Kluane National Park and Reserve (est 1972, 22 013.3 km2
) is an area of unclimbed peaks, vast ice fields, clear lakes, GLACIERS
and spectacular wildlife. Tucked in the southwest corner of the Yukon Territory, 150 km west of Whitehorse, the park contains Canada's highest peak, MOUNT LOGAN
. It is named after the Yukon's largest lake, which borders the park. The park and park reserve, together with Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Provincial Park, BC, and Glacier Bay/Wrangle-St Elias national parks in Alaska, form the largest international UNITED NATIONS WORLD HERITAGE SITE
in the world covering some 109 000 km2
Surrounding Mount Logan's jagged 6050 m summit and dominating the park is the world's largest concentration of ice fields and glaciers. Fringing the glaciers and barren rocky mountain peaks is a narrow "green belt" of alpine tundra and lush valleys of coniferous and deciduous forests, providing critical habitat for the park's abundant wildlife.
The park is well known for its wildlife, including ground squirrels, caribou, moose, grizzly and black bears, Dall sheep and mountain goats. Some 150 bird species, from golden eagles to golden-crowned sparrows, inhabit the park.
Archaeologists believe humans may have lived in the area after the last ICE AGE
. The park is part of the homeland of the TUTCHONE
. Part of the park has reserve status until land claims are settled. Explorers, prospectors, climbers and hunters settled around Kluane beginning in the 1890s. The completion of the ALASKA HIGHWAY
, which runs along its eastern boundary, opened up the area and led to the development of a wildlife reserve in 1942. In 1972 the area was set aside as a national park.
There is camping at Kathleen Lake, hiking and climbing, or fishing (June-August). There are winter facilities for cross-country skiing, ice fishing and camping. The nearby towns of HAINES JUNCTION
and Destruction Bay on the Alaska Highway provide essential services.
Kluane National Park and Reserve, YT. The glacier feeds the Donjek River in the St Elias Range (Corel Professional Photos).
Kluane Mountain Range
The ranges are partly within Kluane National Park and are a popular destination among hikers and climbers (Corel Professional Photos).
Kluane National Park
The world's largest non-polar icefields are located in Kluane National Park (courtesy Colour Library Books Ltd.).
MAXWELL W. FINKELSTEIN
Links to Other Sites
United Nations World Heritage Sites
Information about locations in Canada that have been designated United Nations World Heritage Sites. From the United Nations website.
Kluane National Park and Reserve of Canada
This illustrated Parks Canada website describes the ecology, geography, and history of Kluane National Park and Reserve of Canada.
Check out the informative website for the historic Village of Haines Junction, located in a scenic region of the Yukon renown for eco-tourism and many wilderness adventure activities.
Nature preserved in northern B.C.
An article about visiting scenic Kluane National Park. From canada.com.
At home in the Yukon
This interactive website is devoted to the cultural diversity and history of the Yukon. Features photographs, maps, and oral histories from the holdings of Yukon Archives.
National Parks Project
A close-up virtual tour of Canada's superb National Parks. Based on the National Parks Project TV series at Discovery World HD online.
Mount Logan: Canadian Titan
Explore mighty Mount Logan, the tallest mountain in Canada, and find out about the history of First Nations communities in this region. From the Virtual Museum of Canada.