Chilkoot Trail (Dyea to Chilkoot Pass)

Location: Southeast Alaska
Trip Starts: Dyea
Trip Ends: Chilkoot Pass
Total Distance: 15.4 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Trails Used: Chilkoot Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate to Heavy
Trip Type: Multi-Day Hike
More Information:

Klondike Gold Rush National Park
National Forest Service/Parks Canada
P.O. Box 517
Skagway, AK 99840
(907) 983-2921


In 1897 news of a gold strike in the Canadian Yukon reached the lower 48, triggering a stampede North to the Klondike Gold Fields. This park celebrates the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-98 through 15 restored buildings within the Skagway Historic District. The park also administers the Chilkoot Trail and a small portion of the White Pass Trail. Included in the park is a portion of the Dyea Townsite at the foot of the Chilkoot Trail.

The Chilkoot Trail is a walk back in time. It follows the trail that the stampeders used to reach the Yukon River and float their provisions to the gold fields of the Klondike over a hundred years ago. Many artifacts from the 1890’s still litter the trail and there is great diversity along the way: swamps, deserts, snowy mountain passes, lush canyons, and alpine lakes. The 33+ miles of trail take the backpacker across Alaska and into the Yukon Territory via the Chilkoot Pass. The hiker eventually winds their way down into British Columbia and completes the journey at Lake Bennett via a return trip to Skagway on a historic rail line that is often voted as one of the most scenic in the world. If you are looking for solitude, this trail is not for you since many thru-hikers complete the trek every summer. But if you seek adventure, great scenery, and Klondike history, then you will love the Chilkoot.

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  1. I wonder if the Klondike Gold Rush National Park has a ranger who has an opinion as to whether Klondike Mike carried a piano on his back up the Chilkoot Pass in 1898? This is one of the most famous stories told about the Chilcoot Pass. I am preparing a presentation to the Irish Literary and Historical Society in San Francisco re: Michael Ambrose Mahoney (aka Klondike Mike) He was my father’s first cousin. I would be interested in your opinion, and whether there was any contemporary evidence for this event.

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