Hiking Under the Midnight Sun: The Chilkoot Trail

I'm planning on heading up north this summer to do some hiking in Alaska and the Yukon. Where should I go?

chilkoot trail midnight sun hiking

    Photo: Sam DCruz/Shutterstock.com

A:Based on the path taken to the Klondike by gold-seekers in 1898, the Chilkoot is the region’s classic multi-day backpacking route. Starting in the old Gold Rush town of Dyea, the trail climbs steadily from sea level to the apex of the Chilkoot Pass, where it crosses the international border into Canada and meanders through an alpine moonscape before ending at another ghost town on Lake Bennett, near the B.C.-Yukon border. Expect to take about three and a half days to make the 33-mile trip.

Administered jointly by Parks Canada and the National Park Service, the Chilkoot Trail is well-marked and ranger-patrolled, making it a good option for hikers who aren’t comfortable finding their way along the North’s sketchier routes. There are several maintained campgrounds along the trail, each with tent pads, cooking shelters, and bear lockers. Only a small number of hikers are allowed over the pass each day throughout the Chilkoot’s short (late May to mid-September) season, so you’ll want to make a reservation.

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