The Tors


Distance: 13 km
Elevation Gain: 966 m (3169 ft)
Time: 6 hours
Difficulty: Difficult
Region: Kluane
Date Added: May 22, 2012
Last Update: May 22, 2012




This route takes you to the top of a mountain plateau dotted with impressive rock formations that make you feel like you're in another world. A tor is a prominent rock or pile of rocks on top of a hill, and the tors on this hike offer lots of exploring or even bouldering opportunities if you're into that kind of thing. There are also great views of the Kluane front ranges towards Haines Junction and the Aishihik and Dezedeash River valleys. Note Dall sheep can often be seen in the area.


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Scroll below photos for Driving Directions and Trail Description.



Photos


Walking along the fire break road. The trailhead is at the end of this road, which you can drive to if you have a vehicle with a little clearance.



From the trailhead, hike up the somewhat steep slope, making your way up and over the rocky ridge.



Climbing towards the grassy knoll near the top of the rocky ridge.



A nice lookout spot along the way - great colours in the fall.



Following a vague sheep trail towards the broad, open slope.



Descending from the first ridge towards the saddle and the tor ridge.



Exploring the neat arrangement of rocks at the first group of tors.



Approaching the second group of tors near the summit of the alpine plateau.



The tors at the summit make for a great shelter for lunch or a snack.



The rock formations are the most impressive from close up, and you'll wish you brought your rock shoes to try some bouldering.



Walking back down, through the subalpine trees, with nice views towards Kluane and the Dezedeash River valley.



Descending the rocky ridge, with the fire break below.




Driving Directions

From Whitehorse take the Alaska Highway north towards Haines Junction. After 121 km and just before the Otter Falls Cutoff (Aishihik Lake Road) turn off the highway onto a gravel road on the right before a white sign for the Otter Falls Cutoff Gas Station.

Take the first right on the gravel road heading northeast towards the transmission line (parallel to the highway). Follow the transmission line to the right for approximately 2 km until you reach an obscure fire break on your left (line of aspen trees between the spruce) that heads directly towards the mountain. The fire break may not be obvious at first, so make sure to keep an eye out for it.

Follow this road to the end and park at the base of the mountain. If there are any obstacles, like fallen trees, you may have to walk these roads, so plan accordingly (potentially adding an extra hour or so). Also, after periods of rain, this road may be too muddy to drive.




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Trail Description

From the trailhead, follow the ATV trail that heads straight up the hill. This trail eventually narrows into a nice single track hiking trail that you can follow up the rocky ridge. Higher up the ridge, the trail does branch into multiple options, but the best route is to stay high on top of the ridge. Other options are to follow the vague sheep trails on the right (east side of the ridge) but these become very steep and overgrown. Near the top of the rocky ridge there is a small grassy knoll that is a nice place for a break with good views towards the peaks of Kluane.

From here, the route opens up along a wide ridge. Continue along the ridge as you gain access to the subalpine. Pick up a light trail that leads through the brush and sparse trees, making your way towards the broad, open alpine slope above you. Climb the open slope towards the ridge top, aiming towards the middle, left of the ridge. Once on the top of the ridge you will see several groups of tors to the north. You will need to drop down slightly from this first ridge and contour around to gain access to the tors on the next ridge.

The first group of tors are just up from the saddle between the two ridges. There is a larger, more impressive group of tors towards the summit of the alpine plateau to the left (northwest). There are lots of opportunities for exploring and discovering every nook and cranny of these impressive rock formations. Return the way you come up.


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.