Sheep Creek

Total Distance: 15 km
Return Time: 6.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 1100 m
Difficulty: Moderate
Region: Kluane
Traditional Territory: KFN, WRFN

A classic Kluane Park hike which offers views of the Slim's River Valley, Kluane Lake, and the mountains around the area. Sheep and grizzlies can often be sighted in the area, so bring binoculars to view them from a distance. If you decide not to hike the ridge to the first summit viewpoint, then the total distance is 10 km (return). However, the view from the top of the ridge overlooking Kluane Lake is spectacular. See Sheep Mountain for the trail up the north ridge of the mountain.

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Driving Directions

From Haines Junction, continue on the Alaska Highway north for about 70 km until you cross a bridge and see the Thachal Dhal (Sheep Mountain) Visitor Center. Immediately after the visitor center, make a left onto Sheep Creek Road. Follow this gravel road for about 2.5 km until you reach the parking lot and trailhead.

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Route Description

Walk up the trail until you reach the first intersection. Follow the trail on the right with the trailhead marker. You will continue to climb through the forest and soon reach some nice viewpoints. At the 4 km mark, hoodoos will appear on the side of Sheep Mountain. Continue to the 5 km mark for a view of the surrounding mountains and down the Slims River (A'ay Chu) to the Kaskawulsh Glacier.

If you are not going to climb the ridge, this is a good turn-around point. If you decide to climb the ridge to the first summit with a view of Kluane Lake, then follow the rough footpath up the ridge for 2.5 km. The views are amazing from the top.

Follow your same route down to the trailhead.

Up the ridge, you can usually spot sheep, so bring your binoculars. Grizzlies roam the area, so make sure you make noise so that you don't surprise them.


It is possible to connect the Sheep Creek Trail with the Sheep Mountain Trail via the Thechal Dhal ridge. There is a fainter trail that connects the two hikes most of the way. It is best to have two vehicles or to get dropped off at the start. We recommend to climb up the Sheep Mountain side and descend down the Sheep Creek Trail as it is easier on the knees going down this side.

Expect 14.4 km, 1,258 m ascent and about 7 hours for the total loop. There will likely be many options to view sheep along the way. Be sure to practice safe viewing from a distance of at least 50 m and avoid disturbing them as you travel. Avoid this area during the lambing season, May 1st to June 15th.

Route Photos

Hoodoos protruding from the side of the mountain at the 4km mark.

The 5 km mark. This is a popular turn-around spot unless you intend on climbing up the ridge.

Taking a peek of Sheep Creek down below in the valley.

Lunch break with a splendid view.

Looking up the valley following Sheep Creek.

Red Castle ridge.

Dwarf Fireweed in bloom.

Slims River valley leading into Kaskawulsh Glacier.

Looking at sheep from the top of the first summit.

Looking down on Kluane Lake and the National Park visitor's centre.

Looking across the Slims River.

The ridge from the 5 km marker up to the first summit.

Satellite View

Route Comments

Submit a comment for Sheep Creek

Udo Kellner March 17, 2024
Great hike. Were there in June 2023 after our Mount Logan expedition to finish off. Here is my video if you like it:
Greetings from Germany Udo

Shailyn August 14, 2023
Hiked this on August 13th. We only hiked to the 5k marker then headed back because of two grizzly bears on the trail (that had moved onto the valley by the ridge up). We saw 45 other people on the trail - busiest I have ever seen, but still bears. Lovely views like always :)

Rhiannon June 26, 2023
Hiked to the 5km marker yesterday. Very dusty & windy conditions. No bear signs & lots of people on the trail. With binoculars, saw 20 or so sheep hanging out near the summit—pretty cool!

Llewelyn August 29, 2022
Hiked to the top of the ridge. Beautiful hike, well defined trail all the way to the top, lots of elevation gain! Dry (and a bit dusty with the wind). Saw 15-20 sheep at the top of the hike and a few more across the valley. No recent signs of bears on the trail.

Shailyn June 20, 2022
Hiked to the 5K point with a bunch of ladies on June 18. Trail is in great condition. No recent signs of bears, but they do love that area.

Heather October 26, 2021
As of October 24 (due to park closure) the roadway leading to the parking lot for Sheep Creek is blocked by a locked gate. We parked at the turn-off just past the Thechal Dhal visitors' centre and walked the ~4km in, adding about 25 minutes each way. Bikes would be perfect here, until it snows more.

Liz B August 30, 2021
We hiked to the Sheep Creek summit in a group of 4 on August 22nd. The trail is in great condition and super easy to follow past the 5km lookout. Pretty early into the hike you begin to get views of the Slims River Valley and Kaskawulsh glacier and the views get better the higher you get. I highly recommend going all the way to the top instead of turning around at the 5km mark.

A few kms into the hike we saw a group of 3 grizzlies on the ridge to the right of the Sheep Creek summit, we kept an eye out for them during the rest of the hike but never ended up spotting them again. We saw the big group of sheep on the peak just north of Sheep Mountain (Williscroft Peak I believe is the name). We also saw one lone sheep sitting along the ridge trail between the Sheep Creek summit and Sheep Mountain summit. Finally we saw two more sheep sitting among the craggy rocks just below the Sheep Creek summit.

I've hiked both Sheep Creek and Sheep Mountain and while they're both incredibly gorgeous trails, if I had to recommend one over the other I would say do Sheep Creek! The trail is more moderate and easier on the knees and the views into Kluane are fabulous, especially on a clear day!

Danette July 19, 2020
Hiked Sheep Creek on July 18th. At around km 2.5, we ran into a juvenile bear (I think grizzly) who followed us for a bit up the trail. He wouldn't go away, despite bear spray (wasn't sprayed in his face), a loud whistle, us yelling, and a large dog, and he approached pretty close to us. He even continued to advance when we stopped. We finally shot a bear banger, and that scared him away. Be careful!

Erin June 15, 2020
Hiked Sheep Creek trail this weekend to the 5km marker. Yes, there is a lot of recent bear activity on the trail. Had to go off the trail for a bit to get around a large puddle around 4km. Otherwise we were the only people we saw on a mid-Saturday (rare!).

Karly June 8, 2020
Hiked the Sheep Creek trail this weekend, but turned around at the 4km marker due to a lot of fresh FRESH bear tracks(in both directions of the trail). I'd hiked the trail before, and it is absolutely amazing but felt less confidant this time around knowing that we were the only 3 people on the entire mountain and that the ranger station was closed (this trail is usually very busy).

D. Schmidt September 11, 2019
28 Aug 2019
Intended to hike up Observation Mtn at the end of Slims West, but felt a bit tuckered from a hike the day prior. This gave me the opportunity to still see the Kuskawulsh glacier, without trudging through the mud of Slims West. Trek is as per all other descriptions here, which are spot-on. As well, cell reception is great at the summit since there is a repeater next peak over.
This post is to warn of amendments to the Kluane Recreation Guide maps issued by Parks Canada (2019 edition, poster size, handed out at the visitor centers). See photo of map inset. Trail number "2" is sheep creek as described here; Route "B", called Thechal Dhal Ridge, is listed as a "loop", coming down the east ridge from the summit back to the highway. However, a supplemental trail guide for Sheep Creek clearly identifies this descent as closed due to environmental concerns, with return to the trailhead via the same rte (Sheep Creek tr). I found out about the closure by chance, shattering my plans on the rocks of despair. Someone made a stone pointer-arrow at the first summit indicating the way down. Check with the parks office for current info before scree-running down the slopes. Ask, they may forget to mention it. Oh, and the office at the base closes at 4pm, not at 7 like the one in Haines Jct. Plan accordingly if you're intending to register for back-country after coming off Sheep Ck.

Sandrine et Sevan August 14, 2019
Awesome trail today, definitely worth the hike. We were a little bit worried once we got at The Visitor Center because of the poster about a curious bear spotted in the area on the 6th of August. The staff at the front desk reassured us that a group of two people would be safe enough. also that there were many people on the trail. We got to the 5km mark without problems, the View was beautiful. but once we tried going farther we saw multiple areas where the grass had been turned upside down by the bears. Even though these signs of bear activity did not seem recent (because the grass was dried up), the intensification of the signs on the path, plus the fact that most other visitors had turned around at the 5km Mark (we felt all alone in there) had us turn around in a few hundred metres. Otherwise we felt safe on the rest of the trail and it was worth it! You just gotta be loud lol

Laurie S June 12, 2019
Awesome day! Clouds started to roll in mid-afternoon but good weather otherwise.
No signs of animals but there are lots of animal paths so they are around!
Beautiful area!

Laurie S June 12, 2019
Awesome day! Clouds started to roll in mid-afternoon but good weather otherwise.
No signs of animals but there are lots of animal paths so they are around!
Beautiful area!

Luke m April 30, 2019
Hike to the 5km marker. This hike was worth the trip with its views! Did see signs of bear and big cat on trail but the tracks and skat were a few days old!

Sara D. March 29, 2019
Great hike! Hiked this on March 24th, 2019.

We didn't hike the entire way because of time constraints but the view was still amazing. The gate was locked so we had to walk from there to the trail head (4 km). I think we only hiked to the first viewpoint. After that there was too much snow and snowshoes would be needed. The trail was pretty muddy and a bit icy the entire way. A ram and about 8 sheep were at the viewpoint though!

Kyle September 20, 2018
Hiked on Septembre 19,
Great hike that offers something for everyone.

If you want to just do the 2km it is still well worth it. At the 2km marker there is a herd of sheep waiting for you there and sweeping views of Slim's river.

If you continue to the 5km marker you enter the heart of the mountains, which at the moment is a panorama of fall colours surrounding you. You also can see and hear the creek between the mountains, however you do go away from the water views.

From here if you continue to the summit the hike starts to get much harder. It is a steep climb to the summit but well worth it. You get the views of Slim's river again and sheep are seen close to the summit and at the summit. Some snow now at the summit when I went. A herd of sheep waiting for me at the summit, you get great views of the start of Kluane lake and Slim's river beside it as well as a tremendous amount of mountains all around you.

Total distance for me was 20km.
Time to ascend was 2 hours.
Descent 1:05 hours.
And 45mins at the summit (lunch and rest)
9 stars out of 10 for this hike

Angela July 4, 2018
Hiked this on June 25. When our plans for a 3-day down Slim's fell through, we were recommended this as an alternative (a Parks' staff noted that though they had an advisory to travel in groups of 4 in most of the area due to grizzly activity, this hike tends to be busy enough that it wouldn't be an issue).

Straight forward hike up a well-trod trail, with terrific views most of the way (as others have mentioned, if you're in a rush, the first viewpoint could easily be your turnaround point). We continued past the end point and up to the ridge which was good fun. It was a windy day - the trail was dusty and were able to see a bit of a sandstorm through the valley into Kluane Lake.

No bear or sheep sightings.

Dee July 31, 2017
Hiked up on July 29 to the 5km viewpoint. Beautiful views all the way, especially between the 3.8km and 5km lookout. 4 hours total, with lots of stops for photos. Hike isn't too steep, but is a climb most of the way up. Would highly recommend this hike!
No sheep or bear sightings, although it was quite a busy day on the trail.

Ralph Boardman July 23, 2016
Hiked up to the 5 km mark in cloudy, often drizzly conditions. The trail was a bit slippery in spots because of that, especially beyond the 3.8 km marker where it narrows quite a bit. The herd of Dall sheep were very obvious on the slope just above the starting point but moved off up the mountain and out of sight as we watched. Did not see them again on the hike but did startle a crossfox on the way down.

Andreas Lazda August 15, 2015
Did this on a mostly overcast day (Aug 1, 2015) - still got some views of the Glacier in the distance.

Only went as far as the 5km marker, which in itelf doesn't provide any great views so I would say either go further, or stop and turn back after the first, great viewpoint at roughly 2km.

Did see a herd of ~20 Dall Sheep from the trailhead parking lot, on the slope above, but by the time we hiked to a closer point on the trail they had moved off.

Wei Dong Qi August 4, 2015
We hiked up to first stop at 5km mark and continue to walk up the hill. Very nice to view the mountains and ice field. We spent about 7 hours on the trail. We didn't meet any sheep and bear.

Karen May 31, 2015
We hiked up to the 5km mark over the May long weekend. We started just after lunch and made it back just before the winds picked up and started to sweep sand over the valley. There were fresh grizzly prints in the mud up to the trailhead, and we spotted a few more on the way down that were over our tracks from the climb up. Views at the top are incredible. Saw a number of sheep too.

Melissa July 14, 2014
Hikes this trail yesterday with the family. Very nice day; not too buggy, lots of sunshine and plenty of other people on the trail. There were some really great places to stop and let the little guy out of the pack to stretch his legs.

David Raithby September 4, 2012
Hiked Sheep Creek on a windy August day. Very popular hike that day and wonderful view up the Slims river.

Marko Marjanovic May 30, 2012
We hiked Sheep Creek trail up to the 5km viewpoint last week (May 17th). The trail was dry and snow free. We saw dozens of sheep along the way and had a clear view all the way down to the Kaskawulsh Glacier.