Total Distance: 6 km
Return Time: 3.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 428 m
A beautiful backcountry camping destination where steep granite cliffs give way to the dark blue waters of Divide Lake (the headwaters of the North Klondike Valley). The route described here starts from Grizzly Lake and climbs up and over Glissade Pass (300 m elevation gain). Registration with Yukon Parks is required.
This hike starts from the Grizzly Lake backcountry campground.
Note: The distances and times noted here are one way.
From the Grizzly Lake campground, follow the trail back towards the Grizzly Creek trailhead for about 600 m. There will be a trail junction with a fork to the left and a sign indicating Glissade Pass.
Follow the trail to the left and head up the steep slope. There is a well-worn footpath with cairns marking the trail, first up through talus and then onto a steep grassy slope. The hike up to the pass is roughly 300 m elevation over a 1 km distance, but the views are amazing as you climb above Grizzly Lake and admire Mount Monolith and the surrounding rocky peaks.
After taking a breather at the top of the pass (1,811 m elevation), you now get to go down the other side! This is much faster than going up as you can 'glissade' down the loose rocks. Follow the trail all the way to the grassy meadow below.
Pick up the worn trail in the meadow that follows along the left, downstream side of a small creek. This trail continues gradually down the small valley along the creek and then eventually starts to contour along the base of the mountain sides and up the North Klondike Valley (to the west/left). There is some boulder hoping along the way, but it's only another 2 km till you reach the Divide Lake campground.
The campground has ten tent pads, a small cooking shelter, bear lockers, an outhouse, and a barrel for gray water. There are many beautiful day trips you can do from the campground, including Axelman Lakes, Mount Frank Rae, or the many beautiful alpine cirques along the way to Talus Lake. All campers need to register and pick up a permit from the Tombstone Park Interpretive Center before venturing into this area. Registration can be done online through the parks' website or in person at the centre.
Note: the ground squirrels at the campground love to chew on your sweaty gear that is left on the ground. Backpack straps, boot laces, and the tops of hiking poles are their favourite. Always keep your belongings in your tent, including your hiking poles, if you want to be able to use them again.