Total Distance: 9 km
Return Time: 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 938 m
Traditional Territory: KDFN, CAFN
This is a challenging hike in the Ibex Valley up to a ridge with dramatic cliff faces and spectacular views of the sinuous Ibex River and impressive north face of Mount Ingram. This route is especially beautiful in the fall.
NOTE: This hike has been updated, to document the actual trail that heads up to the alpine. The old route that started from the Ibex Valley Road has been removed.
From Whitehorse drive north on the Alaska Highway. Approximately 11 km past the North Klondike Highway junction look for a sign for the Old Alaska Highway (Mile 929-934) on the left. This will be the second entrance to the Old Alaska Highway (Mile 929-934). Follow this road for 2.3 km and take a right on Scout Lake Road (a less maintained road). You will follow the Scout Lake Road for a total of 7.7 km. There are some rougher and rutted sections of the road, so a vehicle with good clearance is nice to have.
Note watching your odometer and having a GPS are very useful, as this area has many side roads and trails off the main road. For example, you will pass a road down to Scout Lake at km 3.6 of the Scout Lake Road (on the left) and another road down to Cub Lake at km 5.7 (on the left), just keep to the main road.
At kKM 7.7, you will take a right onto rougher road. Stay on this road for just over 1 km, sticking to the main road, ignoring any side roads and keep left at any major intersections with other roads. Eventually the road will come to an end, where the trail starts. There is enough room to park and turn around.
This mountain is unnamed so we are referring to it as Ibex Ridge due to its location over the Ibex Valley. This is not Ibex Mountain, which is located 25 km to the south within the headwaters of the Ibex River.
From the end of the road, head southwest for a short moment to an open meadow. There is a faint trail through the meadow, that heads across the slope and then eventually uphill and more northwest. Watch for the odd rock cairn along the way. Once you near a massive boulder, you will find a more well-defined trail through the trees.
The trail is easy to follow once in the trees and there are rock cairns and wooden posts marking the way all the way to the alpine. It is still a steep trail but no real bushwhacking. It is about 2.2 km from the trailhead until the alpine, with nearly 500 m of elevation gain.
Once in the alpine, after a final wooden post, there is no longer a well-defined trial. You will see a rocky, partly-vegetated slope up to the ridge. Pick your way up, avoiding as much bushwhacking as possible. Once above this, you are on an open ridge and it is much more gradual elevation gain. You will get your first of many spectacular views over the dramatic south face of the mountain and across the Ibex River Valley over to Mount Ingram. You will want to go higher and higher as each new viewpoint offers another spectacular rock face and evermore views down the Ibex River Valley.
Watch for Dall sheep in the area and keep any dogs under control. The ridge continues for many kilometers, but the route described here to the 'Ridge Viewpoint' provides a good amount of hiking with rewarding views. The viewpoint is 2.4 km short of the main mountain summit, which requires a 100 m descent and then a further ascent up to the summit. We recommend that you take the same route back regardless of how far you go on the ridge.
Pippa October 4, 2020
Great hike! Thanks to Kate for the very helpful flagging. We clocked 8km from Scout Lake Rd to the turnoff. Also noted highway sign for second entrance to Old AK Hwy says "Mile 934-929", not the reverse. Drive in is challenging - high clearance essential. Nice trail but easy to miss on the way down if you aren't careful. We will take GPS or map/compass next time as we ended up bushwhacking the entire way down and out to the road in order to get back to the car.
Glenda August 8, 2020
Add us to the list of people that had trouble finding the trailhead! We clocked 8.2 kms, not 7.7 from the turn onto Scout Lake Road. If you reach a distinct very rough section of rockfall on the road, you're almost there--just go a few hundred metres more to the final road segment. We saw a few people parked at that rough spot, but you can drive all the way to the trailhead in a low clearance vehicle.
Mike Pare/ Joanne Pare June 27, 2020
Fun, grunt of a hike. Getting to the trail head is as much of an adventure as the hike is. Some kind fellow hikers we met today have flagged the right hand turn with orange and blue flagging tape. The trip up that rough little road is closer to two km. From there the trail is well marked as described with carins and some orange flags.
Kate June 27, 2020
We hiked Ibex Ridge this morning. We found the driving and trail instructions to be accurate, but heard from quite a few groups that we passed on the way down that they found it hard to find, so we added some flagging tape on our way out.
At the turn off of Scout Lake Road around 7.7 km, we added blue and orange flagging tape (used a combo because we had seen orange tape on the way in). Once you've turned off Scout Lake Road, our odometer showed approximately 1.5 km to the place where the road ends. We only saw one confusing intersection along this side road and flagged the proper fork with blue and orange flagging tape. From where we parked, we also marked the way into the meadow with orange flagging tape.
We loved the hike - we had tried the route a few years ago and found this much easier than the former bushwhacking. We didn't need the cairns much on the way up, but found them very helpful on the way down.
We dawdled along the ridge, checking out various view points. Our favourites were some of the early ones, so if you make the ridge and don't feel like pressing on, don't worry too much! We were four hours round trip.
Sylvie June 24, 2020
A group of us hiked this trial in June 2020. We had some issues finding the trailhead, in part because we were relying on an app that took us to the « old » trail head. We ended up bushwhacking for awhile before finding the actual start of the trail. 😂 The directions on here were pretty spot-on once we figured it out. The attached photo is of the meadow at the beginning of the trail.
This hike is a good workout, but the trail is not unpleasant to hike - not a lot of rock scrambles or anything. It’s appropriate for dogs, though you’ll definitely want to keep them on leash once you reach the ridge.
We took our time and had a nice leisurely lunch, and the hike took us about 9 hours up and down. The view was definitely worth it.
Antje June 13, 2020
Can anyone confirm if this is close to the beginning of the trail? I had trouble finding it but stumbled upon this bit that was the only obvious part of the trail when it was time to go home.