Todagin Mountain Trail
Map #: 104H12 – Kluea Lake and 104G9E – Kinaskan Lake
Route Description: Trail is unmaintained but generally in good shape. There is a moderate amount of deadfall along the trail. Tread well defined and generally dry, except one short section in middle. The trail is excellent for hiking but probably a bit steep for horse use (there may be an alternate route used by horse riders, since little sign is evident on the trail).
Please note that this route is not within Todagin South Slope Provincial Park.
The trailhead is unmarked; to find it, drive South from Tatogga Lake Resort approximately 500 metres; you will see a turnoff on the left (east side of hwy), heading up-hill and angling north. Road only goes fifty feet or so before ending at a pullout. Trail continues from this point. There are three tracks visible; take the middle one (it is the most prominent).
Trail begins through mixed spruce/aspen forest, with highbush cranberry and soapberry underbrush. It soon climbs steeply into conifer forest, spruce increasingly grading to subalpine fir. Trail climbs along edge of gully; Kimball Creek can be heard to the left. After about a kilometre, the trail crosses creek and continues climbing on north bank. The trail is easy to follow, but continuously steep. About 2 kilometres from the highway, the trail enters subalpine meadows interspersed with subalpine fir thickets. You come to a junction where the trail goes left or right; turn right. Soon after, you come out of the last trees into open tundra.
You can climb to the summit that you see to the right (South) for an excellent view of Kinaskan and Eddontenajon Lakes. If you intend to travel further across the plateau, it is best to traverse left (north) around the side of the mountain, since one has to descend to another valley on the far side of the ridge.
From the far side of the peak, one can look east across the headwaters of Jackson Creek to Todagin Mountain. In the middle distance is a rocky bluff; keep to the left of this, as a deep ravine cuts in from the southwest just beyond this.
Once you have circled around the eastern edge of this rocky bluff, the route south towards the park is clearly visible. One can either stay low, traversing around the head of the deep creek valley and into a narrow, rocky pass (a small lake is located here). A decent (though exposed) campsite can be found just on the far side of this pass. Alternately, one can stay high, climbing over the ridge which comes down from Todagin Mountain. This is a more direct route.
Once you have crossed the ridge, Tsatia Mountain is visible on the other side of Todagin Creek. Heading directly towards the park from here isn’t recommended, since you have to drop over 500 feet into a steep canyon, then climb back up to the plateau on the other side. Circling around the head of this canyon, to the East, is further but less difficult. Expect to climb in and out of a few creek gullies. An old horse camp can be found near the headwaters of this creek, at UTM 446884 on map sheet 104H 12. There is good water and flat ground throughout this valley. Once across the creek, the terrain rises gradually to a height of land punctuated by rocky peaks. The park boundary follows this height of land, overlooking Todagin Creek. Most of the park is steep hillside, with only a thin strip of flat plateau along the northern edge. There is a possible campsite near a small lake at UTM 433865 on map sheet 104H 12, though this site is exposed to wind.
Vegetation throughout the plateau is alpine steppe dominated by bunchgrasses, lichens, and bearberry. There is no timber anywhere on the plateau, except well down into the creek valleys. Water is fairly scarce in the upland areas of the plateau; fill up your bottles whenever you have a chance.
There is excellent sheep habitat all along the route: grassy meadows with easy access to escape terrain in the gullies. There are many well-defined sheep trails through here and abundant sheep sign.
Return to Todagin Provincial Park