Chilkoot Trail Conditions Report

Two rangers carry trail markers up a steep, snowy mountain

Rangers begin marking the snowy route up the Golden Stairs on the Chilkoot Trail at the end of May

NPS photo

 

CHILKOOT TRAIL CONDITIONS

June 27, 2015

Downloadable PDF version Here (16KB)

EMERGENCIES

U.S. Park Service
Rangers and Parks Canada Wardens are on patrol.
There is no cell phone coverage along the trail. Iridium Satellite phones may work in some areas. Satellite phone users may seek 24 hour emergency assistance through Denali Dispatch at 1-907-683-6351 in US or Jasper Dispatch at 1-877-852-3100 in
Canada. At Log Cabin your closest contact for help is Canadian Customs at Fraser (four miles south of Log cabin parking lot along the Klondike Highway). Bad weather conditions may delay medical or rescue assistance for several days. Helicopter medical evacuations from the trail will cost a minimum of $1600. Trail hikers are advised to consult their medical insurance policies before starting their hike.

TRAIL

The Chilkoot Trail is snow free to the false summit. Expect wet &muddy sections on the trail particularly on the lower sections. LEAVE SHEEP CAMP NO LATER THAN 5A.M. From the Pass to Happy Camp expect 40% snow coverage with some deteriorating snow bridges. Use caution in transition zones. Happy Camp to Deep Lake has a couple patches of snow. From Deep Lake to Bennett is snow free. Shelters are
available at most campgrounds for preparing meals and warming up. Increased travel
times and delays can be expected under certain weather conditions and
white-outs. Trekking poles highly recommended. SEE AVALANCHE WARNING BELOW.

There are wasp nests at some of the campgrounds, use caution.

WEATHER

Weather conditions above tree line change quickly and can be more extreme as elevation is gained. Rain, fog, high winds, snow and sleet can be expected any time of year. Temperatures near freezing at night at higher elevations should be anticipated. Come dressed and prepared for hypothermic environmental conditions.
Snow travel and sunny days warrant sunscreen, protective hat or visor and sunglasses.

REGISTRATION

A permit is required to overnight on the Chilkoot Trail. Hikers are required to register and pay fees with the International Trail Center on 5th &Broadway in Skagway prior to hike. Hikers also need to show passport and fill out paperwork for Canadian Customs. Hours of operation are 8-5 daily.

AVALANCHE HAZARD

Avalanche conditions currently exist between Chilkoot Pass and Happy Camp. Avalanche conditions can
also develop elsewhere in the park given the right set of conditions ie. slope,terrain, weather, and snow pack composition. When travelling through avalanche terrain, you need to be capable of identifying and assessing avalanche hazards. You need to be knowledgeable about route finding, avalanche
safety and rescue in mountainous terrain
. You should be properly equipped with shovels, avalanche transceivers, and probes. Travel early, at first light, to avoid afternoon postholing and increased hazard for avalanche due to solar heating of the snow pack. Choose your route and campsite locations carefully to avoid unstable slopes and hazardous avalanche terrain areas.

BEARS

Brown and black bears are encountered frequently on the trail. Stay on the trail, travel in groups if possible. Use food storage devices that are located at all of the designated campgrounds. For your safety
cook and eat at shelters, so as to keep food smells away from your tent site. Do not leave pack unattended at any point on the trail. Pack out all garbage! Do not place wrappers and trash in wood stoves!

For additional information stop by the NPS Visitor Center in
Skagway or call(907) 983-2921.This report is intended to stress the changing trail conditions only and will not substitute for the essential information found in other brochures and your own common sense. For Web information, visit http://www.nps.gov/klgo/chilkoot.htm

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