There are numerous campgrounds in and around Haines Junction. Your YTG Campground permit will let you camp at most of them … but the Kathleen Lake Campground is not one of them.
The Kathleen Lake Campground is a federal campground that lies just inside the borders of the Kluane National Park: a “World Heritage Site” and home of Mount Logan.
The added cost is a barrier to the campground, but it comes with a number of attractive benefits.
The Kathleen Lake Campground has a variety of sites available, including two group tent sites and two handicap accessible sites.
Of course, power and water hook-ups aren’t included in the price if you bring your RV.
It has all of the amenities that you would expect of a government camp site: water pump, outhouses, firewood and day use kitchen shelter. There is a boat launch at the campsite and I know the lake hosts the landlocked Kokanee Salmon.
One unique feature of the campground is the Campfire Programs. A park interpreter comes to the group campfire area and gives talks on various subjects pertaining to the park flora, fauna, wildlife and history.
Kluane National Park boasts 14 hikes ranging from 30-minute easy, wheelchair accessible trails to six-day hikes through the back country. Both the longest and the shortest of those trails start right in the campground, as does the very popular Kings Throne trial.
The peak of the mountain is accessible from this trail, but you will need the best part of a day to complete this difficult hike.
If you’ve ever camped with kids, you’ll understand why the proximity to town is attractive. Kathleen Lake Campground is only 27 kilometres past Haines Junction’s restaurants, grocery stores, showers, laundromats and other facilities.
The bakery across from the visitor reception centre had some of the best treats the last time I was in Haines Junction and you can’t miss the ice cream at the Frosty Freeze on the way home, especially since there’s no Dairy Queen in Whitehorse anymore.