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



September 21, 2017

U.S. Park Service Rangers and Parks Canada Wardens are no longer on patrol and markers are being removed. 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 $1700. Trail hikers are advised to consult their medical insurance policies before starting their hike.


The markers have been removed from the trail and there is no staff so hikers will have to self-rescue if anything goes wrong. The trail is snow free to the Pass. Hikers can expect wet and muddy sections all along the trail. There is a section of snow/ice that is approx. 200 feet down the Pass that may be slippery, we highly recommend trekking poles for snow travel. Expect a few patches of snow from the Pass to Happy Camp. Use caution in transition zones. Shelters are available at all campgrounds (except Deep Lake) for preparing meals and warming up. Hiking time from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp averages 8-12 hours and we currently have 12 hours of daylight (and losing light fast) so leave Sheep Camp early. Increased travel times and delays can be expected under certain weather conditions and white-outs.


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. Average hiking time over the Pass is 8-12 hours and most of the time you are above tree line and fully exposed to the elements so be prepared! Wear synthetic layers, bring extra socks, extra layers, raingear, hat, and a good attitude!


Explore the weather conditions for the last 24 hours at

A permit is no longer required to overnight on the Chilkoot Trail. NPS still requires hiker register either with Parks Canada Whitehorse office or the NPS Visitor Center and Administration offices at 2nd and Broadway in Skagway Mon - Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm. Hikers need to bring identification for Canada Customs paperwork.
Brown and black bears are encountered frequently on the trail. Stay on the trail, travel in groups if possible 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. 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) 983-9200. 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 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: September 21, 2017

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Mailing Address:

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

Skagway, AK 99840


(907) 983-9200

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