Biking the Cottonwood Trail in Kluane National Park

51mps54x6OL. SX384 BO1,204,203,200
Coffe Table Photography book out now!

999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me

(I’m still catching up on adventures from the Yukon, so there will be a few more posts about passed adventures before Africa kicks into high gear)

heather biking cottonwood 720x480

Heather setting off on the trail

Kluane National Park is supremely beautiful wilderness, with only a couple of trails going a small way in.
We set out to bike the 85km not entirely certain of what to expect.

dan biking cottonwood 720x480

Dan’s extremely inappropriate downhill bike used for the trip

josh biking cottonwood 720x480

Josh’s setup for the ride – a perfect cross country bike

heather cottonwood biking 720x480

Heather was the best equipped with panniers to store gear

Trip summary:

  • Arriving on the first night at Mush Lake to perfect sunshine and gale-force winds to keep the bugs away.
  • A few hours of glorious downhill riding on a perfect single track surrounded by knee high fireweed in full bloom, followed by a few hours of beautiful meadow riding through a valley surrounded by enormous mountains.
  • Josh riding full speed to within 20 feet of a not-happy grizzly. We all bunch up and put the bikes between us and the bear, resulting in a Mexican stand-off of sorts. I am well aware my one can of bear spray is no match for a large bear stamping it’s feet and snarling. It eventually veers off the trail and continues around us, allowing us to continue at full speed, continually looking over our shoulders for hours.
  • A day of continual rain/drizzle. The low clouds obscure the views, keeping our cameras packed away.
  • We decide to turn the last 50km into a single day due to the rain, and our want of fried junk food.
  • Pushing on past the last campground, thinking we are almost finished. We take another 5 or so hours, arriving back at the car around 3am, extremely tired and thirsty after a ~20 hour day, the last 5 hours of which we basically carry our bikes up and down small mountains on an extremely rough trail.
heather river crossing 720x480

Heather crossing the first of many rivers

heather uphill cottonwood 720x480

Heather pushing uphill, which we did for most of a day

josh dan cottonwood 720x480

Josh and Dan at a river crossing

I’d love to do it again in clear weather and really take my time.

-Dan


Recommended books for Overlanding


51rkEOV+MjL. SL160
419ZjSjogHL. SL160
Drive Nacho Drive: A Journey From The American Dream T...
by Brad Van Orden, Sheena Van Orden
From $15.95
51wWDr9et+L. SL160
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide To The Art Of Long-term...
by Rolf Potts
From $14.51

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

A Shurflow strainer is a must on any drinking water pump. From $8.99 on Amazon
My Bolt 6' Cable Lock keeps everything on my rear bumper safe using the Jeep ignition key. From $38.99 on Amazon