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Chilkoot Trail Report

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

National Park News


EMERGENCIES U.S. Park Service Rangers and Parks Canada Wardens are now patrolling along the Chilkoot Trail. The Warden Camp at Lindeman City and the NPS Ranger Station at Sheep Camp are staffed. There is no cell phone coverage along the trail. Satellite phones may work in some areas. Trail users should be self-sufficient, outfitted for both winter and early summer travel in severe avalanche terrain, and prepared to handle emergencies independently, as assistance may be days away. Helicopter medical evacuations from the trail may cost $1500 or more. Trail hikers are advised to consult their medical insurance policies before starting their hike.

TRAIL Hikers should expect wet trail conditions below tree-line. Anticipate deep snows with icy patches on steeper slopes. Snowshoes or skis still are highly advised. Trail wand markers have been placed along the trail from the Scales over the pass to Happy Camp. First time trail hikers should visit the Trail Center in Skagway for a detailed briefing of the route. Terrain drop-offs can be sudden and difficult to identify in the deep snows above tree line. Warming shelters are available for use. Wood stoves are not provided at most shelters along the Canadian side of the trail, with the exception of Lindeman City. A back-up tent or emergency shelter is essential.

WEATHER Weather conditions above tree line change quickly and can be more extreme as elevation is gained. Strong winds, cold temperatures, and white-out conditions can be expected at this time of year. Temperatures may drop below freezing. Hikers should be prepared for bright sunshine reflecting off the snow on warm days.

REGISTRATION Hikers should register their itinerary with the Trail Center in Skagway at 2nd and Broadway between the hours of 8am and 5pm. Hiking fees are in effect.

BEARS Bears are frequently seen on the Chilkoot trail as well as in campgrounds. Use food storage devices that are located at all of the designated camping areas and bring 30 feet of rope for the bear poles. Also, please do not leave your pack unattended at any point along the trail. A quick visual sweep after you are ready to leave camp will help to insure that no garbage, food or personal belongings are left behind. Pack out all garbage! Do not place wrappers and trash in the wood stoves! Contact U.S. Rangers or Parks Canada Wardens for current bear activity updates and report all bear sightings.

Before beginning your hike, read the CHILKOOT TRAIL HIKER'S GUIDE, the HIKER'S PREPARATION GUIDE and YOU ARE IN BEAR COUNTRY. For additional information stop by the NPS Trail Center in Skagway or call (907) 983-9234. This report is intended to stress the changing trail conditions only and will not substitute for the essential information found in other brochures and your own common sense. For Web information, visit


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