Before You Hike
1. Plan Your Adventure: Take time to research the trail and carefully plan your trip. This includes reading about the climate, necessary equipment, campgrounds, itinerary options, and transportation costs and schedules. A good resource to start with is A Hiker's Guide to the Chilkoot Trail, available through Alaska Geographic.
Click here for Group Planning information.
Click here for a list of Commercial Outfitters authorized to guide trips on the Chilkoot.
Click here for information on how to obtain authorization to guide a commercial trip over the Chilkoot.
2. Obtain Reservations and Permit: You are required to present a valid hiking permit upon request by Trail Rangers and Wardens. Additionally, during peak season betweenJune- early September the trail can experience high volume. To protect the trail and the hiking experience only a certain number of people are allowed to summit each day during this time. For this reason reservations are often required.
Click here for reservations and permits.
3. Check In at the Trail Center: Before you begin your hike check in at the National Park Service Trail Center in Skagway, AK at 2nd Avenue and Broadway. Plan 30 minutes to 1 hour for the hiker orientation, obtain your permit, and present passports. BRING PASSPORTS TO ORIENTATION! It is also recommended that hikers watch the 18 minute video on Bear Safety.
4. Be Prepared for a Border Crossing: Click here for border crossing information.
5. Make Plans for Transportation: Hikers need to schedule transportation to and from the trail. The trail head is located in Dyea, which 15 miles from Skagway. The trail ends in Bennett which is a remote location accessed only by train or plane. Please be advised that the Bare Loon Cut-off Trail is now closed. For more information please click here to review the Parks Canada Information Bulletin issued December 2010.
Train - from Bennett to Fraser or Skagway only. Leaves Bennett at 1PM (Alaska time) on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
6. Read Current Trail Report: Trail reports are available at the Visitor Center, Trail Center and Dyea Ranger Station. Make final adjustments as needed.
Click here for National Park Service Trail Report.
Click here for Parks Canada site for more information.
Did You Know?
At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, 150 businesses were established in Dyea, Alaska including 48 Hotels and 2 Hospitals. By 1903, Dyea's population was a mere 3. A visit to Dyea today reveals a thriving forest growing over the ghosts of those buildings.