Distance: 23 km
Elevation Gain: 891 m (2923 ft)
Time: 6.5 hours
Date Added: September 16, 2008
Last Update: July 1, 2014
Golden Horn overlooks Whitehorse and is located behind Mount Sima, the local ski hill. The trail follows the Coal Lake Road up to an ATV trail which leads to the mountain. The views from the top are great - you are overlooking Whitehorse, Lake Laberge, and all the mountains and lakes in the valley towards Carcross.
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Drive south on the Alaska Highway from Whitehorse until you see a sign for the Mount Sima Ski Hill on your right. Turn here and follow the road to the Mount Sima chalet. Continue on the road past the chalet for about 1 km. You ca park here where you see another heading up to the right.
Although you might be able to drive this road if you have proper clearance and 4-wheel drive, it is in pretty bad shape and may not be worth the effort. The road is about 4.5 km, and takes just over an hour to hike at a fast pace. The route described here includes hiking the road.
Start by hiking on the road to the right that leads up towards Golden Horn.
You will know when you are at the top of the road when you are above tree-line and find an information kiosk regarding caribou in the area. Continue straight up, along an ATV trail. You will be following this ATV trail most of the way up Golden Horn. It might be hard to see the ATV trail at the very beginning, but make sure you find it before continuing too far, otherwise you'll have to bushwhack.
The ATV trail heads south, parallel to Golden Horn, towards the southern end of the ridge. It may seem like you're actually getting further away from the mountain, but continue following the trail as it is much easier than bushwhacking. There are a few muddy, boggy areas on the trail, but they are fairly short.
After following the ATV trail south for about 2.5 km, it will turn abruptly left (east) towards Golden Horn. Shortly after, you'll start getting to the flanks of Golden Horn and start to climb up. At this point, the ATV trail starts to become bushier, but it is still fairly easy walking.
When the ATV trail ends, you should be higher in the alpine and should see some grassy areas that lead to the summit and avoid almost all of the small bushes. Follow these grassy areas up until you are in the alpine, and then head straight for the summit (slightly to your left).
You are rewarded with a 360 degree view from the summit. You can see Cowley Lake and Mount Lorne to the east and even Montana Mountain to the south. Follow the same path back down. From the top, it may be hard to recognize the way you took up, so look for landmarks on the way up so that you don't miss the ATV trail on the way back down.
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