Kluane National Park and Reserve
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.
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.