoe and Nordic ski tour, suitable for even cross country skiing depending on the snow. The area is heavily used by snowmobiles, so there may often be a hard packed trail.

It is also not necessary to stay on the right side of the creek (like in the summer), as you can take the most direct route and likely shave off some time and distance.


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Comments / Trip Reports

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August 19, 2018

Did this hike late August and water levels were low enough to not need water shoes. Great little hike, but it is definitely very popular. There was easily over 50 people on the trail that day. If you’re looking for solitude, this might not be the hike for you.
Squanga GIrl
June 29, 2018

We hiked this on the 21st. The first part is challenging with ropes to help you down the hill (Thank you to the saint who put them in place!). The water level was mid thigh and VERY refreshing to say the least. We just took flip flops and crocks to cross and left them on the other side to dry while we hiked. This hike is very beautiful and peaceful with the water rushing beside you. We found it very difficult to keep track of the trail once we were up in the alpine but the walking was relatively easy... maybe not great if you have weak knees. Hiking poles aren't necessary but we did find ourselves using them just to keep ourselves steady as we scrambled through the rocky alpine. On our way back we came across some people who chose to go around the lake crossing. This added quite a bit of time to their hike but if the steep hill is too daunting for you this is a possibility. Head back down highway towards rest stop and head in from there.
Andrew Cremata
August 7, 2017

Great access to the alpine with the least amount of effort. I highly recommend extending the hike until you overlook the Chilkoot Trail. Great spot for lunch and it only adds an hour to the hike. However, I would only make this extension when the weather is good.
July 31, 2017

Hiked this on July 23. Met a few groups of hikers who advised to go all the way to the end for majestic views. There is not a clear route once you are far back into the alpine, where it becomes a little steeper and there is lots of shale to climb. A storm with lots of fog was rolling in and so we turned around without seeing into the final valley.

Even without that, it was a great hike and would highly recommend it! The creeks were passable without getting feet too wet, and the views are beautiful.
Susan T
June 25, 2017

Steep descent from road to creek crossing.
We switched into alternate shoes for getting across creek (hid them in bushes for creek crossing at end of hike).
Beautiful gradual uphill hike alongside rushing creek, with several waterfalls.
Top of creek is a big area - didn't make it all the way to look over on to Chilkoot - but would have been an easy hike, if we had the time.
We were glad we chose a dry day, slightly overcast.
Rainy day would have been muddy with lots of slippery rocks.