Three Guardsmen


Distance: 7 km
Elevation Gain: 780 m (2559 ft)
Time: 5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Region: Haines Pass
Date Added: November 12, 2013
Last Update: November 12, 2013
Winter: alpine skiing snowshoeing 



Three Guardsmen Mountain is a beautiful and challenging hike in the Haines Pass Area with stunning views across to the mountains of the Tatshenshini-Alsek Park. The highest of the rocky spires of Three Guardsmen Mountain is called Glave Peak. The route follows an old exploration road for the first few kilometers, and then takes a steeper, more direct approach to gain the ridge. This route currently ends at the beginning of the main rocky ridge. It is possible to follow the ridge if you want a longer hike.


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Winter



Driving Directions

From Haines Junction, drive south on the Haines Highway for 154 km. Just past the Three Guardsmen Lake, find a suitable spot on the highway shoulder to park.




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Trail Description

The summer and winter route is roughly the same. From the highway, you will have to drop down to a somewhat marshy area to get onto the exploration road. Pick your way across the wet area, by simply staying on top of rocks and grassy mounds until you reach the road. You may have to move through a few bushes, but it is very minimal.

Follow the road as it switchbacks up the hillside. After about 2.5 km, you will need to leave the road and head up to the ridge. The road continues for another 5 km to an alpine cirque, which is another option if you want a less steep hike.

Choose your way up the slope to reach the southern end of the ridge. The views are beautiful along the entire route, and get better and better as you gain elevation. This route description ends at the beginning of the main rocky ridge, which leads to Glave Peak. It is possible to continue along the ridge, but it becomes more challenging as you reach the rocky spires.

Elevations

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Comments / Trip Reports

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Jo
October 11, 2016

Hiked the Three Guardmen on Sat Oct 8th. We went up the right side of the obvious main drainage on the way up, then cut across a short boulder field and up again to meet the road higher up. We then hiked on the E side of the SW ridge and found some unstable boulders on the way up. It gets a bit scrambly at the top and we made it to GR 199069, basically the South sub-summit of the more higher and more impressive rock formation to the North (The three guardmen). On the way down, we opted to stay on the ridge and then descend W of the SW ridge which was better ground/better travel. We beelined for a low point in the road back to our vehicle.

If you have more time for a half day stroll in Haines Pass, we also hiked from Haines pass Summit GR115166 in a SW direction to a knob overlooking Samuel Glacier at GR088151. About 7 km and 270m elevation change. You will have to ford the creek early on. Great walk!
Murray Lundberg
October 2, 2016

On October 1st, I hiked up to the cirque and did some exploring. I topped out at 1,387 meters. As I hit snow just below the cirque, I'm looking at this as a reconnaissance for future, longer trips. It's an absolutely superb hike, with almost 180 degrees of constant incredible views. Ruins of a mining camp from probably the 1950s, and extensive exploration work over the southern half of the cirque, has me intrigued enough to try to find out who they were. No large animals were seen, though some very old grizzly scat was on the road/trail not far from the cirque. There's no need to slog through the marsh at the start - the little creek that drains it has "stepping stones" a cross it in at least 2 places. The trail starts at the northeast corner of the gravel pit, and has a couple of tape flags marking it. A lot of work has been done clearing brush along the lower trail.
Justine
June 12, 2016

I did this hike with a friend May 27th, it was beautiful and sunny, but still quite a lot of snow. In order the hit the mining road we had to cross a quick-moving stream (took off our hikers) and quite a large marsh area. My friend's feet were wet because she was wearing hiking shoes, not boots.
The road was still mostly covered with snow but visible, and we walked beside it, then cut up the south side of the mountain.
The rocks become really unsteady as we approached the ridge, making us feel like we were on a stair climber, but the view was so worth it! We stopped and had lunch at the first rocky ridge.
The way down was a little rough on my ankles so I was walking in the snow took and tumble and then realized I could slide quite a bit of the way down on my bottom (not a recommendation, but it worked for us and expedited our return).
Total time was approximately 3 hours return (including lunch).