Historic Chilkoot Trail
(4 & 5 days)
Join Alaska Mountain Guides for a trip back in time, as we travel in the footsteps of the stampeders who traveled the Chilkoot Trail during the Klondike Gold Rush.
“The Klondike Gold Rush captured the imagination of the world. Rich and poor, young and old, women and men were attracted to the Klondike from all parts of the globe. No image better represents this historic event than the endless line of stampeders struggling over the Chilkoot Pass during the winter of 1897-98. Today the Chilkoot Trail National and Klondike Gold Rush commemorate this extraordinary journey. The contrast between the scenic grandeur of the coastal mountains and the fragile remains of the stampeders’ goods and temporary structures make the Chilkoot a unique backcountry trail.”
A hikers guide to the Chilkoot trail
We’ll start our trip in historic Skagway, with a pre trip meeting at your hotel the evening before the hiking begins. Our Sunday and Tuesday departures ensure trail conditions that are less crowded and choice selection of the best camp spots. This trip can be run as a 4 or 5-day program. Our most popular Itinerary is listed below.
Day 1- In the morning we will register with the park service and then enjoy a 20 minute drive to Dyea to the start of the trail. Here we will grab our packs and head out on the well-maintained trail along the Taiya River. The first day will entail a 7.8-mile walk through the lush temperate rainforest full of huge cottonwoods, edible berries, and colorful wildflowers. That night we will make camp at Canyon City and enjoy a scrumptious dinner and a well deserved rest.
Day 2- After breakfast we have the option of exploring the rarely visited ruins of Canyon City. The rest of the day is a leisurely 5 mile walk to Sheep Camp. This is a very pleasant hike with great views and time for lots of breaks.
Day 3- This is the big day. We will hike the “Golden Stairs” over the Chilkoot Pass, into Canada, and on to Happy Camp. We will get up early and travel 7 miles and gain about 2000 feet in elevation to reach the summit. Here a warming hut is a welcome lunch spot before dropping down to our campsite. As we ascend, the big trees of the rainforest are left behind and we move into the alpine zone. This is a great day of fun walking and interesting scenery. We will see the remains of the scales used to weigh the stampeders supplies as well as pieces of the aerial tramway built to move freight. The last part of the day is a nice stroll along Crater Lake.
Day 4- Today we descend a bit while walking through the alpine tundra towards Bare Loon Lake. This 9-mile walk past alpine lakes is a good time to spot golden eagles, waterfowl and even bear. The blue berries in this area are outstanding during late summer trips.
Day 5- Today is a short hike to Lake Bennett and our rendezvous with the White Pass Yukon Route Railway. The classic train ride to Carcross and ground transportation back to Skagway offer a unique opportunity to view the White Pass and a relaxed way to reenter civilization.
This trip is perfect for individuals and families wishing to enjoy the splendor of the Yukon Wilderness while traveling this historic route. In addition to the numerous historical sites, we will also have opportunity to view wildlife such as bear, wolf, moose, mink, wolverine, eagles, hawks and waterfowl.
INCLUDES: Guides, camping equipment, transfers, food, permit fees, train ride back to Skagway on the last day.
DATES/PRICES: Please see our schedule for current dates and prices information.
* Maximum group size is 10 clients with 2 guides.
** Passports required