Firearms In The Park

Satellite map from Skagway and Dyea to the US Canada border showing land owner ship in multiple colors along the Chilkoot Trail and White Pass units.  Legend in the lower right.
NPS boundaries along the Chilkoot Trail and White Pass Units of the park.
Frequently asked questions
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Q. Is the public allowed to have firearms in the park?
A. A federal law (Sec. 512 of P.L. 111-24), effective February 22, 2010, makes national parks–and national wildlife refuges–subject to applicable federal, state, and local firearms laws.

Q. How do I know when I'm in the national park?
A: Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park will generally have signs posted along the Chilkoot Trail when entering federally owned parcels within the park. In backcountry areas such as the Chilkoot Trail or White Pass Unit, it is the individual's responsibility to know where he or she is.

Q: Were firearms been allowed in Alaska parks before 2010?
A: Firearms were allowed in 10 of the 15 Alaska national park areas. The five locations where firearms have not been allowed are Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Sitka National Historical Park, the former Mt. McKinley National Park, the former Glacier Bay National Monument, and the former Katmai National Monument.

Q: What didn't change with the 2010 law?
A: 1) Laws pertaining to discharge or use, 2) possession in federal facilities which is prohibited, 3) persons prohibited from possessing firearms, and 4) restrictions on NPS employees and volunteers possessing firearms when not required for their jobs.

Q: Are there places I can't possess a firearm?
A: Yes. You may not possess a firearm in federal facilities, in some locations that serve alcohol, in another person's residence without their consent, and other locations where private persons or businesses have restricted it. List of federal facilities in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Q: What is a federal facility?
A: A federal facility is a 1) building or part thereof, 2) owned or leased by the federal government, 3) where federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties. Federal facilities at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Q. I'd like to hike the Chilkoot Trail. Should I take a firearm for bear protection?
A. Firearms are prohibited on the Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail. There is no way to check or secure firearms at the international border.

To date there have not been any bear attacks in the backcountry on the trail. Permitted hikers are required to watch a bear safety video as part of their trail orientation. This video provides information on appropriate safety precautions for hiking in bear country, and what safe actions to take if bears are encountered. A park ranger is also available to answer hiker questions. You can prepare before your hike by reviewing our bear safety page. The National Park Service recommends pepper spray for personal defense against bears, as research reveals a higher success at deterring bears during aggressive and pursuit behaviors.

Q. I've got my firearm, can I hunt or otherwise use it while in the park?
A. The 2010 law does not change hunting regulations and laws. Hunting remains prohibited inside federally owned lands within the park. State owned and municipal lands within the park remain open to lawful hunting, subject to Alaska State hunting regulations. Other than lawful hunting activities, use of a firearm remains prohibited anywhere in the park.

Q. Can I carry a concealed firearm in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park?
A. The 2010 federal firearms legislation makes national park areas subject to the state firearms laws in which the subject park is located. Alaska State Law does not require a permit for open or concealed possession of a firearm, so the public may possess firearms concealed or visible on their person within the park if they are over 21, not a convicted felon, and not in certain federal facilities.


Q. Where can I find the firearms laws for Alaska?
A: The State of Alaska has information about firearms in this state however, state statutes and administrative code are updated regularly and should be reviewed for up-to-date information.

Q. I'm planning to hunt on state and/or privately owned lands within the park boundaries. Can cross the federal land parcels, where hunting is prohibited to access these other areas?
A. Due to the disjointed nature of the varied land parcels within the park's legislative boundary, hunters are advised to notify the park Superintendent prior to hunting within the park, where access is known to be limited, by geographic location or other, to travel over federal properties. Hunters are required to present evidence of licensing and location of take upon request by a National Park Service ranger.

Q. I was told by a commercial tour guide that I couldn't bring my firearm on their guided tour within the park? Is this true?
A. Guiding companies operating within the park may have additional company policies that prohibit firearms. In Alaska the National Park Service, in accordance with state firearms laws, allows commercial operators and business owners to adopt their own policies regarding firearms while conducting business within the park.

Last updated: September 13, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
P.O. Box 517

Skagway, AK 99840

Phone:

(907) 983-9200

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