St. Elias Lake Trail

Kluane National Park and Reserve

Distance: 7.6 km (4.8 mi) return trip
Time: 2 - 4 hrs
Elevation gain: 120 m (400')
Maximum elevation: 885 m (2,900')

60 km (37 mi) south of Haines Junction on the Haines Highway
Topo map:  Mush Lake 115 A/6

In summary

This trail provides for a short day hike on easy terrain through a variety of habitats. It is enjoyable for the whole family and is a popular overnight trip.

The details

The St. Elias Lake Trail follows an old recreation road from the Haines Highway to a sub-alpine lake that lies between 1,370 m (4,495’) tall mountains.

The first part of the trail is hilly, and winds through mixed stands of spruce and aspen. The trail continues through a coniferous forest for 2.4 km, and descends into a sub-alpine valley populated with dwarf birch and willow. During spring and early summer, the wild flowers are abundant in this location. Signs of wildlife may be numerous. Watch for bear, moose, beaver, spruce grouse, loons, ducks, and mountain goats on the high mountain slopes. Also watch for one of the very few lodgepole pine trees in the park, it is found on the last stretch of this hike.

There is a primitive campsite at the East end of the lake consisting of 4 tent pads, a fire pit and an outhouse.

What you need to know

A canoe is located here and may be rented by contacting Kluane Adventures at the Dalton Trail Lodge 867-634-2099. It is also possible to fish in St. Elias Lake. A National Park fishing license is required.

For all overnight trips in the park approved Bear Resistant Food Canisters are mandatory and a Wilderness Permit is required.  Both can be obtained from the Kluane National Park and Reserve Visitor Centre in Haines Junction. For more information, Overnight Registration.

Bear sightings are common in this area. Review recommendations for travel within the You Are In Bear Country brochure.  Please report all bear sightings to the staff at the Visitor Centre.

Parks Canada 24 hour emergency dispatch


Cellular telephones do not work in most of the park. Satellite phones or satellite messaging devices are strongly recommended.

map of St Elias Lake trail

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