Follow This Iconic Alaska Trail For An Unforgettable Journey
In 1896, the news spread of the Klondike Gold Rush and people came from all over the world to seek their fortune in the far north. When many arrived by steam-powered ship to the drop off point, they were in the picturesque town of Skagway. At that time Skagway exploded in size and suddenly become a base camp for all these adventurers on their first stop in the arctic. The next step was the Chilkoot.
The Chilkoot Trail is the steep 33-mile journey those early pioneers had to take to access the Gold Rush boom town Dawson City. The first step was the climb up the Chilkoot Trail. Follow in the footsteps of the Gold Rush miners and experience a piece of the history of Alaska. The hike is a stunning exploration of a beautiful part of the world.
During the Gold Rush beginning in the 1896, prospectors arrived from by ship from all over the world to seek their fortunes in the boomtown Dawson City. They all headed up the Chilkoot with stars in their eyes.
The trail runs through these serene Beaver Ponds. The trail was originally a Tlingit trade route from the sea to the inland.
More then 30,000 men, women, and children climbed up and over the "Golden Stairway". The carried with them enough supplies for a year in the harsh arctic conditions, or as much as they possibly could.
The trail stretches 33 miles (53km) from the coastal town Dyea, Alaska to Lake Bennett, British Columbia, the headwaters of the Yukon River. You are required to acquire a permit before hiking over the Canadian Border.
The trail is an archeological treasure trove with artifacts and buildings dotting the way which have been preserved and monitored by the National Park Service and Parks Canada. Part of the Klondike Gold Rush International Historic Park run by the park services of both countries together.
The first spot to camp is at Finnegan's Point. At these lower elevations the trail goes through the temperate rainforest of the area.
The highest point of the the trail is Chilkoot Pass at a chilly 3057 ft. high. This part of the trail can have wintry conditions year round and is the most gruelling stretch of the trail.
You'll travel over wooden bridges built by those early pioneers, and now maintained by the National Park Service. The trail is gorgeous, informative, and intense from start to finish.
Open skies at Sheep Camp on the third day of the trail. With proper planning and preparation, the Chilkoot Trail can be an amazing extended hiking adventure with incredible views. For a more manageable version, take a shuttle service to the trail head and a day hike up the Alaska side to get a bite sized taste of the adventure.
In Alaska, the Chilkoot still represents an arduous crossing and a right of passage. Take this amazing journey to discover an amazing spot in Alaska and feel the thrill those pioneers must have felt.
Looking for a beautiful hike that’s a little shorter? Look
here for Alaska hikes under 3 miles!
Have you climbed the Chilkoot? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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