Mush Lake Road
Distance: 45 km (28 mi) return
Time: 1 - 2 days
Elevation gain: 30m (100')
Maximum elevation: 760m (2,500')
Trailhead: 52 km (32 mi) south of Haines Junction on the Haines Road
Topo map: Mush Lake 115 A/6
This trail is an old access road to Mush Lake and forms the first part of the Cottonwood Trail. Mountain biking and hiking are popular ways of traveling the Mush Lake Road. It is also open to 4WD vehicle traffic if conditions permit, but can be very rough and muddy when wet. This trail does not gain or lose significant elevation as it passes through stands of spruce and poplar. Moose, black bear and waterfowl are common along this trail.
Km 0 - 5.5: The trail begins on a one lane, four-wheel drive road that leads to Mush Lake. The trail is easy to follow and crosses a first creek. High ground clearance is recommended.
Km 5.5 -7.5: At the fork, take the left trail (the right trail leads to Shorty Creek). From here you will cross Alder Creek's many channels for about a kilometer. Travel downstream and follow the posts.
Km 7.5 - l2.0: From this point the trail stays high and dry, following numerous small hills and valleys along the right side of the valley.
Km l2.0 - l6.5: This area and the old primitive campsite at Dalton Creek are not recommended sites for camping due to bear activity. Dalton Creek can be easily crossed via the footbridge on your right.
Km l6.5 - 2l.5: Here the road branches. The left trail continues on to Mush Lake, climbing steadily for the next 5 km. The Cottonwood Trail continues along the right trail.
Km 21.5 - 22.4: A primitive campsite is located at the end of the trail to the right as you face the lake. It consists of outhouses, a food cache and a fire pit. Please remember to practice low impact camping and to pack out all of your garbage.
What you need to know
Caution should be used when driving this trail. Good clearance is needed to cross Alder creek and get over large rocks on the trail. Wet conditions make this road very challenging. Trailers and campers are not recommended. Also, there are few places to turn around or pass other vehicles.
It is possible to fish in Mush 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 in the You Are In Bear Country brochure. All bear sightings should be reported to the staff at one of the Visitor Centres.
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.