Historic Klondike Route

Travel in the footsteps of gold rushers from over 100 years ago. Hike the historic Chilkoot Trail, then trade hiking boots for paddles and begin the 400 miles of canoeing that will bring us to the heart of the Klondike gold country.

Trip Photos

  • Paddling through five finger rapids on the Yukon River Paddling through five finger rapids on the Yukon River
  • Crossing over Chilkoot Pass Crossing over Chilkoot Pass
  • Terrain and scenery opens up as we cross into Canada Terrain and scenery opens up as we cross into Canada
  •  Paddling on the Yukon to Dawson City Paddling on the Yukon to Dawson City
  • Heading up and over the Chilkoot Summit Heading up and over the Chilkoot Summit
  • Camping along the banks of the Yukon River Camping along the banks of the Yukon River
  • Day 1 on the Chilkoot Trail Day 1 on the Chilkoot Trail

Trip Notes

Location: Alaska/Yukon
Meeting Point: Skagway, AK
Destination: Chilkoot Trail & Yukon River
Duration: 18 days
Price: $4350 (+ tax, in USD)
Activity Type: Multi-Sport
Season: June, July, August, September
Guide to Guest Ratio: 1 to 6
Difficulty Level: 3 out of 5
Paperwork Required: Registration, Health Form, Risk Acknowledgment

Related Trips:

Trip Description

Join us for 18 days of exploration in the Alaska and the Yukon - just like gold rushers of past centuries!

We’ll start our trip in historic Skagway, Alaska with a 5-day hike over the Chilkoot Trail, trekking in the footsteps of gold rushers from 100 years ago.
Once over the trail, we’ll trade hiking boots for paddles and begin the 400 miles of canoeing that will bring us to Dawson City Yukon, and the heart of the Klondike gold country. Along the way we’ll pass derelict steam ships, native villages, gold dredges, current day fish camps, trappers cabins, Fort Selkirk, and other relics from the Gold Rush.
Visit Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, we’ll run the famous Five Finger Rapids, and pass through Lake Labarge, the setting of Robert Service's famous poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. We’ll also pass by Henderson Creek where Jack London spent much of his time in the Klondike.
Floating down the swift Yukon River will also allow us opportunity to fish for Lake Trout, Arctic Grayling, and Northern Pike. 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. This trip is perfect for individuals and families wishing to enjoy the splendor of the Yukon Wilderness while traveling this historic route.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC FEATURE: In 2001, Alaska Mountain Guides took National Geographic on the Klondike Route and was featured as the cover story.

THE CHILKOOT TRAIL: The Chilkoot Trail is 33 miles of great scenery and interesting history. We will spend 4 days on the trail.

THE YUKON RIVER: Flowing over 2000 miles from Source to sea, the Yukon is one of the longest rivers in the world and rich in native and cultural history.

SKAGWAY: Skagway, Alaska is the starting/finishing place for this trip. Skagway is a small community located at the top of the Inside Passage. The natural beauty, wilderness access and historical past are responsible for Skagway's reputation as a center for wilderness adventure in Alaska.

WHITEHORSE: Whitehorse (population 20,000) is the capital of the Yukon and a fun and unique city. We will spend one night here before starting the Yukon River.

HISTORIC 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 National Historic Park commemorate this extraordinary journey. The contract 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 Hiker’s Guide to the Chilkoot Trail

OUR GUIDES: Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School Inc. instructors and guides are professionals. They have a wealth of experience from guiding throughout Alaska and the world and they genuinely enjoy sharing their knowledge. Their skill and positive attitudes help our guests to have the best possible experience during their trip. Your safety and enjoyment are their primary goals.

Trip Itinerary (in a printable PDF format)

Day 0: Pre trip meeting at 6:00 pm at your hotel for gear check and introductions with your guide. Meals and lodging in Skagway are on your own.

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 about a 5-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 - 4: It's a short hike from Canyon City to Sheep Camp on day 2, followed by a longer trek the following day which sees us up and over the Chilkoot Pass and into Canada. From here on out the trail is largely rolling alpine tundra through beautiful alpine lakes. We'll spend our final night on the trail at Bare Loon Lake camp, which leaves a short distance to cover for our final day on the Chilkoot.

Day 5: Today is a short hike to Lake Bennett and our rendezvous with the White Pass Yukon Route Railway. The classic train ride back to Fraser takes about an hour, where you will be met by a company vehicle and transported to Whitehorse, Yukon, where you will spend the night. Lodging in Whitehorse is included, and a great way to be reintroduced to civilization.

Day 6: Begin canoe trip on Yukon. Meet up with your guides in the morning and gather gear to begin the canoeing portion of our trip.  Typically, we head out on the water in the early afternoon.

Days 6-17: Canoeing and exploring the Yukon River, paddling and hiking before camping under the stars.

Day 17: We will end our canoe trip and re-enter civilization in historic Dawson City, the boomtown where the goldrush truly began. Spend the night in Dawson and relax. Lodging in Dawson not included.

Day 18: Traveling from Dawson to Whitehorse and back to Skagway, where our trip will come full circle. Make arrangements to fly or ferry out of Skagway the next day.

FAQ Document (in a printable PDF format)

How many miles do we travel each day? We typically hike about 5-7 miles per day on our 5-day itinerary.  For the canoe portion, the distance largely depends on the current.

What is the total elevation gain during the hike? We will reach a maximum elevation of about 3,500 ft.

What will my pack weight be, on average? You can expect your pack to weight to be around 35-45 lbs. This would be about 25 – 30 lbs of your personal gear, plus approximately 15 pounds of group gear (tent and food).

Are Passports required? Yes, the Chilkoot Trail starts in Skagway, Alaska and ends at Lake Bennett in British Columbia, Canada. From there, we will travel to Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon Territory. You will need your passport to travel over the Chilkoot Pass into Canada and to get back into the US.

Are Porters available? Yes, we have porters available for hire. A porter will typically carry 15-20 lbs of your personal gear, OR your portion of the group gear (~15-20 lbs). With one porter per guest, you can expect a pack weight of about 20 - 25 lbs. If splitting a porter with another guest, each pack weight would be reduced by about 10 lbs each.

For additional FAQ, please review the FAQ Document or contact us directly

Trip Documents:
Price: $4350 (+ tax, in USD)
2020 Dates: August 7
2021 Dates: August 6

What is included in the trip price:
  • Camping and canoeing gear - group camping equipment, tents, canoes, paddles, stoves, etc...
  • Expedition food - all food while out in the field.
  • Transportation during trip - travel to/from airport or ferry, to the trailhead, and train ride to Fraser, transportation to Whitehorse and Dawson, then back to Skagway.
  • Professional guides - Our guides have extensive knowledge of the area and a passion for hiking and paddling in wild places.
Guests are responsible for the following:
  • Personal clothing & equipment - review the equipment list included under "Documents"
  • Food & lodging in town - we will happily recommend our favorite lodging sites in Skagway. We will make arrangements in Whitehorse and Dawson, which you will be responsible for.
  • Trip insurance - we highly recommend trip insurance for all of our programs.
  • Airfare - review the "Travel Information" under "Documents" for more details.
  • Reviewing trip policies - please reference our policies page for policies regarding payment, cancellations, refunds and guest responsibilities.
  • Gratuities.
To Book your adventure, follow the steps below:
  1. Please call to confirm availability at 1-800-766-3396 or fill out an online form to request more information via this link:
  2. Place a $250 deposit to reserve your spot: this can be place over the phone by credit card, check in the mail, or through our payment gateway.
  3. Once you've reserved your spot, you'll receive a welcome packet with all the necessary registration forms and trip information.
  4. We kindly ask that you submit all of the necessary trip registration information at least 45 days prior to your trip.

Feel free to call or email anytime if you have questions about your upcoming trip. Our team is excited to help you prepare for your adventure!

Guest Comments:

One of a kind adventure! It was a challenging day, but an incredible experience I'll remember forever. John was a great guide; personable and always safety conscious.
- Roger P.