Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway

I got home Saturday night (October 1st) from the final RV trip of the year, and it started snowing on Monday, so my high-country hiking is also probably over for the year. I spent 3 days in the Haines Summit area, and did 3 excellent hikes – a short one on Tina Creek Ridge, a 7-hour one to the Samuel Glacier, and a 4-hour one to the Three Guardsmen cirque – so I’ve got some catching up to do on the blog.

The weather forecast for Haines as I was getting ready to go Thursday morning was pretty much perfect – sunshine and light winds. I was really pumped about getting a great finish to what has been an amazing season.

Haines AK weather forecast
By 09:40, I was well west of Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway, but the weather was nowhere near as good as I had expected. There was a solid ceiling of dark and threatening skies in the direction I would be heading. The Takhini River bridge at Km 1468.9 is in the dip ahead in the photo.

Alaska Highway west of Whitehorse, Yukon
I usually stop at the rest area at Km 1566, seen ahead on the right. It’s a good place to walk the dogs, but I wanted to get to the summit as quickly as possible this time.


Nearing Haines Junction at 10:56. This is probably one of the most-photographed sections of the Alaska Highway – you come around a corner and wow!

Nearing Haines Junction on the Alaska Highway
A quick photo stop at the Rock Glacier Trail, at Km 202.3 of the Haines Highway, with the sky clearing nicely.

Rock Glacier Trail, Yukon
Dezadeash Lake.

Dezadeash Lake.
The Mule Creek airstrip at Km 115. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an airplane here, but that’s probably a good thing, as it’s here for emergency use when the pass ahead is socked in and can’t be flown safely. These 4,000-foot-long emergency strips around the Yukon and northern BC were built 60-odd years ago to handle aircraft up to a DC-3.

The Mule Creek airstrip at Km 115 of the Haines Highway
Three Guardsmen Mountain, ahead on the right, would be constantly in view for 2 of the 3 hikes I had planned for this trip.

Three Guardsmen Mountain, BC
The start of the first hike is here, at about Km 88.6, just south of Tina Creek. This is 16 km / 10 mi north of the BC/Alaska border. The trail seems to be quite popular and the pullout is quite large, but it doesn’t seem to have a name. I’m calling it the Tina Creek Ridge Trail. It begins on either an old section of highway, or the access road for a long-abandoned pipeline – I’m not sure yet which it is.

Tina Creek Ridge Trail, Haines Highway
It was time for lunch before heading out, so I took Bella and Tucker for a short walk first. This was the view from the dining nook in the RV.

Three Guardsmen Mountain from my RV
After lunch, at 1:10 pm, the kids had a different idea than a hike. It would be a short hike anyway, so okay, just a little one… 🙂

Dogs having an afternoon nap in the RV
At 2:25, we stated walking up the old road. My GPS gave a reading of 923 meters (3,028 feet) at the start of the trail. It actually wasn’t as nice as it looks in the photos – a very strong wind was also very cold, and I was quite heavily dressed, including gloves and toque.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
Mother Nature does some impressive rock work. The kids were on long leashes until we got higher, where I had a longer view and could see a grizzly if one was around.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
I soon left the road we started on, and climbed straight up the ridge, but came to another road. This really does have the feel of an old highway alignment. This is the view to the south.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
We walked along this road for a little way, and you can see that it lines up perfectly with the current highway in the distance.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
The higher I got, the more impressed I was by this ridge’s potential for longer hikes in the future. This was 40 minutes from leaving the RV.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
I spent a lot of time just savouring the stunning 360-degree views, while Bella and Tucker explored and played.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
At the lower right is an old mining claim post. At the upper right, the cirque that we’d be hiking to on Saturday.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
A small dried-up pond near the top of the ridge. That would be really pretty early in the season. That’s Tucker down in the middle of it.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
Higher and higher…

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
Another dried-up pond a few meters from the top of the ridge, much larger than the last one.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
A 3-photo panorama from the top of the ridge, looking to the west at 3:20 pm. This photo can be enlarged by clicking on it. The elevation here is 1,092 meters (3,583 feet).

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
Up top, my feelings about future hikes here was confirmed. You could hike for days to the west and north up in this open country. Because of the nasty wind, though, we didn’t stay long this time.

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway
At 4:20, we were driving north again, planning to camp at the Chuck Creek (Samuel Glacier) trailhead for the 2 nights. The large, level, and sheltered parking area there is very popular for camping.

The Haines Highway near the summit
An HDR image of the view to the northwest from the Haines Summit.

The view to the west from the Haines Summit
The view in the rearview mirror wasn’t bad, either!

The Three Guardsmen in the rearview mirror
Set up at the trailhead, ready for Friday’s major Adventure!

RV camping at the Samuel Glacier trailhead

As part of writing this post, because I plan to spend a lot of time over here on the Haines Highway next year, I’ve created a new resource page, Hiking along the Haines Highway, Yukon/BC/Alaska.



Comments

Hiking Tina Creek Ridge on the Haines Highway — 8 Comments

  1. Sorry to hear about your much loved father’s passing. I still really enjoy your posts even if we have a different philosophical viewpoint.

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  3. Pingback: Hiking to The Three Guardsmen Cirque, Haines Highway

  4. I have been trying to convince some of my Alaska loving friends and family, that the real, most astonishing beauty is really in the Yukon (as we are planning to try again next year after getting stopped at the 11th hour this year) and that is where we should do most of our exploring this go round…I will be sharing your posts for October to that end (we would be coming in after the first week of September, following a week near Denali NP)…

    • What the Yukon excels at is solitude – it’s just so easy to get away by yourself, even in mid-summer. The weather can be a challenge by mid-September, but if “hot” isn’t a requirement, the good days can be stunning.