One of the other major travel routes in the unit is the crest of the Kantishna Hills along the unit’s western boundary. The Kantishna Hills are a 30-mile chain of low mountains running from Brooker Mountain (near Wonder Lake) northeast to the Toklat River. The ridgelines are covered with tundra, while the low-lying areas consist of taiga forest. The rise and fall of the ridgeline means that hiking is slow in places; but it is not technically difficult. Numerous side ridges and creeks lead down into the Clearwater Fork and can be used to connect these two natural travel routes.
You can reach the Clearwater from Stony Creek to the east (Unit 39) or at its southern end from upper Moose Creek near the Mt. Galen area (Unit 34).
Additional Notes and/or Hazards: Mosquitoes are usually dense in this part of the park in June and July.
If you plan to hike in this unit, be aware that it is outside of designated Wilderness. In 1980, Mount McKinley National Park was expanded and renamed Denali National Park and Preserve and this area was included as part of the new Park additions. The Kantishna Hills and surrounding area is a historic mining district dating back to the early 1900s. There are, to this day, patented and un-patented mining claims in the Hills. There is also private property, including privately owned and operated lodges. People who have traditionally hunted, fished and trapped in the area continue to do so.
The miners in this area established travel routes along ridges and in creek beds to access their claims. There are cabins, equipment, old roads and assorted refuse on public and private land in very remote areas. Hikers in the Kantishna Hills must respect private property and the cultural significance of the mining history. Do not disturb the historic relics and never enter a private residence.
If you obtain a backcountry permit for Units 40 – 43, be sure to take a free hand-out from the BIC which explains regulations and warnings pertaining to the Kantishna Hills. It may be unsafe to drink the water from the following streams due to heavy metal contamination: Eldorado, Slate, Friday, Eureka, Caribou, Spruce, Glacier, Stampede and Moose Creek below Spruce Creek. Water filters, boiling and chemical treatments are ineffective for treating water with heavy metal contamination.