The Chilkoot Trail

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Each summer, the 53-kilometre Chilkoot Trail attracts bucket list hikers from around the globe, drawn to spectacular scenery, a rugged challenge, and the enduring draw of history. Constituting the largest National Historic Site in Canada, the snow-covered rocky terrain follows in the ghostly wake of 19th-century speculators, swept up in a gold rush frenzy. Today’s hikers chase a different type of gold, one I’d argue is no less precious. Maintained by Parks Canada and the US National Parks Service, just fifty hikers are allowed to enter the trail each day, and due to high demand, reservations are essential.

Overview

Length of Trip : 3 - 5 days for the hike. Great Canadian Trails offer a 7-day guided package.

Cost : For the Trail Permit and Day-Use fees, click here. Great Canadian Trails offer a guided package which includes two nights accommodation in Whitehorse, all camping equipment, transfers to and from the trailhead, a flightseeing tour and one porter per two hikers. Click here for more information.

Best time to go : The Trail is open early June to early September. Peak season is mid-July to mid-August.

Wheelchair friendly : No

Family friendly : Not recommended for young kids, but if you happen to be the parents of mountain goats...

Where to eat : You'll be camping for the duration of the trip, packing in and out your campfire meals. Once you return to Whitehorse, celebrate your hike with a great meal at Burnt Toast or the Klondike Rib and Salmon BBQ.

Official Site : More information from Parks Canada More information about a guided package experience with Great Canadian Trails

Where to Stay : You'll be camping in well-maintained, but basic campgrounds along the way. Camping is only permitted in the designated campgrounds. Hikers often choose to spend more time in some of the more scenic campgrounds like Deep Lake and Lindemann City. For accommodation in Whitehorse, I recommend Best Western's Gold Rush Inn.

Getting There : The Chilkoot Trail is accessed from Skagway, Alaska, a three-hour drive from Whitehorse. There is a parking lot or shuttle service available to the Dyea Trailhead, located 16km from town. From the Bennett Trailhead, return to Skagway with White Pass and Yukon Route Train, which offers a special hiker return service.

Note from Robin : The Golden Stairs were fifteen hundred steps cut into the ice and snow leading up Chilkoot Pass. It could lead prospectors to riches, misery, and in some unfortunate cases, an early demise. The mere sight of the pass was enough to send many a defeated stampeder retreating in the opposite direction. Today, conquering the pass from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp takes place in one push, typically a 12-hour hike.

Gallery

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Courtesy: Great Canadian Trails

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Courtesy: Great Canadian Trails

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Courtesy: Great Canadian Trails

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Courtesy: Great Canadian Trails

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Courtesy: Great Canadian Trails

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Courtesy: Great Canadian Trails

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Courtesy: Great Canadian Trails

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Courtesy: Great Canadian Trails

Map

Further Reading

Do It

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Want to take on one of the world's great Bucket List hikes, but don't know where to start?   Intimidated by the logistics of a week of rugged trekking? Great Canadian Trails offers a guided Chilkoot Trail itinerary that allows you to focus on the task at hand - completing the hike, and immersing yourself in the majestic coastal rainforest.

The Great Canadian Trails' Chilkoot Trail package includes:
  • 2 nights hotel in Whitehorse
  • 4 nights wilderness camping
  • All camping and kitchen equipment except sleeping bag and mats
  • Chilkoot Park fees and licenses
  • All transfers during the trip including to/from the airport
  • Licensed wilderness guide
  • Scenic flight by float plane from Lake Bernett to Whitehorse
  • One porter per 2 hikers
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Emergency equipment (first aid, bear spray, satellite phone)

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK YOUR TRIP

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Drive

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Product

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