Distance: 15 km
Elevation Gain: 1063 m (3488 ft)
Time: 5.5 hours
Region: Annie Lake
Date Added: January 2, 2011
Last Update: January 2, 2011
The Mount Skukum area is a Yukon hiker's playground! There are endless opportunities for exploring, everything is easily accessible, and the views are rewarding from every angle. Mount Skukum (2377 m) itself is an impressive volcanic rock complex, and the peak would require rock climbing gear. The hike described here is to a lower peak.
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Note: Sometimes the gate is locked at the mine office.
Drive south from Whitehorse and turn right at the Carcross cutoff. After about 17 km turn right onto the Annie Lake Road. Follow the Annie Lake Road for a total of about 54 km. You will cross the Watson River Bridge, drive alongside Annie Lake, and cross the Wheaton River Bridge at km 26. The road is unmaintained past this point but is in relatively good condition. At km 43 you will cross the Wheaton River for the second time and shortly afterwards will take a left onto an old mining road.
After a short while, pass through the mine site gate and continue on the main road until there is an obvious fork. Follow the road to the right, which switchbacks up the mountainside. The road is a little rougher in places and it is nice to have a vehicle with some clearance! There is a suitable parking spot near the top where the road crosses Skukum Creek. The old mining 'explosives' trailer is a good landmark, and this is where the trail begins.
Note: The Mount Skukum area used to have an active gold/silver mine from 1986-1988, and mineral exploration continues to this day. There is an abandoned adit past the parking area and the old mill and office remain at the end of the Annie Lake Road (behind a locked gate). Hikers should be cautious around the abandoned adits as the stability of the structure is questionable.
From the parking area follow the rougher exploration road which leads steeply up the valley along the right side of Skukum Creek. You will follow this road for approximately 3.6 km, as it gradually climbs up the valley into the alpine. There is an exploration road spurring off to the right, but continue straight up the main valley.
Around the 3.6 km mark there will be another intersection, with a rocky track leading up the mountain to the right. This is the Mt. Skukum trailhead and from here it is another 3.7 km to your destination. The track is a lot steeper in places and is on scree for the most part. The track leads up into a bowl and then over a saddle where you get your first look at the granite spire of Mt. Skukum as well as a view into the adjacent valley below (where there are numerous other exploration roads and mining remnants).
The route then leaves the exploration road and traverses along the north side of the hill to the left aiming towards the east ridge of Mt. Skukum. From this vantage you can see back into the Skukum Creek valley with views of the snowy coast mountains to the south. Follow the narrow ridge up as you begin the final ascent to the top of one of Mt. Skukum's lower peaks.
From this peak soak in the views of the area, and admire the volcanic landscape. Be careful around the sheer cliffs surrounding the peak and when you're ready, return back the way you came. By now you've probably realized the endless hiking opportunities in this area, and you'll have added a few adventures to your to do list!
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