Distance: 3 km
Elevation Gain: 94 m (308 ft)
Time: 2.5 hours
Region: White Pass
Date Added: May 10, 2011
Last Update: September 25, 2011
Summit Creek flows through a narrow canyon lined with steep, rocky cliffs. It is beautiful in both the summer and the winter. After the canyon, you can continue into an open area with many options to explore - left, right and center.
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Drive towards Skagway on the South Klondike highway. About 6.3 km after Canada Customs (Fraser, BC) there is a small pull-out on the west (right) side of the highway. The pull-out is just before a bridge on the highway (but you will only see the bridge if you have driven past the pull-out).
Without snow covering the trees, you will have to use your route finding skills to walk up to the canyon. However, it is fairly open and not that difficult. There are many little tarns (alpine lakes) that you will have to walk around and a couple of shallow creek crossings (depending on the type of year, you may not need to take your boots off for these crossings).
From the highway, you will have to walk around a small tarn either to the left or right. Once around it, head straight around a few other tarns until you find a larger alpine lake below you. Walk around the right (north) side of this lake through the stunted trees. Then, head towards a small stream which doesn't have any trees lining it. Following the stream up the slope is easiest because you avoid walking through the dense stunted trees.
Eventually you should reach a lookout over top of the canyon. From here, you can go down to the creek and then walk around the cliffs until you find a route up the other side. Continue walking along the canyon top until it becomes progressively smaller and then either follow your route back or continue exploring past the canyon.
Start the trail by angling slightly to your left and you should come across a rocky canyon (which Summit Creek flows through). If the conditions are right, you can follow the canyon all the way up. If there is a lot of overhanging snow on the upper sides of the canyon and there are signs of it falling into the canyon, you may want to avoid it altogether. If you want to avoid the canyon, stick to your right and pick your way up the gentle slope.
The canyon sides disappear after about 1.7 km and you will come to a flat, open area. From here you can go up the ridge to the left, head over to the ridge on the right, or cross the long, flat area in front of you (the route described here goes to your left). If you decide to go to the left, you can climb the small ridge for 1 km after the flat area.
At the top of the ridge, you can turn around or loop around and follow another section of the canyon down. When you arrive back at the flatter area, it is probably best to stay to your left and avoid the canyon until it widens out again.
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