Backpack the Chilkoot Trail

Chilkoot Trailhead

Distance

33 Miles

Elevation Gain

6800 Feet

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer

Type

Point-to-Point

Added by

Saul Jacob

Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildlife

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!

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $120/night

Glacier Bay Lodge

Gustavus, Alaska

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

5 Day Hike

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

Distance

33 Miles

Elevation Gain

6800 Feet

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer

Type

Point-to-Point

Added by

Saul Jacob

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike and Camp at Upper Dewey Lake

Adventure

Hike to Lower Dewey Lake

Adventure

Hike Nares Mountain

Adventure

Explore the Carcross Desert

More Nearby Adventures

Tours

More Tours

Related Stories

destinations

A Magical Yosemite Valley Winter Storm

A Yosemite Winter Wonderland

gear

La Sportiva Women's Skwama Climbing Shoe Review

Super sticky, super responsive, and just as badass as the men’s version of the shoe.

travel

A Few Days in Rossland, BC - A Must-Stop on the Powder Highway

If this town of less than 4,000 friendly folks doesn’t charm your socks off, the terrain at RED M...

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

More Stories