Backpack the Chilkoot Trail

Details

Distance

33 miles

Elevation Gain

6800 ft

Route Type

Point-to-Point

Added by Saul Jacob

The Chilkoot Trail is a historic 33 mile trail used during the Klondike gold rush in the late 1890s. It leads from Dyea (near Skagway), Alaska, in the United States to Bennett, British Columbia, in Canada.

The Chilkoot Trail follows the access route from the Alaskan coast to the Yukon goldfields used during the Klondike gold rush.

You can get to Skagway via road (from Whitehorse), flight, or ferry (from Juneau). Whale spotting on a ferry from Juneau is a great way to start the trip!

There are 9 official camping areas throughout the 33 miles that are booked ahead of time through Parks Canada. The sites are Finnegan's Point (mile 5), Canyon City (mile 7.7), Pleasant Camp (mile 10.7), Sheep Camp (mile 13), Happy Camp (mile 20.5), Deep Lake (mile 23), Linderman City (mile 26), Bare Loon Lake (mile 29), and Bennett (mile 33). The campsites have designated tent sites, bear lockers, and a communal area for cooking/eating.

Most people do the trip in 3-5 days. We hiked the trail in late June 2016 for 4 nights/5 days. We spent the first 2 days hiking through Alaska's coastal rainforest zone, camping at Canyon City and Sheep Camp. After Sheep Camp, the trail starts to climb while passing waterfalls and glaciers up to the Alaska-Canada border in the high alpine zone.  It is a good idea to camp at Sheep Camp to get an early start over the pass and finish the day celebrating Happy Camp. The trail then starts to descend into Canada's boreal forest zone and finishes at beautiful Bennett Lake, British Columbia.

Celebrate the completion of the trip with a dip in frigid Bennett Lake and then board the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad for your ride back to Skagway.

Make sure to call Parks Canada early January to book permits for the hike and purchase the train tickets ahead of time. Don't forget to bring your passport!

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Lake
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5 Day Hike

I just finished this hike with my family and it was an amazing experience.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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