Total Distance: 7 km
Return Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 611 m
Region: Tombstone Territorial Park
Traditional Territory: THFN
This quick but steep hike off the Dempster Highway has beautiful views of the Blackstone River Valley and the amazing ridge system of the Distincta Peak area near Windy Pass.
This hike is located at KM 131 of the Dempster Highway, about 60 km north on the highway from the Tombstone Territorial Campground. Look for a small pullout on the left at a large culvert draining an unnamed creek. You can start the route on the north side of this creek. You've driven too far if you reach a gravel pit and road further north on the right, about 400 m from the trailhead.
From the parking area, pick your way through the tussocks and low bush to reach the base of the rocky ridge. There are a few lightly-worn footpaths that lead up the rocky ridge at the beginning, and you can watch for cairns along the way, but there isn't anything official or well-established. Zig-zag your way up the base of the ridge, across the shale-like rocks and low shrub-birch, lichen, wildflowers and the odd spruce tree.
Just after about 1.2 km of hiking up, you'll reach a small section of the ridge that is more forested where it levels out a bit. After that you'll be in the alpine for the rest of the way over rock and alpine vegetation. Keep hiking up to a rocky looking subpeak. It gets a little bit rockier at the subpeak with some easy scrambling. There are some amazing views from the subpeak looking down at the Blackstone Valley below.
The hiking is easier along the next part of the ridge as the elevation levels out for a bit. It is 1.5 km from the subpeak to Infant Peak, which is the next obvious peak along the ridge. There is a small rocky descent and final rocky ascent to reach the top. The views of the surrounding ridges and peaks are beautiful if you have good weather. Mount Abraham is the next main peak along the ridge. It would be another ~2 km distance (one way) and 350 m elevation gain to reach Mount Abraham. A further ridge connecting from Mount Abraham to the northeast would lead you to Distincta Peak. Though there are more direct routes to Distincta Peak.
Return the way you came.