Distance: 14 km
Elevation Gain: 215 m (705 ft)
Time: 3.5 hours
Date Added: February 15, 2013
Last Update: February 15, 2013
Thunderegg Creek is a nice, short hike in Kluane, which follows along an old exploration road with open views of the Alsek Valley and surrounding mountains. There is not much elevation gain as you hike through stunted stands of aspen and balsam poplar, ending up near the base of a large cutbank of Thunderegg Creek, which holds the famous 'thundereggs' (the sphere shaped rocks) this area is known for.
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From Haines Junction, continue north on the Alaska Highway for 10.5 km. Take the left immediately before the Bear Creek Lodge. Note there is a Kluane National Park sign 2 km before this turnoff that mentions the Alsek Trail. Follow this road for about 750 m until you reach a large parking area and some Parks Canada signage for the Alsek Trail. This is the parking area and trailhead. Some 4x4 vehicles may continue past this point but creek crossings may be required. You can shave off a lot of time if you drive further.
From the trailhead follow the gravel road that leads southwest from the parking lot towards the large expanse of the Alsek Valley. The road starts through a short section of trees and continues through a series of open fields and poplar stands. Follow this main road for 2.5 km until you reach a fork in the road, where a rougher road leads to the northwest (right). Follow this road for the remaining 4.2 km, which travels through an old, broad floodplain with stunted balsam poplar trees. The sightlines are not great in this area with all the low growing trees and shrubs so it is important to make noise so bears can avoid running into you.
Note: Overnight trips in Kluane National Park and Reserve require registration and approved bear resistant food canisters. Please visit the Park's website for details.
The road ends at a large silt cliff with many good picnic spots to choose from. Thunderegg Creek is through the bushes on the left, but the real attraction is the cliffs themselves as they hold the thundereggs, which are also laying strewn around the base. The views from the cliffs are beautiful looking over the Alsek Valley, Auriol Range and Mount Archibald. Please do not take thundereggs home with you as souvenirs, so that everyone who visits this place in the future can enjoy them. Return the way you came.
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