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Tour Duration: 7 Days | Tour Price: CAD 1,995.00/person | Tour Season: June - July
Hiking the Chillkoot Trail

Looking for a real hiking adventure? The Chilkoot Trail is the original Alaska and Yukon adventure. Not just a trail, but a cultural corridor; the trail that was made famous by the legions of gold miners travelling to Dawson City in 1898, had been in use for thousands of years by coastal Tlingit traders travelling to the Yukon interior with goods from the coast to trade with inland tribes. The discovery of gold near Dawson City in 1898 brought some 30,000 gold miners to Skagway all headed inland to find fame and fortune in the Klondike.
These hearty travelers carried their gear and their dreams over some of the most rugged terrain in Western North America. On our Chilkoot Trail hiking tour, you’ll retrace the steps of those native traders and Klondike Gold Rushers with a lighter load and a spring in your step as you experience the unique history and incredible grandeur of Alaska’s coastal mountains, while seeking your own treasure; that of adventure and personal accomplishment.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Whitehorse.
We’ll greet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel in downtown Whitehorse. The rest of the day is at your leisure. There are many interesting things to discover in Whitehorse; you can visit the longest wooden fish-ladder in the world, the Beringia Centre for a glimpse of pre-historic Yukon and Alaska, the nearby Yukon Transportation Museum and MacBride’s Museum of the Yukon. We also highly recommend
a visit to the SS Klondike National Historic Site, a restored sternwheeler located next to the Yukon River. Or if you’d like to travel by boat yourself, you can take the MV Schwatka tour through the very scenic Miles Canyon.
Day 2: Finnegan’s Point
Today’s short transfer by road to Skagway will be memorable. The Klondike Highway is known as one of the most beautiful 2 hour trips in North America! Stunning mountain views are found around every corner. We’ll meet you at your hotel and depart to the historic gold rush village of Carcross (shortened from Caribou Crossing) and the travel over the White Pass to Skagway. At Fraser, you have the opportunity to take the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (optional, recommended) from Fraser to Skagway. Now a UNESCO International Civil Engineering Landmark, the White Pass Railroad was built in 1899 to assist in the transport of goods and people to the gold fields at Dawson City. The narrow gauge railroad takes a circuitous route from 1200m to sea level in just 30km!
During the Klondike Goldrush of 1898, some 30,000 gold seekers arrived in Skagway by steamship, ready to travel the 1000km to the gold fields at Dawson City. Today, the town is bustling with visitors and still retains its gold rush flavour. The quaint streets of Skagway are perfect for strolling. After visiting the historic town, we’ll travel 16km to Dyea, where we’ll start our hike on the Chilkoot Trail. Today we’ll hike to Finnegan’s Point (approx. 3 hours hiking time). The first part of the trail climbs steadily along the Taiya River. Spruce trees tower above the trail and house eagle nests and the occasional black bear. Spawning salmon can be seen in the river in late summer. Yet, signs of the Klondike Gold Rush are also evident; from remnants of the old telephone line, built in 1898 to connect Skagway with Bennett and Log Cabin and the 1950’s era logging road that forms the trail near our campsite. Finnegan’s Point is named for a fellow who built a bridge and for a short time collected a toll from passersby. The thousands of miners soon over-ran the bridge and his efforts to hold them back were futile. You’ll end your day in view of the beautiful Irene Glacier across the river.
View on Bennent Lake View on Bennent Lake
Day 3: Pleasant Camp
After breakfast we’ll continue our adventure through the rain forest. There are lots of creek crossings, as we follow the banks of the Taiya River. This is a pleasant day with some easy and some fairly steep, but thankfully, short climbs. The Rock Garden is a pleasant meadow with few trees and lots of small boulders, rolled to the side of the trail for easier walking. A little further ahead, we’ll reach Canyon City. Once a thriving town servicing the thousands of miners on their way to Dawson, all that remains today are the foundations of a few buildings, a stove and some pots and pans, and the old boiler that powered the tramway. In 1898 you could save a lot of time and effort by using the tramway to get your goods over the pass for 7.5 cents/pound…or $5 in today’s money! Continuing on, we’ll encounter “Bent Tree”; miners would often mark a trail by tying a loop in a young sapling that would usually die as a result. This one has defied the odds by continuing to grow all these long years. We’ll cross a suspension bridge near Pleasant Camp and soon we will arrive at Sheep Camp, where we’ll rest for the night.
Day 4: Happy Camp
Today is our longest, but most memorable part of the hike. We’ll have an early breakfast and hit the trail in order to cover the 13km to Happy Camp. Shortly after departing, we’ll pass through the Enchanted Forest; a region of gnarled trees, twisted and pitted due to the excessive snowfalls that bury them under several meters each winter. You’ll see many gold rush era artifacts littering the trail as it begins to climb towards the Scales. After weeks of hauling a ton of goods up from Skagway, 50 kilos at a time, the miners of the Klondike Gold Rush began to toss aside the non-essentials. Surprisingly the Treeline Sign is surrounded by trees, demonstrating the weather was colder in 1898 than today. But not much further along, the last tree appears, and then disappears, and soon there is nothing but rock in all directions.
This is where the avalanche that claimed the lives of many gold miners in the spring of 1898 occurred, and the victims are buried nearby. A little further and we arrive at the Scales, where the Canadian Mounties weighed the goods of each person entering the Yukon to ensure they had their mandatory 1 ton of provisions before being allowed to continue. The trail goes almost vertical as you travel up the Golden Stairs. This is where the famous photos of the long lines of men and women bent over from their toil, were taken in 1898. It’s a tough climb, scrambling over and around large boulders, but we’ll soon reach the top and cross the border between Alaska and Canada, at over 1100 meters (3700 feet) above sea level! From here we’ll descend over snowfields, passing small lakes, creeks and rock outcrops to reach “Happy Camp” in the late afternoon.
Day 5: Lake Lindemann
The trek from Happy Camp to Lindeman is thought by many to be the best part of the trail. There are some spectacular views, and more importantly, the trail is relatively flat (except at Long Lake). Deep Lake will soon appear, as will the first trees, before the trail begins to drop in elevation as we follow Moose Creek as it tumbles down from Deep Lake to Lake Lindeman, where we’ll camp for the evening.
Day 6: Bennett Lake
We will awaken with mixed emotions today. With just 1 more hike left, there is the feeling of accomplishment after having completed an arduous hike. Yet, there is always a little sadness when the end of the trail is near. But there is still some beautiful scenery to be seen as we continue our trek, first to Bare Loon Lake and onwards to Lake Bennett. Some of the most stunning vistas in British Columbia are found here, overlooking Lake Bennett. As we approach Bennett Lake, we catch glimpses of the old gold rush era church and rail station, all that remains of the community that once was home to over 15,000 people. After a short look around, our float plane will arrive to pick us up for the spectacular 45 minute flight to Whitehorse. The mood on board the aircraft is bound to be pensive as you reflect on your journey while the plane soars over azure waters and green-sided, snow-capped mountains. Upon arrival in Whitehorse, we’ll pick you up from the airport and bring you to your hotel where you definitely will enjoy a hot shower and a last dinner (cooked by someone else for a change!) with your new friends!
Day 7: Departure Whitehorse
After breakfast, we’ll bring you to the airport for your flight south or you’ll take off on your own for your next adventure. Better yet, you’ll continue on your next adventure with Ruby Range Adventure.



(As the trip is done in expedition fashion changes in travel itinerary are a possibility and are left up to the discretion of the guide.)



Availability

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Details

Tour Duration

7 Days

Tour Price

Double Room/Tent: CAD 1,995.00
Single Room/Tent: +CAD 355.00
All Rates per person (+ GST)

Group Size

4 - 7 participants per tour



Demands

Backpacking is necessary. Gear and equipment will be split between participants. Each backpack will weigh 10-25kg.

Included

  • Expert guidance on the entire trip
  • Camping equipment
  • Overland transportation
  • Float plane transfer from Lake Bennett to Whitehorse
  • 2 person tents (4 nights)
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Whitehorse
  • All meals on camping trip
  • Airport Shuttle in Whitehorse


Not included

  • Meals in hotels
  • Fishing license
  • Personal extras
  • Gratuity


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