Chilkoot Pass Trail is a 31.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Skagway, Alaska that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
We arrived from the Czech Republic. Three wonderful days in June. Sun, snow, beautiful lakes and rivers
We had to delay our hike due to flooding in mid July. This meant we had to shorten our hike by one night. National Parks did a great job re arranging our itinerary. It was an amazing 4 days.. Lots of fog over the pass but apart from that the views were great. Highly recommend it
Did this with my wife. it was my third time over the pass and we had perfect weather and gorgeous views. I love this hike!
Wet, cold, and flooded at the lower elevations. Pick a dry week to do the hike.
We took five days to do this trail. Everything was great except the flooding that season had a lot of the lower part of the trail shin deep in water. It rained every day. (Hooray for rain forests!) and the loss of a star goes to the lack of a warming/drying stove at the top of the pass in happy camp. You can't call it happy if there's no stove! Haha!! The meal they serve you at the end of the trail at the train station is simple home made type food but seriously the best meal of your life!
My son and I hiked this trail back in late August 2013. It was an amazing experience. Being a history geek, I found myself in awe as we traveled the route of the Stampeders of 1897-99. Because it was our first time and we wanted to absorb every part of the trail we hiked it in a very leisurely 5 days. We did a lot of standing around though, particularly on the last 3 days. I think 4 days is about right for someone with the same mind set as me, though It can easily be done in 3. Apart from the history, the trail offers jaw dropping scenery, particularly when you get over the pass. There is a string of pristine alpine lakes, rivers, glaciers, and incredible greenery impossible to describe. I hope I get an opportunity to hike it again someday.
Stunning views with amazing history to boot. The Golden Stairs was a class 3 climb...pretty challenging if not for the orange pole markers. The trail is regularly patrolled by park rangers, and campsites are equipped with bear boxes, warming & cooking shelter, outhouses, and some have wood stoves.
Absolutely amazing trail. Took us 3 days to get from the trail head in Dyea to Bennett Lake. The trail a well diverse route through the beautiful Alaskan/Canadian wilderness. We stopped and camped out at Sheep Camp, Happy Camp, and Bennett Lake. Take your time and enjoy the trail and the history. We completed the trail in mid-June, with the late snowfall, the trail still had some snow covered spots, mainly from Sheep Camp to about Deep Lake on the Canadian side. Check in with the NPS at the trail office in the heart of town (Skagway) and check up on trail conditions. Late May and into June would be my suggestions as to when to hike it (you can avoid the crowds) but be aware the trail may be a bit more difficult. Worth everything though. Absolutely wonderful hike. It was my first overnight, long distance hike and I finished it feeling wonderful. Also, when you reach Bennett, you can take the White Pass Railroad back into Skagway (must purchase ticket before hand) which is a real treat because you get to have a great history lesson while enjoying a relaxing and very scenic train ride.
Hiked this trail with a friend in 2.5 days (first night: Sheep Camp; second night: Lindeman City; third night waiting for the train the next day: Bennett) in late July 2007. One of the highlights of my life. Do not pass up an opportunity to travel this historic route.
Fantastic hike. Very diverse scenery. Starts at the sea, goes through a rain forest, through pines, over rocks, through a great valley of snow and ice, up a boulder incline to the summit. Near the summit you enter Canada and hike through a valley of ice and snow and back through forest and rain forest until you reach Benet. The whole hike you are hiking near water. The water is the best tasting you'll ever have. Campsites along the way are plenty adequate and comfortable. Be in shape or take your time. We did it in 3.5 days and probably should have taken 4.5. We hiked day 1 to Sheep Camp, probably should have stayed at Canyon City. The 2nd day we went to Deep Lake, most stayed at Happy Camp but I would stay at Deep Lake if you can go the extra couple miles, very beautiful campsite and less people. The #rd day we went to Bare Loon, this was a very nice campsite, and the 4th Day we only had 4 miles to Bennett. Be sure to get a ticket for the lunch in Bennett, it is a real treat.
The Chilkoot Pass Trail, also known as the Alaskan Gold Rush Trail was a beautiful 5-day backpacking trip. The historical trail is very well maintained and relatively heavily traveled, and there are tons of artifacts scattered throughout the forest left by hopeful travelers making their way to Canada to continue down the Yukon river in search of gold.
In the summer time gorgeous wildflowers were in full bloom and glaciers can be seen creeping out of every valley, melting into the river that flows along the trail. The Alaska side of the trail is forested and lush rainforest. The Canadian side of the trail is a beautiful rocky wonderland spotted with crystal clear lakes. It's awesome.
Campsites are great, with plenty of level spots for tents, and solid bear-proof bins for storing food. Yes, there are lots of bears!
At the end of the trail we hopped on the historical train back to Skagway, a great way to end a backpacking trip.
Backpacked the Chilkoot Trail twice in my life twenty years apart. The trail is a walk through history. There are many artifacts left from the Gold Rush and the scenery is spectacular despite the mountain mist and snow.