Alaska: Chilkoot Pass

Region: Southeastern Alaska, United States to British Columbia, Canada
Length: 33 miles

The 33-mile long Chilkoot Trail (elevation gain 4,500 feet) was a trading route for the indigenous Tlingit people, but in more recent times it became famous as the Klondike Gold Rush trail.  The gold rush attracted prospectors (including Jack London), but the notoriously challenging Chilkoot became the graveyard for many hoping to scale the steep pass and secure their fortunes.  According to the National Park Service, at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898, 150 businesses were established in Dyea, Alaska including 48 hotels and 2 hospitals. By 1903, Dyea's population was a mere 3.

The hike extends from Dyea (outside Skagway in Alaska) to Lake Bennett in Canada.

Hikers will need a permit, passport and campsite reservations. Complimentary bear safety video screened in Skagway.

More Information

Selected photos from my trip

National Park Service on Chilkoot Trail visit

National Postal Museum history on Chilkoot Trail

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