A challenging 4 to 6 hours hike to reach the spectacular King’s Throne, a cirque just below for amazing views of Lake Kathleen and the valley below as well as the surrounding mountains.

To reach the trailhead drive 27 km (17 mi) south of Haines Junction on the Haines Road and then take the road leading to Kathleen Lake day-use area. 

The trail begins at the Cottonwood trailhead - you can take the trail behind the wooden cabin in the day use area from the lake shore which will take you to the main trail to Cottonwood / King's Throne. The first 2 km are quite flat and are shared by the two trails – they follow the south shore of Lake Kathleen. You will then encounter the trailmarker pointing left for the Cottonwood and King’s Throne trails – follow the trail uphill through the forest until you reach another trailmarker which will point to the left for King’s Throne trail. Continue up the trail until you are out of the tree line. At this point you will start hiking on scree and rocks up until the cirque which is just below the King’s Throne Summit – you will enjoy beautiful views of Lake Kathleen and the below valley all the way up to the Throne. You will see they placed some rocks to mark the path to take and block shortcut trails as they want to avoid erosion of this particular trail sector.

Once you reach the Throne, you have the option of hiking the King’s Throne Summit route – as routes are not maintained and they are not marked by any kind of signs, Parks Canada recommend only expert hikers to attempt the summit. In addition, this route is not recommended with bad weather conditions, especially when winds are blowing heavily.

Pack List

  • Drinking water
  • Sturdy hiking shoes 
  • Warm/Layer clothing for unexpected weather
  • Waterproof coat for unexpected weather
  • Camera
  • Lunch/snacks
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hiking poles are useful 
  • Bear Spray is recommended
Show More
RT Distance 6.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 1797.9 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Advanced
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking


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