Thunderegg Creek


Distance: 14 km
Elevation Gain: 215 m (705 ft)
Time: 3.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Region: Kluane
Date Added: February 15, 2013
Last Update: February 15, 2013
Winter: ski touring snowshoeing 



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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Photos
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Driving Directions

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.




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Trail Description

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. 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.

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.


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.

Elevations

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Comments / Trip Reports

Have you been to Thunderegg Creek lately?

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Liz B
September 1, 2018

Hiked Thunderegg Creek today (September 1). Two small creeks to get past at the beginning of the trail but people have created "bridges" out of logs so they're easy to cross. As others have mentioned the trailhead is shared with the Alsek River trail so stick to the right when the trail forks. The fork is very obvious, just pay attention and you shouldn't miss it.

Easy trail with a gradual incline. Pretty rocky in some spots so you need watch your footing. The hike ends at the cliffs with the thundereggs. All in all a great day hike!
Julie and David
August 5, 2018

We hiked this trail Aug 4. The creek was high - about 10" (25 cm) at the highest point so water shoes were definitely needed.

The trail starts at the same trailhead as the Alsek River Valley Trail. There is a trail marker at the 2.5 km point. Once you pass this marker, it's about a 7 or 8 minute walk to the fork where the trails diverge. Take the right hand fork and follow this trail (an ATV road) until it ends at the large cliff.

Lots of interesting rocks in the area including the thundereggs, which are actually concretions, not thundereggs - see this article - http://www.explorenorth.com/library/mining/bl-concretions.htm

Enjoy!
Julie
Jackie
July 14, 2018

Did this July 8. There is a creek crossing not too far from the parking lot. The water is ice-cold but only got to ankle height. A wood plank was placed over a part of the creek that dips a little deeper, but that part is easily avoided.

Thought the "fork" mentioned in the comments was fairly obvious - it's the only clear pathway that branches off from the main trail on the right, and it looks like there's been ATV activity on it. Someone has seemingly left a very short log with a + dug into it as a marker of some sort right at the fork.

The path through the riverbed/floodplain can seem to randomly disappear at points, but when in doubt, stick to the RIGHT.

We saw fresh bear poop on the trail leading from the riverbed to the actual thunderegg site. A group hiking ahead of us that day also encountered a black bear near the parking lot area.
Matt
August 6, 2017

Had a great time on this hike today. Just wanted to share a few impressions/notes if it helps anyone else. There is a creek crossing that many commenters have mentioned but isn't in the official trail description. This is about .7K or so in (pictured). The next interesting bit is that there's an official trail sign indicating 2.5K, which is actually about 1.7K from the parking spot, so don't get this confused with the 2.5K fork in the road, which is accurately at 2.5K from the parking lot. The fork itself doesn't really look like much of a fork, so much as a smaller, more worn out trail that peels off to the right. Take the trail that heads right (which is northwest). That trail turns into a riverbed ATV trail that is quite washed out in places. We missed the turn to connect back with the formal trail, but managed to re-connect with it. To not miss it, I would advise sticking generally to the right while in this riverbed section. Finally, the 4.2K from the fork to the thundereggs is an easy gradual incline, but it's worth noting that it is quite rocky virtually the whole way so it's a test of your ankles and unfortunately forces you to look down a bit more than you'd like. Soaking in the scenery for too long risks a stumble or two! Still a fun hike with an interesting destination so well worth it. We managed 3 hours 50 minutes including a 20-25 minute lunch up top.
Mabel
May 17, 2017

We did this hike on May 13th. The weather wasn't great starting out but it cleared up a lot as we progressed. The creek crossing was slightly challenging but doable. Just a heads up, we found the fork in the road confusing (mainly because we were trying to remember the map and we didn't have a compass with us) so to be clear, take the path going to the right! We went left because we thought that path looked "rougher". We kept going under we reached the entrance to Kluane National Park and realized that we had definitely taken the wrong path. It was still a beautiful hike and we saw some thundereggs at the fork in the road but would love to redo it someday and actually make it to the proper destination!
Nichole
July 29, 2016

Did the Thunderegg Creek Trail July 24, 2016 and found the initial creek crossing, about 1 km down the trail, very different than when I was there in fall 2015. Last year there was a board used to cross this creek, however, the creek was now flooded with no easy way to cross. We removed boots and carefully forded the very cold creek. Upon reaching the floodplain portion of the hike we discovered water flowing through, where none had been last fall. We stuck to the right side of the water heading up and managed to find the trail again fairly easily after passing the floodplain.
Voyageur
March 19, 2016

Skied Thunderegg Trail on March 18 with about 5 cm of fresh snow on the tracks. Trail is flat till the turnoff to the Alsek River, then slightly uphill. We had lunch at the end of the trail, close to the river which was not frozen. It took us 1,5 hr. to ski up to the river and 1 hr. to ski back down. Due to low temps the snow was sticky in lower elevations. Scenery is great with changing vegetation, views were limited since it was snowing most of the day.
GREAT trip for an easy day on x-country skies!
Alastair Cook
August 18, 2015

On August 16th a small group of us went out on this trail, on a glorious late summer day. My five year old grandson was one of the group, plus other family members. We made it all the way to the Thunder eggs at the end of the trail, which was a source of amazement to us all, especially my grandson, who later declared this to be the best day of his life. The trail is essentially a gravelled road all the way, and hence very easy to follow. The scenery is intoxicating, and why I've never done this hike before in my 35 years in the Yukon is a mystery. This is totally recommended to everyone, of all ages, as our hike proved. It ranks among the very best day-out hikes I've ever been on.