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



Aug 16, 2017

U.S. Park Service Rangers and Parks Canada Wardens are on patrol. 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 the 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.


The Chilkoot Trail is snow free to the Pass. The boardwalk at approx. 2.5 mile is not nailed down so walk in the middle of the boardwalk. Due to recent rain expect water on the trail, especially on lower section. Some creek crossings all along the trail. Average hiking time from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp is 8-12 hours and we currently have 16 hours of daylight so leave Sheep Camp early. There is a section of snow/ice that is approx. 250 feet down the Pass that is slippery, we highly recommend trekking poles for snow travel. Expect 4-5 patches of snow from the Pass to Happy Camp. Use caution in transition zones. Snow is quickly melting and leaving some water on the trail. (bring extra socks!!) Shelters are available at all campgrounds (except Deep Lake) for preparing meals and warming up. 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. Snow travel and sunny days warrant sunscreen, protective hat or visor and sunglasses. This week has been very warm so we recommend leaving Sheep Camp early (5-6am) so as to travel over the Pass early in the day. Drink plenty of water. 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 required to overnight on the Chilkoot Trail. Hikers are required to register and pay fees with the International Trail Center on 5th & Broadway in Skagway prior to hike. Hikers also need to show passport and fill out paperwork for Canadian Customs. Hours of operation are 8am-5pm daily.
Brown and black bears are encountered frequently on the trail. Sow and two cubs in the Bennett area. 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! Watch the 13 minute video “Staying Safe In Bear Country” at the Trail Center.
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: August 16, 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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