Alaska teens retrace the steps of the Klondike Gold Rush and Become Future Stewards

Group of hikers wtih scenic background

Teens from Southeast Alaska and the Yukon Territory celebrate their completion of the Chilkoot Trail at Lake Bennett


Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
Next Generation Stewards
Also Promotes:
History Lesson
Year Accomplished:

On Thursday, August 3rd six teenagers and two chaperones embarked on a 33-mile, six-day, five-night journey over the Chilkoot Trail, retracing the footsteps of the stampeders during the Klondike Gold Rush over 100 years before. The annual hike, hosted Skagway Recreation Center was funded by Alaska Geographic and the National Parks Foundation Active Trails Grant. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park partnered with these organizations to make this trip a success and provided two Education Rangers to provide environmental education programs and short history lessons along the trail.  The teens also helped the NPS Trail Crew in rebuild a land-bridge near Sheep Camp that had been washed away by the river and brush out the trails around the camp.   This added aspect of stewardship helped the youth gain a sense of ownership and responsibility in the health of their public lands.

A herculean feat, the teens and their chaperones hiked from sea level to over 3,500 feet through rain-flooded trails, mud, streams, and snow on this epic voyage from Dyea to Lake Bennett. While on the trail they had the opportunity to interact with Artist-in-Residence Jay White who challenged the teens to record their experiences on the trail through a series of sketches. Undoubtedly, their experiences on Chilkoot Trail will be forever embedded in their memories. The trip is open to teenagers 13-18 years of age from Southeast Alaska and the Yukon. This year's participants hailed from Whitehorse, Gustavus, Haines, and Skagway, home of KLGO.