The Chilkoot Trail has served as a travel route for thousands of years. First used by the coastal Tlingit to trade with people in the interior, the trail became famous during the Klondike Gold Rush as one of two routes from the Lynn Canal to Lake Bennett, the headwaters of the Yukon River. Today, the Chilkoot is a recreational hiking trail and 33-mile-long outdoor museum lined with artifacts from its illustrious past. Some of our park's most valuable cultural resources are located along the trail and have been preserved by favorable environmental conditions. As our climate warms, conditions that have been stable are beginning to change. A warmer, wetter climate presents a number of threats to archeological resources; these factors build upon one another, intensifying their effects and destroying sites faster. Archeologists must adapt and find new ways to cope with these changes to ensure valuable resources are not lost forever.
Continue reading to discover threats to cultural resources and how archeologists are dealing with them