Sheep Creek

Distance: 15 km
Elevation Gain: 1100 m (3609 ft)
Time: 6.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Region: Kluane
Date Added: July 27, 2008
Last Update: May 22, 2011
Winter: ski touring snowshoeing 

A great hike which offers views of the Slim's River valley, Kluane Lake, and the mountains around the area. Sheep and grizzlies can often be sighted in the area, so bring binoculars to view them from a distance. If you decide not to hike the ridge to the first summit viewpoint, then the total distance is 10 km. However, the view from the top of the ridge overlooking Kluane Lake is spectacular. See Sheep Mountain for the trail up the north ridge of the mountain.

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Driving Directions

From Haines Junction, continue on the Alaska Highway north for about 70 km until you cross a bridge and see the Sheep Mountain Visitors Center. Immediately after the visitors center, make a left onto Sheep Creek road. Follow this gravel road for about 2.5 km until you reach the parking spot.

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Trail Description

Walk up the trail until you reach the first intersection. Follow the trail on the right with the trailhead marker. You will continue to climb through the forest and soon reach some nice viewpoints. At the 4 km mark, hoodoos will appear on the side of the mountain. Continue to the 5 km mark for a view of the surrounding valley.

If you are not going to climb the ridge, this is a good turn-around point. If you decide to climb the ridge to the first summit with a view of Kluane Lake, then follow the rough footpath up the ridge for 2.5 km.

You can continue to follow the ridge from the first summit and even do a loop down the Sheep Mountain trail if you feel like [If you are doing a loop, it is recommended to do it in reverse and descend down the Sheep Creek trail]. Otherwise, you can turn around and follow your same route down to the trailhead.

Up the ridge, you can usually spot sheep, so bring your binoculars. Grizzlies roam the area, so make sure you make noise so that you don't suprise 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.


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Comments / Trip Reports

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September 20, 2018

Hiked on Septembre 19,
Great hike that offers something for everyone.

If you want to just do the 2km it is still well worth it. At the 2km marker there is a herd of sheep waiting for you there and sweeping views of Slim's river.

If you continue to the 5km marker you enter the heart of the mountains, which at the moment is a panorama of fall colours surrounding you. You also can see and hear the creek between the mountains, however you do go away from the water views.

From here if you continue to the summit the hike starts to get much harder. It is a steep climb to the summit but well worth it. You get the views of Slim's river again and sheep are seen close to the summit and at the summit. Some snow now at the summit when I went. A herd of sheep waiting for me at the summit, you get great views of the start of Kluane lake and Slim's river beside it as well as a tremendous amount of mountains all around you.

Total distance for me was 20km.
Time to ascend was 2 hours.
Descent 1:05 hours.
And 45mins at the summit (lunch and rest)
9 stars out of 10 for this hike
July 4, 2018

Hiked this on June 25. When our plans for a 3-day down Slim's fell through, we were recommended this as an alternative (a Parks' staff noted that though they had an advisory to travel in groups of 4 in most of the area due to grizzly activity, this hike tends to be busy enough that it wouldn't be an issue).

Straight forward hike up a well-trod trail, with terrific views most of the way (as others have mentioned, if you're in a rush, the first viewpoint could easily be your turnaround point). We continued past the end point and up to the ridge which was good fun. It was a windy day - the trail was dusty and were able to see a bit of a sandstorm through the valley into Kluane Lake.

No bear or sheep sightings.
July 31, 2017

Hiked up on July 29 to the 5km viewpoint. Beautiful views all the way, especially between the 3.8km and 5km lookout. 4 hours total, with lots of stops for photos. Hike isn't too steep, but is a climb most of the way up. Would highly recommend this hike!
No sheep or bear sightings, although it was quite a busy day on the trail.
Ralph Boardman
July 23, 2016

Hiked up to the 5 km mark in cloudy, often drizzly conditions. The trail was a bit slippery in spots because of that, especially beyond the 3.8 km marker where it narrows quite a bit. The herd of Dall sheep were very obvious on the slope just above the starting point but moved off up the mountain and out of sight as we watched. Did not see them again on the hike but did startle a crossfox on the way down.
Andreas Lazda
August 15, 2015

Did this on a mostly overcast day (Aug 1, 2015) - still got some views of the Glacier in the distance.

Only went as far as the 5km marker, which in itelf doesn't provide any great views so I would say either go further, or stop and turn back after the first, great viewpoint at roughly 2km.

Did see a herd of ~20 Dall Sheep from the trailhead parking lot, on the slope above, but by the time we hiked to a closer point on the trail they had moved off.
Wei Dong Qi
August 4, 2015

We hiked up to first stop at 5km mark and continue to walk up the hill. Very nice to view the mountains and ice field. We spent about 7 hours on the trail. We didn't meet any sheep and bear.
May 31, 2015

We hiked up to the 5km mark over the May long weekend. We started just after lunch and made it back just before the winds picked up and started to sweep sand over the valley. There were fresh grizzly prints in the mud up to the trailhead, and we spotted a few more on the way down that were over our tracks from the climb up. Views at the top are incredible. Saw a number of sheep too.
July 14, 2014

Hikes this trail yesterday with the family. Very nice day; not too buggy, lots of sunshine and plenty of other people on the trail. There were some really great places to stop and let the little guy out of the pack to stretch his legs.
David Raithby
September 4, 2012

Hiked Sheep Creek on a windy August day. Very popular hike that day and wonderful view up the Slims river.
Marko Marjanovic
May 30, 2012

We hiked Sheep Creek trail up to the 5km viewpoint last week (May 17th). The trail was dry and snow free. We saw dozens of sheep along the way and had a clear view all the way down to the Kaskawulsh Glacier.