Paddy Peak


Distance: 6 km
Elevation Gain: 626 m (2054 ft)
Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Region: Carcross
Date Added: October 4, 2011
Last Update: October 4, 2011
Winter: alpine skiing ski touring snowshoeing 



Paddy Peak is the highest mountain south of Carcross along the highway to Skagway. There is a road from the highway that gains over 700 m of elevation, making the hike a quick scramble to the peak. The view of mountain tops and the southern lakes seems endless in all directions.


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Photos
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Driving Directions

Drive towards Carcross on the South Klondike highway. 38 km south of the Carcross bridge there is a gravel road on the right side of the highway. Drive along this road for up to 7 km into the alpine. There is one small creek crossing on the road which is a little tricky - it is not the water that is the problem, but rather the larger rocks. Most trucks or SUVs with good clearance shouldn't have any trouble with the creek crossing. Park after 7 km (or when you feel you've cheated enough by driving and want to stretch your legs). If the road is muddy, you may not be able to drive up the last steep bit and will have to park and walk.




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Trail Description

The first thing you have to do is cross the stream that runs down from the glacial lake below Paddy Peak. The stream is below in a gulley between where you parked and the rocky moraines. If the water level is low or there is still a lot of snow, you can cross at any point. Otherwise you can walk up towards the glacial lake which is situated right at the base of the rocky face of Paddy Peak and hop across the rocks there.

Make your way over the moraines to the steep ridge next to the rocky face which leads up to the summit. This is the steep, direct route up to the top. An alternate route may be to circle around the full ridge above the glacier.

The route is steep but straight forward as you climb up the rocks. If there is enough snow, the route is even easier and you can just climb straight up. You will know you've reached the summit when you get to a Yukon Amateur Radio Association (YARA) repeater station (note that YARA and other groups refer to this mountain as Mount Panacea, but that there is no official name). Going down is easy if there is snow, otherwise the rocks can be slippery.

Elevations

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Comments / Trip Reports

Have you been to Paddy Peak lately?

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Bill
May 14, 2017

Yes, we drive ate tours up here. We have permission from BC and TFN. I agree the orange paint is bad and will remove the rest of it this season. For those who claim our tours are "destroying" the area, I respectfully disagree. I have always believed that people without the time and or physical endurance to hike still deserve the opportunity to experience nature's beauty. Imagine what Paddy Peak would look like if gold had been found in profitable quantities.
una
May 14, 2017

Looking for people who want to hike this trail, drop me a email if someone interested do it together before the end of May. . I am traveling in Yukon now also interested do other different hikes . unazphoto@gmail.com
Aaron
September 18, 2016

I did this hike a few weeks ago. Andy is correct that there are tracks off the trail. And someone sprayed a bunch of neon orange spray paint near the glacial moraine. Someone is operating a tour up there I hear. Perhaps the BC government should put an end to it.
Andy
September 5, 2016

Drove up to the last steep section on the road past the washout. Scraped bottom a few times on the washout. Wandered around on the plateau and found a Jeep mudflap and tire tracks several hundred meters away from any road... If you drive up in to the alpine, PLEASE STAY ON THE ROAD!
Deb
August 8, 2016

Drove up the road on August 7, 2016 with a Jeep TJ Rubicon. Would not have wanted to do it in anything less capable - as reported by Kevin, pretty steep and scrabbly in spots.

Absolutely stunning up there, recommended.
Kevin
August 8, 2016

Driven the road up this past weekend with a enduro bike. No problem getting up. Road is in pretty good shape but can get quite steep in places which could get challenging with a vehicle. The views at the top are amazing. Wish we knew about this trail earlier.
mary tucci
August 7, 2016

Has anyone driven up the paddy peak road lately? We have driven it in the past in a 4runner as far as the washout but have heard the road is a lot worse lately. Any updates would be appreciated. thinking of going next weekend if the weather cooperates. Thanks!
Laura
August 2, 2016

This is a fantastic hike! We hiked up from the road instead of using a vehicle and camped overnight about 1 km before the parking area at the glacier. We met some new friends (experienced hikers familiar with the area) who hiked with us up to the top of the glacier to the notch between Paddy Peak and the ridge to the north. We proceeded to hike the ridge to the north of Paddy Peak and then back down to the parking area. Views were spectacular in every direction! Note: Hiking this ridge was challenging and could require climbing gear on some sections. It is advisable to refrain from hiking the glacier or the ridge unless you have pristine conditions, which we luckily had that day!
Need the D
July 18, 2016

pretty easy to access trail with atv. Wash out is pretty low. Seen some caribou
Justine
June 12, 2016

Tried out the drive to the trailhead today, June 12th, I have a Ford Escape and I felt pretty bold and was white knuckling in some areas. I made it 5.5 kms up the road; the road is steep, there are some large rocks, a river, a stream and a dried up creek bed (which I think may be responsible for some fixing had to do on my bumper when I got home). I stopped at a steep slope with a few really large rocks that my SUV, and my nerves could not handle, I went back to a pull out and parked. I then hiked the rest of the way into the glacial lake.

There is still a bit of snow there, but you can mostly hike around it (my car would not have made it through that). The lake still has ice on it, but is breathtaking! Paddy is also just breathtaking to look at!
Instead of going to the left of the lake I went to the first summit on the ridge to the right and stopped for a break there before heading back to my car. You have a great view of, I believe, Bennett Lake there!
I would recommend bringing warm clothing in a pack, as I did get caught in a snow squall for about 10 minutes, but dressed appropriately it was not a problem.

Time from 5.5km road to right ridge summit and back: approximately 1.5 hrs

So worth it!!
Jennifer
June 6, 2016

Attempted this trail first week of June. Thought it would be a quick, moderate day hike. Despite what the description says, you cannot drive very far up this road. Big rocks, big holes, washouts, etc. we had an SUV with good clearance and 4WD and made it less than a kilometre. I can't see anyone successfully driving this road without an ATV. Hiked up the road for 2 hours before we hit snow and the clouds rolled in with rain. We have no idea how close we were to the trailhead because we couldn't see the end of the road, even in the alpine. We turned around at this point as our party was cold, wet, and disappointed. If we had known we would have to walk 12 km round trip, prior to even reaching the trailhead, we would have tried a different hike. Just thought I should share that with others considering this trail.
MeghanM
May 27, 2016

Myles, sounds like you ended up at the gravel pit after the road to Paddy Peak. It's the small obscure road just before the gravel pit, before you cross over the creek on the highway. You can also take a closer look at the google earth image above.
Myles
May 26, 2016

Hi guys, we're thinking about doing this hike this weekend. The only problem is we went to this site a few months ago and couldn't find the road you're talking about. I turned into the gravel area at KM 38 (after the Carcross bridge) and couldn't find a road to go up. Were we in the right spot? It was a rather large area with a few mounds of gravel.
MeghanM
May 4, 2016

With a low clearance vehicle you should probably just park at the highway. The road is pretty rough and steep in places, even after the first couple hundred metres. So that adds 7 km to the trek in, plus 7 km back out. A mountain bike could help speed things up.
CM
May 3, 2016

How far can you drive in if you have a vehicle with low clearance?
Veronika
October 13, 2015

I love the trip to Paddy Peak - for me, the trail description doesn't emphasize how beautiful it is just to go to the lake and see the small glacier! One of my favourite spots.

Not able to cross the creek with an SUV, even if we had we wouldn't have got much farther up the road with my clearance.

Attempted to hike to the peak but there was a lot of snow/ice and the wind was something else. I would recommend some crampons if you are going up at this time of year.

The snow is on the ground as soon as you reach the alpine.
Jazz
June 18, 2015

Can we now park again on the point indicated on the map i.e. was the washout "repaired"?
Planning to do this in the next few days.
JS
June 14, 2015

Was up in this valley over the last few days doing some skiing on the higher snowfields/glaciers. Road is now open to alpine with only a few small snow patches to cross by foot. I was unable to cross the first big avalanche paths only 2 weeks ago due to a late April avalanche cycle which produced a few size 3.0(large enough to break a few trees) avalanches. Flower show is impressive at lower elevations, but starting up high. Minimal bear sign observed. I have to throw down some clarification- this area is in BC, just saying. Confused as why this isn't labeled as a BC Hike once past Dall Creek it is BC all the way to AK- always has been, always will be. Cheers.
Mike
December 8, 2014

Attempted to go up to the peak this past weekend (December 7th). Second time up per previous post.
Temperature was great but the snow wasnt so much for snow shoes. Trail was sled packed up to the second creek crossing. This is where the snow has a slight bit of crust but not enough yet to keep you afloat. Was a tough slog to the other side of the glacier valley.
Extreme winds and sleet kept me to only halfway up to the ridge. Weather turned pretty quick and followed me back down to the highway.
Though much colder it seems a better winter hike early in the new year than it is now and I would suggest waiting.
sam
July 29, 2014

If you drive 4 km up the road as far as the wash out are you still able to turn a vehicle around and get back out? Hoping to do this sunday weather permitting.
Chris B
July 24, 2014

Very beautiful area. The road up is washed out 4km from the Highway. Recent bear sign was visible all along the road - at least as far as the treeline.
chris
July 13, 2014

We tried to head up to paddys today. You can only drive 4.5 km up the road now as it has been washed out by all the rain we have had. The step in the road is waist deep. Had a fun day tho, its a great spot. You just can't cheat as much anymore.
Cody
July 12, 2014

Hiked up this last weekend with some friends, amazing views it was a great hike. The road there was pretty freaky, looked like a quad trail but we made it through in a truck with surprisingly no scratches. I highly recomend doing this hike!
Mike
February 23, 2014

Hiked up to Paddy's Peak this morning starting from the highway. Followed snowmobile tracks up but broke trail from the core sample piles up, snow was only about 6 inches of powder over crust which was good going up but terrible coming back down. Base of the peak is wind blown and icy. Didnt attempt the peak as I didnt have crampons and the snow shoes were too cumbersome to try. Was a great, cloudless day but about -20 to -25. Started at -37 at the highway.
Murray Lundberg
August 16, 2013

I spent the past couple of days exploring up there. The second day, I'd planned to get to the summit via a scenic tour starting at the non-glacial lake to the east. I parked at km 7.0 on what a 2007 geology reports call the Bennett Plateau 4x4 road, at 1,472 meters, and walked from there. However, what appears on the topo as a reasonable route above the glacier to the southeast of the summit is actually not - the top of the glacier ends at sheer cliffs. The ridge to the east of that glacier, however, was a superb route down from the dead-end.
Eleanor
June 23, 2013

Hey, did this hike yesterday. it was awesome! ... we could only drive in about 1 km with our little rear-wheel truck. the road was quite rocky on the hills—probably wash out. So the whole day took us ten hours return. You're right that going down was the tricky part, not because the rocks were slippery but because they were so loose. we sent a few big ones rolling down the mountain—but we were spread out so it was okay.

ugh-maze-ing views on top!