Chilkoot Trail; wilderness and Klondike Gold Rush.
Steeped in Klondike Gold Rush history and scattered with relics from the past, the famous Chilkoot Trail is a living museum and should be on the "must-do" list for many Yukon visitors. This rugged 55-kilometre wilderness route is a world-renowned hiking trail and the Chilkoot Trail is Canada’s largest National Historic Site.
More than a hundred years ago, the Chilkoot Trail was the main route to Dawson City and the Klondike gold fields, and thousands of pioneers, settlers and prospectors in search of gold traveled this hilly route, rode the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, rafted across nearby lakes and floated the Yukon River to Dawson City. Southern Tutchone and Tagish people of the interior traditionally traded with coastal Tlingit people on the Chilkoot Trail and other mountain passes and used their valuable knowledge of these local areas as guides and packers for those traveling via the Chilkoot. In 1897, during the height of the Klondike's Gold Rush, goldpanners prospecting in the Yukon were forced to haul their supplies across this high coastal pass, the only route to rich gold fields to the north and a challenging feat requiring weeks of effort.
Experience the Chilkoot
“The Klondike Gold Rush captured the imagination of the world. Rich and poor, young and old, women and men were attracted to the Klondike from all parts of the globe. No image better represents this historic event than the endless line of stampeders struggling over the Chilkoot Pass during the winter of 1897-98. Today the Chilkoot Trail National and Klondike Gold Rush commemorate this extraordinary journey. The contrast between the scenic grandeur of the coastal mountains and the fragile remains of the stampeders’ goods and temporary structures make the Chilkoot a unique back country trail.”
Today hikers can complete this cross-border hiking trip in just a few days.This popular multi-day hike is a moderate to hard wilderness trek, but the trail is well-maintained. All along the Chilkoot Trail, hikers can still spy the remains of the boats and wagons, rusting stoves and tin cans, and log cabin ruins of Chilkoot pioneers.