The Ä’äy Chù (Slim's River) East route follows the East shore of the Ä’äy Chù (Slim's River) to the toe of the Kaskawulsh glacier. The elevation gain occurs mainly at the end of the route, for the climb up the ridge for a view of the glacier. The one way distance is 23 km.
About 1.5 km along the route you will reach Vulcan Creek. It has changed course several times over the years and washed out sections of the route. Watch for rock cairns guiding the way through this area.There are no bridges.
Once across the creek watch for the last post as this directs you to an old clear-cut trail. Follow this trail to an alluvial fan. It can be difficult to find the route after traversing alluvial fans, so be sure to note where you exit the trees onto the fan to help you find the trail on the way back. Once you have found the trail on the other side of the Vulcan creek fan, the trail crosses the end of a rock glacier. The rock glacier is forested, but can be recognised by the way it is breaking off into the valley, causing cracks in the ground, and splitting trees in half from the bottom.
When the water level is lower, people have been known to hike along the riverbed. Remember that Slim’s River is named after a horse that sank and was killed in the dangerous ‘quick mud’, so it’s best to watch where you step!
A good camping spot is about 15 km up the valley, near a small pond. There are other camping spots over the next 6 km. The last two km before the toe of the Kaskawulsh glacier are not recommended for camping, due to high winds and blowing silt. There is a nice vantage point from the hill at the foot of the glacier. You can see the south arm converging with the main glacier by climbing up the mountain facing the glacier. An extra day should be planned to accommodate this climb.
On the Alaska Highway 3 km south of Tachäl Dhäl (Sheep Mountain) Visitor Centre, from here, if the gate is open, you can drive another 3 km further on a narrow dirt road to the parking area at the trailhead.
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