National Park Service

State of the Park Reports

State of the Park Report for
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Resource Brief – Collaborative Efforts to Improve Local Hiking Trails

Sarah Histand of the Skagway Recreation Center directs volunteers doing trail crew work on the Lower Dewey Lake Trail System.
Sarah Histand of the Skagway Recreation Center directs volunteers doing trail crew work on the Lower Dewey Lake Trail System.

In Summer 2012, Skagway residents joined employees of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, the Skagway Recreation Center, and the Municipality of Skagway to improve Skagway's local trails. Projects have included re-routing dangerous trails, brushing trails to make them easier for visitor to find, and improving washout areas. In 2012, park and city volunteers brushed 20+ miles of trail, started a trail re-route, and completed one French Drain to provide hikers with better access on the trails.

The trail work is a part of the Backpacking and Trail Improvement Series, a joint series between the National Park Service and the Municipality of Skagway. The Series was made possible by an Active Trails Grant from National Parks Foundation. The Backpacking and Trail Improvement Series culminated in a four-day trip over the Chilkoot Trail in August 2012. One difficult project that the group has undertaken is the Sturgill's Landing Re-route. This section of trail was formerly known for its rockslides and tricky footing in its final descent to the ocean.

The new trail bypasses the hazardous portion of the trail, directing hikers instead over a beautiful route that is closer to the ocean, crosses through a unique section of forest, and connects with the original trail just before arriving at Sturgill's Landing. Trail work on the re-route consisted of moving large rocks to form steps and walls in steep sections and cutting a flat bench in mellower sections of the new trail. The crew made considerable progress in their two days of work on the most challenging section of trail, but there is more to be done! Municipality trail workers will be returning to the re-route in summer 2013 to put the finishing touches on the new trail.

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Last Updated: June 19, 2017 Contact Webmaster