Distance: 19 km
Elevation Gain: 1200 m (3937 ft)
Time: 7 hours
Date Added: June 29, 2008
Last Update: August 7, 2013
When you drive south of Whitehorse, you can't miss this formidable mountain looming in the distance. Mount Lorne offers views of Whitehorse, Grey Mountain, Marsh Lake, Bennett Lake, McConnell Lake, Cowley Lake, and numerous peaks across the South Klondike Highway.
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From Whitehorse, drive south to the Carcross Cutoff and turn right onto the South Klondike Highway. Drive south for about 18 km. Two kilometers after the Annie Lake Road turnoff (on the right) will be Bear Creek. There is a parking spot immediately after Bear Creek on the left and right side of the highway.
The trailhead is on the north side of the highway (left side of Bear Creek, looking upstream). The trail starts by following Bear Creek for 50 m and then tucks into the trees. Very soon there is a 'T' junction in the path - turn right, as left leads to a house.
The trail will follow beside Bear Creek for about 1 km and then it turns off into the trees. The path wanders through dark spruce trees, and is lined with soft yellow-green moss and wildflowers. After 5.5 km from the trailhead, you will reach an old trapper's cabin. Up until here, the trail has a relatively moderate elevation gain and is wide and easy to follow.
Once a the cabin, stop for a view of the valley below. Then, leave the wide main trail and look for a narrow path behind the cabin in the trees which climbs steeply upwards. You will soon leave the trees with the trail running through waist high birch and willow shrubs. The trail will eventually get you up to the top of the ridge where the brush thins out.
The top of the treeless ridge is a nice viewpoint. Follow this ridge right up to the first summit which is identifiable by its black, rocky surface. The first summit is steep and requires some scrambling. The easiest route to the top is around the left side of the peak.
Soak in the views of Whitehorse and Grey Mountain to the north. Marsh Lake is to the east. To the west is McConnell Lake and many snowy peaks. To the south is Bennett Lake. Follow the same route back to the trailhead unless you are attempting the full loop option (below).
Ridge Loop Option
Expect 9 hours and 23.5 kms total return trip.
For more views and an exciting and challenging ridge walk, you can hike along the ridge of Mount Lorne all the way to the other side and do a loop back to the cabin. This ridge walk route continues up and all the way along the rocky ridge and then descends onto an ATV trail that will eventually loop back onto the main trail. Expect a total of 9 hours to do this loop.
To start the ridge loop, descend from the first summit (described above) along the ridge. You can't get lost, as you will have to follow the ridge all the way around. The ridge is narrow and makes for a challenging hike. It may feel a bit exposed in some parts requiring scrambling and skirting around rockier sections.
At the end of the ridge, descend down the broad shoulder. The key now is to find the ATV trail that leads back to the cabin and the main trail. You should aim for the broad ridge angling slightly towards the left. Even though this seems like the wrong direction, do not be tempted to take any of the right branches or descend into the valley - otherwise you will have lots of bushwhacking to do.
Once you reach the ATV trail, follow it until it connects back with the main trail at the cabin.