King's Throne


Distance: 15 km
Elevation Gain: 1250 m (4101 ft)
Time: 8 hours
Difficulty: Difficult
Region: Kluane
Date Added: June 1, 2008
Last Update: January 2, 2010




The King's Throne is truly a majestic site when viewed from the shores of Kathleen Lake. It looks as if you would need to be a mountaineer with ropes to climb it - but in reality it is not that bad, and is indeed a popular day hike. The views of the surrounding valleys and Kathleen Lake are absolutely breathtaking.


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Photos
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Driving Directions

Drive south from Haines Junction on the Haines Road for 32 km. Turn right at the Kathleen Lake Campground; the campground is well signed. Drive towards Kathleen Lake (rather than the campsite) and look for a sign which says Cottonwood Trail / King's Throne Trail. Park where the sign indicates. Here you will find the old mining road which is the trailhead.




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Trail Description

From the parking lot, follow the old mining road alongside Kathleen Lake. You will reach a fork in the road with a log sign post which indicates to go left for King's Throne/Cottonwood Trail or right for Kathleen Lake. The sign post may be knocked down. If in doubt, always stay to the left on the road. Take the left and continue until you reach the second fork with another log signpost which indicates to go left for King's Throne or right for the Cottonwood Trail. Take the left path which immediately begins to climb steadily upwards.

After a steady climb in the trees, you will reach the treeline and will be following the rest of the path through loose rocks. Here you will get your first view of Kathleen Lake and the surrounding valley. The path switchbacks upwards and should be clearly visible if there is no snow on the trail.

You will reach an obvious plateau in the seat of the King's Throne with an ampitheater of rocky ridges surrounding you. This is a popular lunch stop with an amazing view, and is the turn around point if you are not interested in climbing along the ridge to the summit.

If you decide to continue up towards the summit, the trail becomes more difficult, but is well worth the effort for the extra view of the other side of the mountain. Facing the mountain, you will be taking the left ridge, so continue along the trail and follow it up the steep climb up the ridge. This left ridge will eventually lead to the summit on the right, so don't be tempted to take a short cut and climb the ridge on the right - its too steep.

The path along the ridge starts out steep and eventually turns rocky again. You will soon get a view of Dezadeash Lake to your left while climbing up the ridge. The trail should remain clearly visible except in some rocky scree areas where the trail is not always easy to see. If in doubt, continue along the ridge and stay away from the steep cliffs.

At the top of the ridge will be a plateau where you get a view of some of the mountains adjacent to King's Throne. However, you also get a taste of the brutal winds which can knock you straight off your feet, so you may decide to take a few photos and continue along the ridge right away.

After another steady climb you will finally be rewarded with a magnificant view behind the mountain. Valleys, rivers, lakes, and mountains seem to continue without end. On a clear day you can see the large massif of Mount Alverstone, Mount Hubbard, and Mount Kennedy from here - which is so magnificant as to give you a chill. Carefully follow the thin ridge towards the summit of the King's Throne.


Note: Overnight trips in Kluane National Park and Reserve require registration and approved bear resistant food canisters. Please visit the Park's website for details.

Elevations

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brent bouwman
February 19, 2017

in 1995 I travelled up to the Yukon and Alaska and I stayed in a really cool log cabin near king's throne
mountain and all I remember was the lake was super cold but the view was amazing wish I could travel back up there for like a month during the summer!!!!
Jo
September 5, 2016

Hiked King's Throne on Monday Sept.5th. The actual trail and route which is in essence still a trail are both great. Nice ridge hike to the real summit with an amazing view across the vast expanse of Kathleen lake. I wonder if anyone ever did the circumnavigation of the ridge and came down the NE ridge. Wasn't confident it would go so went back along the ridge the way I came from.
Stephanie Dragoman
August 3, 2016

Amazing view - worth every minute. Made it to the highest peak in about 3.5 hours, total including decent was about 6 hours. Very loose gravel on both the way up and way down.
MeghanM
August 19, 2015

Andreas - the main peaks in your photo are the massifs of Mount Alverstone, Hubbard, and Kennedy (as described in the description above). Cheers!
Andreas Lazda
August 15, 2015

Did this on August 4, 2015. Perfect conditions - clear blue skies, and great mountain hiking temperatures!

Absolutely worth the extra effort to get up to the peak from the throne (although the full descent afterward on the loose & steep slopes was hard on the toes!).

Spectacular views of the snow covered ranges in the distance on this day (clearest one we had had in our two weeks in the Yukon)!! Can someone confirm which peaks are visible in the attached photo (taken facing pretty much due west from the summit)?

And the reflections in Kathleen Lake, were mirror perfect seen from the summit - as the winds below were calm (despite it being quite breezy on top). This was our last hike before leaving Yukon - fabulous!!
Angelo
July 1, 2015

It took me overnight to scale and summit the peak on Solstice. It was a long hard climb and descent but was greeted with spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains and the variety of sub-alpine to alpine plants and their flowers. Many steep sections with almost impossible angles to scale (at least for me)and loose rocks to contend with. I highly suggest the use of hiking poles. It was, for me, a satisfying hike.
Jacqueline
July 2, 2014

We summited on Canada Day. The weather was surprisingly mild and calm at the top, although we had a short bout of light but cold rain as we started the trek down. A sizeable section of the top ridge leading to the summit is still covered in several feet of snow. As a result we had to do a fairly treacherous scramble across the steep loose shale on the backside of the ridge. I'd probably skip that part if I were to do it again, especially since the Kathleen Lake side of the peak's famous 360-degree views was blocked by the towering snow. Still, views to the west were breathtaking and absolutely worth the effort. Other lessons include to bring several litres of water for each person and to never underestimate the intensity of the hike. Two of four in our party had summited before, and we were still surprised at how long and hard the trip was. Weather and snow conditions are unpredictable and can easily throw a dangerous curve ball into plans to summit. The return trip took us about eight hours.
Sophie
September 8, 2013

We stopped at the plateau and did not make it to the top, but it was a really satisfying hike even without reaching the top. The view on Kathleen Lake is just exceptional. I would recommend to bring your poles because the descent can be slippery (loose rocks).
Jennifer Epp
September 7, 2012

Hiked this trip with some friends and carrying my infant daughter. Winds were too strong to carry onto tthe summit that day with such a young passenger along. I found the trip down required extra care due to the loose and steep sections of trail. Gorgeous views of Kathleen lake and the ridges in the distance, lots of interesting flora in the throne.