Chilkoot Trail Conditions Report

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Looking across a rocky area a mountain pass with clear blue skies Looking across a rocky area a mountain pass with clear blue skies

Left image
Looking from the Scales toward Chilkoot Pass on August 21st.
Credit: NPS photo/A. Brady

Right image
The same view two days later, August 23rd.
Credit: NPS photo/A. Brady

 

CHILKOOT TRAIL REPORT

Fall/Winter 2021/2022

 

Trail and Border Closure

The US portion of the Chilkoot Trail remains open for day use and overnight use. Registration is required for overnight use (see below).

Even though the highway is open to cross border travel, the Chilkoot Trail is not. Crossing the border via the Chilkoot Trail is strictly prohibited and may result in penalties.

 

Registration

Hikers are strongly encouraged to record planned hiking itineraries for the trail at the National Park Service Trail Center on 5th and Broadway. There is no permit fee before June 1, 2022. Call the Trail Center at 907-983-9234 if you have any questions.

The International Trail Center will open June 1, 2022 and permit fees will begin at that time.

 

Bears


Brown and black bears are encountered frequently along the trail and can be active March through November. Travel in groups, if possible. Use food storage lockers that are located at all the designated camping areas. Do not cook or eat food near your campsite. Keep all scented items away from your tent site. Do not leave your pack unattended. Inspect your campsite when you are ready to leave to ensure that no garbage, food or personal belongings are left behind. Pack out all garbage. Do not place wrappers and trash in the wood stoves.
 

Emergencies

U.S. Park Service Rangers will not be on patrol until June 1, 2022. 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. 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. Only those experienced in winter backcountry travel, prepared with essential avalanche safety and winter camping gear, and travelling with partners should attempt the Chilkoot in early Spring.

 

Trail

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions cross-border hiking is not permitted in 2022.

The trail is unmarked and not readily identified during the spring season. Route finding skills are essential. Carry a map and compass. Shelters are available at Finnegans, Canyon City, Pleasant Camp and Sheep Camp for preparing meals and warming up. Hikers should come prepared with tent or bivy for emergency shelter. Allow sufficient time and energy to properly prepare camp upon arrival. There is a woodstove at each of these shelters, however wood may not be available. Carry extra clothing, food, fuel, matches, etc. Increased travel times and delays can be expected under certain weather conditions and white-outs.

Due to COCID-19 pandemic, cabins and warming shelters are closed and available for emergency use only. Overnight use of these shelters is prohibited. Outhouses along the trail are not cleaned daily. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and practice good hygiene

 

Weather

Weather conditions can be severe and unpredictable. Conditions above tree line change quickly and can be especially severe. High winds, driving snow, and poor visibility may prevent travel through this alpine terrain. Whiteout conditions are common and can prevent detection of hazardous avalanche terrain, cliffs, open water and overflow. Temperatures vary from 30F/-1C to -50F/-46C. It snows up to 200inches/508cm. per year at the Pass. Be prepared for rain, sleet, snow, ice and winds in excess of 50mph/80kmph. Come dressed and prepared for cold weather environmental conditions.

 

Explore the weather conditions for the last 24 hours at

 
Webcam

Chilkoot Pass South View Webcam

This webcam updates once daily. South facing view from Chilkoot Pass. During winter months the camera may be partly or entirely covered with snow.

View Webcam
Status: Inactive
 
Webcam

Chilkoot Pass North View Webcam

This webcam updates once daily. North facing view from Chilkoot Pass. During the winter months the camera may be partly or entirely covered with snow.

View Webcam
Status: Inactive
 

Avalanche Hazard

Avalanche conditions currently exist north of Pleasant Camp. Avalanches 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 post-holing 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.

 

BE PREPARED. NEVER TRAVEL ALONE.
LEAVE A DETAILED ITINERARY WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS


For additional information stop by the NPS Trail Center (Broadway, north of 4th Ave) in Skagway or call (907) 983-9234. 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

Last updated: May 6, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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

Skagway , AK 99840

Phone:

907 983-9200

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