Hiking Alaska: A Guide to Alaska's Greatest Hiking Adventures
by Mollie Foster (Falcon Guides)
© 2017 Mollie Foster/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Awesome trail, especially knowing about the history of it. We did it twice, but the first time held the most mystery for us!
I had a wonderful experience hiking the Chilkoot last summer. It was fantastic to relive what the Stampeders must have felt back in 1897. Both the American and Canadian sides of the trail have done an excellent job of maintaining the trail and the experience by keeping things as they were back in the Gold Rush. The trail has excellent scenary too; you traverse through 4 different ecosystems on the trail, each with breathtaking views. The trail does have some difficult sections which making the end worth the work. Definitely worth it to take the train back into Skagway from Bennett.
I did this trail back in 1994, when I was 16. I completed the 33 mile trek in 3 days. The first 0.5 mile is tough, but the trail flattens out for the next few miles. After gaining a little ground you arrive at your destination- Sheep Camp for the first night. Shelters for cooking (not sleeping) await the (usually) wet hiker. Day 2 brought on the onslaught of climbing Chilkoot Pass, which felt like boulder-hopping over a mountain that never got smaller. Atop the pass is British Columbia and a barren contrast to the lush coastal range of Alaska's Inside Passage. From there on out, it is smooth hiking with the desolateness of the Last Frontier. However, this trail is heavily used during the summer months; I did not see that many people. Also, I have heard (from many Alaskans and B.C.ians) that the trail is easier is hike in winter. I am not sure I would like to deal with the Alaskan Winter.
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