The Chilkoot Trail
ElevationAscent: 5,805' 1,769 m
Descent: -3,711' -1,131 m
High: 3,562' 1,086 m
Low: 87' 26 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 65% (33°)
Current trail conditions
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“The historic Chilkoot Trail travels along coastal rainforest through rocky alpine to boreal forest.”— Nessa Goldman
All along the Chilkoot Trail, the conditions are known to change quickly, and anytime of year you should be prepared for numerous stream crossings; your feet will get wet. Beyond the rocky alpine the terrain turns to boreal forest. There are amazing views on the way up and over the pass, and in the fall the colors are phenomenal. The whole route is extraordinary, traversing such unique terrain, the trail's diversity is unparalleled.
Shuttle Information (as of 9/15)
- Anne Moore (907) 617-7551
- Train or Bus: White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad (1-800-343-7373)
- Plane: Alpine Aviation Yukon (1-867-336-3996)
The trail climbs slowly to Canyon City, which is a popular first night stop for those spending 2 nights on the U.S. side of the trail. The last camp before the pass is Sheep Camp. Here, the ranger will give you valuable information and trail conditions before making the trek across the pass.
The journey often takes 12 hours for the 7.9 mile passage from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp, the first site after you cross the border at the pass summit. There is a ranger station and an emergency shelter at the top of the pass. You can use this to pause and warm up in times of inclement weather.
After the pass, the trail descends through rocky alpine, crossing numerous streams along the way. The trail slowly descends after Happy Camp and you could finish off the final 13 miles in one day. However, for those with time, there are several campsites on the way out and it's well worth spending the extra few days in the Canadian wilderness.
The trail ends at the old settlement of Bennett, where there are many of treasures left behind from the gold rush days. From there, you'll need to take a train to get off the trail and back into civilization. You can either return to Skagway or head out to Whitehorse.
Land Manager: NPS - Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park