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Sam McGee Trail is a 19.8 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Carcross, Yukon, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running.

DISTANCE
19.8 km
ELEVATION GAIN
1,426 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

trail running

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

off trail

no dogs

Most of the trail is through the trees, but it is well established, fairly narrow, and varied in vegetation, making it is quite a pleasant hike. Along the way you will see the old tramway, remnants from the 1905 silver mining operation where Sam McGee was the foreman. The trail climbs at a good incline for most of the way. Not far up the trail there is a wooden bench that you can rest at and enjoy an opening through the trees of Windy Arm of Tagish Lake and the mountains on the other side of the lake. From here, the trail goes back into the trees, but opens up for more views higher up. After 4 kms there will be a fork in the path. The left path will take you another few hundred meters where you will leave the trees behind and get an expansive view down toward Windy Arm. It also leads to an old outhouse and more tramway artifacts. If you don't want to continue hiking up any further, you should take the left path so that you can get the amazing view right away. Even if you take the left path, you can still make your way up into the alpine, you will just have to pick your way through some small brush, but it isn't difficult. The right path continues through the trees a little longer as it makes its way into the alpine. The right path is part of the Mountain Hero mountain biking trail which continues all the way around Montana Mountain, so if you want to go for a longer hike, you can follow this path. In fact, you could go up one path and down the other if you want as well. If you decide to hike higher up into the alpine, you have quite a few options. You can continue following the Mountain Hero trail to the other side of Montana Mountain and even follow the road back down to Carcross (you would need two vehicles if you decide to do this). You can stay down on the plateau and walk on the old mining roads to an alpine lake. Another option, described here, is to hike up the ridge to get to a high point between Montana Mountain and Mount Matheson. To access the ridge, follow the Mountain Hero trail until you can easily cross the creek gully (this is about 2 kms after that first fork in the trail back in the trees). Pick your way up the broad ridge as you cross an old mining road and come to another place with more tramway artifacts. Continue up the ridge, which should start to become more defined now. The first high point on the ridge is at an altitude of 1957 meters, but you can continue up to the next high point at 2069 meters where you will get a great view of Mount Matheson and even Bennett Lake. You should add another 4 hours (and 13 kms) round trip to hike to this point and back.

hiking
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hiking
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hiking
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hiking
6 months ago