Slims River

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The former mouth of the Slims River, at Kluane Lake
Slims River in 1992

The Slims River (A'ay Chu) was a glacially fed river in the Canadian territory of Yukon.[1] Until 2016,[2] it originated in the Kaskawulsh Glacier, then ran approximately 15 mi (24 km) into the southern terminus of Kluane Lake.[3]

Over the course of a few days in the spring of 2016 the flow of the river was changed[4]. Where the meltwater of the Kaskawulsh Glacier had been draining in two directions now it was all draining into the south-flowing Kaskawulsh river, and further on into the Gulf of Alaska, drastically reducing the size of the Slims.[5] Researchers attributed the change in flow to manmade climate change; this was the first time manmade climate change was implicated in the reorganization of a river.[6]

The Slims River was purportedly named after a pack horse that drowned while attempting to ford the stream during the 1903 Kluane gold rush.[7] It is crossed by the Alaska Highway at Mile 1065 (Kilometer 1704) just south of its confluence with the lake.


  1. ^ "Kaskawulsh Glacier - Canadian Glacier Inventory Project". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  2. ^ "Retreating Yukon glacier makes river disappear". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  3. ^ "Slims River, Kluane National Park – Map Portfolio – Brodie Elder". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  4. ^ Shugar, Daniel H.; Clague, John J.; Best, James L.; Schoof, Christian; Willis, Michael J.; Copland, Luke; Roe, Gerard H. (May 2017). "River piracy and drainage basin reorganization led by climate-driven glacier retreat". Nature Geoscience. 10 (5): 370–375. doi:10.1038/ngeo2932. ISSN 1752-0894.
  5. ^ "Receding glacier causes immense Canadian river to vanish in four days", Hannah Devlin, The Guardian, 17 April 2017.
  6. ^ For the first time on record, human-caused climate change has rerouted an entire river
  7. ^ "The Slims River Bridge, Alaska Highway". Retrieved 2016-01-17.

Coordinates: 61°00′40″N 138°29′30″W / 61.01111°N 138.49167°W / 61.01111; -138.49167