Grizzly Lake Trail is possibly the most popular hike and backpack trip in Tombstone Territorial Park. It’s for good reasons too. It’s a relatively short, but steep, hike to reach the first expansive view of the Tombstone range, notably Mount Monolith. It’s one of the few maintained hiking trails in the park, it’s a good place to set up basecamp at the lake to explore the park’s backcountry, and the views are stunning.
We really wanted to backpack to Grizzly Lake, a 6.8 mile hike in to the designated campsites by the lake, but it wasn’t possible. So instead we did it as a day hike.
The hike up to the ridge is only a couple of miles but all uphill with one very steep and loose section.
At the first summit, we were rewarded with our first view of Mount Monolith sitting at the end of Grizzly Valley. Mount Monolith is the iconic peak of Tombstone Territorial Park.
If we had come just for that view then we could have turned around at the first viewpoint. But interested to see what the landscape beyond looked like, we decided to continue hiking out as far as we could with the time we had available.
Grizzly Lake trailhead is 8 miles south of Tombstone Mountain Campground. It has ample parking at the trailhead (we even saw a class C, but a fifth-wheel wouldn't fit). The parking lot does fill up quickly.
A backpacking permit is required to camp at Grizzly Lake. Registrations can be done online or in person at the Tombstone Park Interpretive Center (right next to the campground). Like I mentioned, it's a popular place to backpack so it may be hard to get a permit. But at the same time, we met three people on the trail who got their permits last minute.
From what I've read, the backcountry campground sounds really neat with 10 tent pads, a cook shelter, and a grey water barrel. A bear canister to store your food is required and bear spray is highly recommended. Both can be borrowed from the park for a free with a desposit. (Isn't that great!?) And yes, dogs are allowed on the trail and at the backcountry sites. Perhaps the next time we're in Yukon we can visit this area as a multi-day backpacking trip.
We visited this area from August 17 - 22, 2016.