Chilkoot Trail Conditions Report

Looking across a rocky area a mountain pass with clear blue skies Cloudy view of a rocky area with a stream in the middle and almost no vertical visibility
Looking from the Scales toward Chilkoot Pass on August 21st. NPS photo/A. Brady
The same view two days later, August 23rd. NPS photo/A. Brady



 

CHILKOOT TRAIL CONDITIONS

Fall 2018

Note: permits are not required during the fall and winter, but through and overnight hikers must still register at the National Park Service administrative offices in Skagway or with Parks Canada in Whitehorse. Offices are open Monday-Friday.

 
EMERGENCIES
U.S. Park Service Rangers and Parks Canada Wardens are no longer patrolling the Chilkoot Trail. 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 1-907-683-2276 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 $1800. Trail hikers are advised to consult their medical insurance policies before starting their hike.
 

TRAIL
The trail above treeline is unmarked and not readily identified during the off season.
Route finding skills are essential. Carry a map and compass. Average hiking time from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp is 8-12 hours. Currently, we have less than 13 hours of daylight so leave Sheep Camp early. Seasonal flooding of the first six miles of the Chilkoot Trail is possible in October. From the Sheep Camp to Happy Camp expect some creek crossings. Creek crossings may be slippery. Shelters for preparing meals and warming up are available at all campgrounds except Deep Lake; they are NOT for sleeping in. Trekking poles, extra socks, windproof and rain gear are highly recommended. Visit the NPS Visitor Center at 2nd and Broadway for latest conditions and recording planned trip itineraries.

 

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 have already dipped below freezing at night at higher elevations. Come dressed and prepared for cold weather environmental conditions.

 

Explore the weather conditions for the last 24 hours at

 
 
REGISTRATION
Hikers need to register for the trail and customs at the National Park Service Visitor Center on 2nd & Broadway, Monday - Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. There is no permit fee at this time. U.S. Customs' phone number is 907-983-3144. Canadian Customs at Fraser can be reached at 867-821-4111 for further questions regarding crossing the border.
 
BEARS
Brown and black bears are encountered frequently on the trail. Stay on the trail, travel in groups if possible, and make noise! 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. A quick visual sweep after you are ready to leave camp will ensure that no garbage, food or personal belongings are left behind. Pack out all garbage! Do not place wrappers and trash in wood stoves!
 
For additional information stop by the NPS Administrative Offices (2nd floor) in Skagway or call (907) 983-9200. 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 online information, visit our Chilkoot Trail hiking page.
 
Two rangers carry trail markers up a steep, snowy mountain
At the end of May park rangers begin marking the snowy route up Long Hill and the Golden Stairs.

NPS photo

Last updated: October 1, 2018

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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