July 9th- We had stopped by the Kluane visitors center to scope out a hike for today, and decided on the Sheep Creek hike, a 10K (6.2miles) round trip hike that follows Sheep Creek along the side of Sheep Mountain, gaining about 1,400 feet elevation on the way up.
The day was beautiful! Patches of blue sky and cool, but warming temps. We packed our lunch in our day packs and set out on the hike. We left Jade behind due to the strenuousness of the hike, and because we were in bear country and dogs and bears do not mix well.
We were reminded at the rangers station that we are in bear country, and reminded again by this memorial sign at the trail head. Hiking (or living) where there are bears is nothing to scoff at. People take bears seriously….or they should. It is important not to surprise a bear, and better to not be surprised by one.
I always have mixed feelings about bear encounters……I really want to see bears in their natural habitat. But, I would rather observe them in a safer, more controlled setting and not to run into them on a trail. And so, we hiked making noise, talking, even singing a bit, to keep from having a surprise encounter!
I don’t have a single picture that shows just how STEEP this trail was. The trail surface was good, but the grade up was steep! We had to walk up sections on our toes, or with our feet really flexed……it was STEEP! Heart pounding, legs burning, no switchbacks, STEEP!
Occasionally, we would get to a viewpoint and would stop and rest and just take in this amazing view…….
We kept our eyes open for wildlife….and, no, we did not see any bears…..but we did see these two little guys.
The trail leveled out just a bit as it skirted the side of Sheep Mountain. The ‘Sheep’ refers to Dahl sheep which populate the top of this mountain in early spring.
The trail got fairly narrow as we walked out to this point.
The view from the top was amazing! Well worth the effort of the climb. We sat looking out over this valley and had our lunch before heading back down.
The hike took 2 1/2 hours up and 1 1/2 hour back down. Total hike time 4 hours. It was a great hike!