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Chilkoot Trail Report

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

National Park News

CHILKOOT TRAIL CONDITIONS REPORT July 2006

EMERGENCIES U.S. Park Service Rangers and Parks Canada Wardens conduct daily patrols along the Chilkoot Trail and base operations out of Sheep Camp on the U.S. side and Lindeman City on the Canada side of the trail. Cell phones do not work on the trail. Satellite phones may function in some areas. Trail users should be self-sufficient and prepared to handle emergencies independently, as assistance may be hours to a day away. Helicopter medical evacuations from the trail may cost up to $1600. Trail hikers are advised to consult their medical insurance policies before starting their hike.

TRAIL The Chilkoot Trail is mostly snow-free to Chilkoot Pass. Intermittent small snow fields and patches can be expected north of the Chilkoot Pass to Happy Camp. All tent sites at Happy Camp are snow free. Trail wand markers identify the safest route from Scales to Deep Lake. Parks Canada will have helicopters flights for maintenance along the Canadian portion of the trail July 24th-28th. Get up-to-date information from the Trail Center or NPS Visitor Center at 2nd and Broadway in Skagway prior to your hike.

WEATHER Weather conditions above tree line change quickly and can be more extreme as elevation is gained. Rain, fog, high winds, snow and sleet as well as hot and sunny weather can all be expected at this time of year. Temperatures may fluctuate from freezing to over 80F (27C); at higher elevations temperatures and winds are more extreme and should be anticipated. Come dressed in layers and prepared for both hypothermic and dry hot environmental conditions. The occasional sunny day will warrant sunscreen and sunglasses.

REGISTRATION A permit is required to overnight on the Chilkoot Trail. Hikers are required to register with the International Trail Center at 2nd and Broadway in Skagway prior to their hike. Hours of operation are 8am – 5pm daily. Fees are $55 (Canadian rate) for hiking the entire trail. Reservations can be made toll-free year-round at 1-800-661-0486 or at the Trail Center (May –August) at 907-983-9234.

BEARS Bears are encountered frequently along the Chilkoot Trail. Stay on the trail and travel in groups, if possible. Use food storage devices that are located at all of the designated camping areas and bring 30 feet of rope for the bear poles. For your safety cook at or in the warming shelters, so as to keep food smells away from your tent site. 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. Contact U.S. Rangers or Parks Canada Wardens for current bear activity updates and report all bear sightings. Pack out all garbage! Do not place wrappers and trash in the toilet cribs or wood stoves!

There has been bear activity in the Sheep Camp area and many sightings of females with cubs in the Bear Loon to Bennett area. The cutoff trail to Log Cabin is used frequently by bears.

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 http://www.nps.gov/klgo/chilkoot.htm



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