Spirit Canyon – An ideal beginner’s hike in the Yukon to fall in love with the activity

Beautiful views from the Spirit Canyon trail

Spirit Canyon, located off the Alaska highway near Ibex Valley, is an ideal first hike for anyone new to Whitehorse. It has expansive views of the Alaska highway and Ibex valley mountains beyond.

TypeOut & Back
Distance3.8 kms
Elevation Gain180 mts
DifficultyEasy
Trail Stats
Trail begins to gain elevation quickly right from the trailhead

Spirit Canyon is an easy 3.8 km trail, which can be hiked in any season. It is usually crowded (in Yukon standards!) during the Summer and Fall months and used for trail running as well. The canyon wall is a perfect playground for climbing community too.

Alaska Highway and Ibex Valley beyond
A perfect sunny warm weather is meant to be spent outdoors

The trail begins from the parking lot on the Kluane Wagon Road. It starts gaining elevation immediately and continues to elevate until you reach the canyon.

Admiring the beauty of the snow covered peaks on a perfectly clear day
The views are spectacular on the entire trail

Just before the canyon wall, you will see the trail fork to your left. This route will lead you to the ravine, at the foot of the canyon wall. Before you take this route, continue on the same trail a bit further, about 2 mins, to get a different perspective of the canyon from the top. From here, you can either trace back to the point where the trail forked into two paths or continue up on the other side of the rock wall to take a bigger, alternate loop. It is not recommended to traverse the bigger loop during the winter months as the snow will make it dangerous to get a firm traction on the rim of the rock wall.

At the Spirit Canyon… Abhi and JJ are looking for some spirits 👻
View of the canyon from the bottom

As you climb down, into the ravine, you will notice a sudden change in temperature and a permanent dampness in the air due to the fact that the sunrays hardly hit this part of the canyon.

Continue on this tiny loop further, until it circles back up to the original trail, after about 400 meters of steep ascent. From here, trace back your steps to the trailhead.

Driving Directions

The Spirit Canyon Hike is located at about 40 mins drive from Whitehorse city center. Take the northbound Alaska highway from Whitehorse. After about 30 mins, you will cross the Takhini River Bridge. Just 5 mins after crossing this bridge, there is a dirt road on your right called Kluane Wagon Road. The trailhead is located on this dirt road, to your left, in about 1.6 kms from the cutoff of the Alaska Highway.

Refer to the map below for guidance and you can click on the link in the caption to open it in Google Maps on a new browser.

Share your experiences and pictures in the comments section below if you’ve already hiked it. I will see you on the mountain… Cheers!! ✌🏼

More Pictures

Massive rock face of the Spirit Canyon
When Abhi acquired big time monkey skills 😜
JJ was thinking about burgers here 🍔

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