Cottonwood trailhead at Kathleen Lake, 27 km (17 mi) south of Haines Junction
10 km (6 mi) return to cirque; 16 km (10 mi) return to summit
4 - 6 hours to cirque; 8 - 10 hours to summit
548 M (1 800') to cirque; 1442M (4729') to summit
1280 M (4 200') at cirque; 1990 M (6529') at summit
1:50 000 Topographic Map:
Kathleen Lakes 115 A/11
This is a steep trail up to a spectacular cirque - the "seat" of the King’s Throne. Alpine flowers and great views are some of the highlights of this route.
The trail begins at the Cottonwood trailhead (located between the campground road and the day use area at the lake shore). For approximately the first 2 km, the trail follows an old mining road along the south side of Kathleen Lake. Watch for a trail marker indicating where the King's Throne trail and Cottonwood trail branch off to the left. Here, at the base of the mountain, the trail begins to climb through a forested area. Another trail marker will indicate where the Cottonwood trail branches to the right. Stay left to continue up the King’s Throne trail. Once the trail emerges from the trees, it zigzags back and forth up the mountain. Please hike on the switchbacks and avoid shortcut trails to prevent erosion and confusion. This will take you to the bench of the throne. The maintained trail ends here. Hiking to this point and returning to Kathleen Lake Day Use Area is approximately a 4-hour trip.
It is possible to follow an unmarked, unmaintained route to the peak of the mountain by climbing the grassy ridge on the left side of the cirque (as you face into the cirque). After a steep climb up the ridge, at about 1830M (6000'), the terrain levels out and you can cross the mountaintop to the peak. Climbing to the peak from the bench of the throne and returning to the bench will require approximately another 4 hours of hiking time.
The steep scree and rock slopes encountered on this route can be unstable and can present some difficult hiking. Weather is another factor to consider on this route. Strong wind gusts can be a hazard on the exposed ridges. Also watch for clouds, which can descend rapidly and make finding the trail or route difficult.
Review bear safety information in the You Are In Bear Country brochure. All bear sightings should be reported to the staff at one of the Visitor Centres.
Trails and Routes