Total Distance: 10 km
Return Time: 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 1215 m
Region: Annie Lake
Traditional Territory: KDFN, CTFN
This is a challenging hike in the beautiful Annie Lake Region, along a formidable ridgeline to the summit. With over 1,200 m elevation gain and route finding through the forest to reach the start of the ridge, this hike is recommended for relatively experienced hikers. NOTE: The area falls within Category A Settlement Lands of both the Kwanlin Dun First Nation and Carcross Tagish First Nation. Please respect their rules and land.
From Whitehorse, drive south on the Alaska Highway to the Carcross Cutoff and turn right onto the South Klondike Highway. Drive on the South Klondike Highway for about 17 km and turn right onto the Annie Lake Road. After 17 km on the Annie Lake Road, you will reach the north end of Annie Lake (which looks more like a large marsh). Drive another kilometre, and just after a bend in the road to the left, watch for a side road to your right. This is the same road to the Red Ridge hike. Drive down this side road for 1.7 km until there is a fork in the road. Take the fork to the left and park shortly afterwards where the road ends. Note it is advisable that you have a vehicle with higher clearance for this side road off the Annie Lake Road, as it is quite rutted.
From the parking area, head west and pick your way through the trees towards the southern base of Mount Perkins. Ignore the ATV trail that also heads west from the parking area, as it eventually leads towards Perkins Creek and does not take you to the base of the mountain. The approach through the forest is relatively easy walking and is a mix of open lichen and pine forest at first and then aspen and spruce forests.
After about 1 kilometre from the trailhead, you will cross a small cutline that runs basically north-south. Keep heading west as the route starts to gain more and more elevation. As you get closer to the base of the ridge, you will find a small footpath. Follow this trail as it starts to contour along the south (left) side of the ridge high above the creek. It then climbs steadily up through the trees, and eventually comes out above treeline. It is steep going at times. It is just over 1 kilometre and 320 m elevation gain from the cutline to the treeline.
Once you reach treeline, it is a steep 240 m climb up to the first false summit. The route is straightforward after this, just keep hiking up along the rocky ridge until you reach the top. It may seem like a never-ending climb, but the views are great along the way, looking back along the ridge towards Annie Lake. The north facing side of Mount Perkins is quite dramatic, with rocky cliffs and rock pinnacles, as you look down towards Red Ridge. Watch for mountain sheep and always give wildlife a wide berth.
Once at the summit of Mount Perkins, you have even better views of the mountains to the west and can dream up some extended hiking options in this beautiful area. Return the way you came down.