Nature and science
Behold! An empire of mountains and ice. Situated in the Yukon’s imposing St. Elias Mountains, Kluane is home to seventeen of the country’s 20 tallest mountains, including Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak. Over half the land mass is permanently draped in snow and ice – the remainder fosters forests and tundra with stable populations of eagles, grizzlies and other species often at risk elsewhere.
A vital aspect of the mandate for Canada’s national parks is to maintain ecological integrity, to ensure that the structure and function of the ecosystems are unimpaired by human activity and likely to persist.
The St. Elias Mountains consist of two ranges separated by a narrow trough, the Duke Depression. The Kluane Range is a chain of mountains averaging 2,500m (8,000') in height. To the west, the peaks of the Icefield Ranges soar into the 5,000m (16,000') range. Amidst the Icefield Ranges is a legacy of the last Ice Age - the world's largest non-polar icefields.
The climatic overlap of the Pacific and Arctic air masses over Kluane National Park and Reserve has resulted in one of the greatest diversity of plants and wildlife in northern Canada.