4
Introductory to Moderate

Traveler Rating

 

Activities
  • 5 day trek
Accommodation
  • 2 nights hotel
  • 4 nights wilderness camping
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 4 Breakfasts

Price

7 daysfrom

$1699USD

Overview

Trip code: CHK

Trip highlights


  • Conquer the legendary Chilkoot Pass to the Klondike Gold Rush
  • Immerse yourself within old-growth coastal rainforest and high alpine landscape
  • Train from Whitehorse with return floatplane pick-up
  • Discover abandoned Gold Rush camps, towns and artifacts
  • Hike the alpine border between Alaska and British Columbia
  • Provided meals and gear ensure lighter loads

It’s rare to find a staggeringly beautiful, remote alpine hike steeped in modern history. Rarer still to follow the footsteps of thousands of hardy prospectors, racing in search of fabled riches during the Klondike Gold Rush, at whatever the cost. The pay-off for hikers is altogether different: five nights of pristine Yukon wilderness surrounded by the legacy of these stampeders. Covering 53 kilometres/33 miles of rugged trail, you’ll cross bridges, creeks, dense forest, and all manner of relics and ruins along the way. With food drops and an experienced wilderness guide and porter carrying group equipment, your ‘grubstake’ will be significantly lighter than those that came before you: stampeders would scoff at your hot meals, warm sleeping bags, and leisurely pace. After conquering the infamous Golden Stairs, soak in the sweeping views and living history before returning to Whitehorse via floatplane with your treasured memories. More than a century after the gold rush, the Chilkoot Trail remains a truly priceless wilderness experience.


Itinerary

Arrival and transfer in the storied capital of the Yukon Territory. In the evening your guide will meet you at your hotel for a group briefing, during which we will go over your pack and the gear you need to carry and the gear porters will carry.

Meals:  Nil

Our gradual entry day nonetheless steeps us in the region’s history and natural beauty. We’ll drive to Carcross (considered the world’s smallest desert) and into Fraser, British Columbia. Here we board the iconic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad to the Klondike’s historic gateway: Skagway, Alaska. After exploring the town and reuniting for a light lunch, we transfer to the Chilkoot trailhead in the abandoned gold rush town of Dyea. An undulating trail takes us along bluffs and through forests of massive cottonwood and spruce. Next up are is the boardwalk across Beaver pond. If it is flooded, we encourage you to wear your camp shoes to keep your boots dry. Our small, forest campsite is located under an impressive canopy, an ideal location to soak in the vast outdoors, and connect around a hearty campfire.

Meals:  L,D

Following breakfast, we continue through sublime coastal rainforest, visiting all that remains of the abandoned Canyon City townsite before continuing onwards to Sheep Camp. The rugged trail runs high above the river and involves a few creek crossings and impressive bridges. Before arriving in what remains of Canyon City, we take a side trail on a suspension bridge across the milky Taiya River. Further up the valley, the trail becomes steeper, slicing across bare granite that bears evidence of glacial scouring. Sheep Camp was historically the last site before leaving the tree line and is located within the humid rainforest with views of a large waterfall in the distance. Cast your mind back to the gold rush era, when today’s humble and overgrown Sheep Camp was a bustling mile-long city, complete with saloons, aerial tramway, hotels and restaurants.

Meals:  B,L,D

Departing Sheep Camp, we leave the dense forest behind and enter a dramatic valley and mountain pass. This is where the demanding reality of the Chilkoot Trail took hold, forcing many stampeders to abandon their dreams, along with the goods they carried. You might notice rusted stoves, cables and tram wheels along the trail as we approach The Scales, the settlement where stampeders were weighed and assessed before their push for the summit. With the Chilkoot Pass looming in the distance, The Scales once supported six restaurants, two hotels, a saloon and many freighting offices and warehouses. As you meet the challenge of scrambling up the steep, rocky Golden Stairs, spare a thought for desperate stampeders crushed under the weight of their loads (and the occasional winter avalanche). Your triumph comes with another accolade: you’ve just successfully hiked the alpine border between the United States and Canada. We descend over snowfields passing lakes, creeks and rocky outcrops, arriving late afternoon in our camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

With the most strenuous day behind you, you may well regard today as the best of the trail. Amidst stunning views and gentle grades (save for a spot of ridge work above Long Lake), you’ve earned your place within the Chilkoot’s rugged wilderness and enduring history. You can still spot the remnants of stampeders, especially the tent terraces built into sidehills, to accommodate thousands of people as they gathered to sail directly to the Klondike. There will be plenty of time to explore the area around Lindeman City, including the eleven wooden crosses that remain in the gold rush cemetery.

Meals:  B,L,D

Don’t be deceived by the negative gradient; the Chilkoot has one last surprise in store: the ascent up the ridge overlooking Lindeman Lake. Fortunately, there are plenty of rest stops on wooden boards set up on the rocks. Now that we’ve entered the rain shadow of the coastal mountains, the trail’s landscape changes dramatically. At one point during the gold rush, Lake Bennett was home to 20,000 people living in one of the world’s largest cities. They skedaddled out on thousands of hand-built boats within hours of the ice breaking up in 1898. Our exit will be far more glorious. We’ll board a floatplane for a spectacular scenic flight to Whitehorse, where hot showers and comfortable hotel beds await.

Meals:  B,L

Trip concludes with a transfer to the airport. Breakfast not included.

Meals:  Nil


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • 2 nights twin share accommodation in Whitehorse
  • 4 nights wilderness camping
  • Licensed wilderness guide
  • All camping and kitchen equipment except for sleeping bag and mat
  • Emergency equipment (first aid kit, bear spray, satellite phone)
  • Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 7
  • Private transportation during the trip
  • Park fees and permits
  • White Pass & Yukon route railroad ride in our exclusive departure only
  • Assistant(s) reducing pack weight on our exclusive departure only. Assistant(s) would carry cooking essentials and food.

  • White Pass & Yukon train ride from BC to Skagway, Alaska (optional add-on)
  • Travel Insurance
  • International Flight
  • Items of personal nature
  • Sleeping bag and mat
  • Meals in Whitehorse
  • Applicable taxes

Suitability

Introductory to Moderate

4

The terrain on this trip is graded 'Introductory Trekking' - These trips involve trekking or walking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace and should never be misinterpreted to mean they are easy trips. Hikes are mainly on well-defined trails with undulating terrain. The 'Moderate' aspect of the terrain is the crossing of the Chilkoot Pass which is the only real challenging section of the trail, but it is significant. The pack weight on this trip also increases the difficulty level, as you will be expected to carry all of your own gear including sleeping bag/mat and share of a 2-person tent. You will not need to carry any group camping equipment or food. You will need a good level of fitness and be in good health. Suggested preparation: We recommend 45 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week from a minimum of 3 months leading up to your trip. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling. Hill or stair walking with a full pack (30-35lbs) in variable weather conditions is highly recommended.


Departure dates


Notes

IT1
Exclusive departure. Porter carrying group cooking gear and food.
IT2
Exclusive departure. Date subject to change and will be confirmed in late 2021.
IT3
Date subject to change and will be confirmed in late 2021.

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Total Priceper person from

$1699USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$150
  • Private Trip fromUSD$510
  • Porter ServiceUSD$1430
* Prices listed are per person. All prices subject to applicable taxes.

Trip reviews


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Videos

Retrace the Stampeder's route on the Chilkoot Trail