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Hiking the Chilkoot Trail

Water & Waste

Hikers at creek.
© Ralph Meierhans

Water Availability

Surface water is the only source of drinking water on the Chilkoot Trail. While water is available along most sections of the trail/route, it is a good idea to travel with a full water bottle as there are dry stretches. There are places to get water at all campgrounds.

Purify all drinking water.

Waste Water Disposal

Waste water disposal pit Waste water disposal pit.
© Matt Hays, 2009

Never wash clothes, dishes, or yourself directly in a water source. Waste water is disposed of differently on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the trail:

  • U.S. side: Toss waste water into the fastest flowing part of the river.
  • Canadian side: Use wastewater disposal pits, located in all campgrounds and at Chilkoot Pass. Be sure to clean food waste off the screen and pack it out with your garbage.

Pack in - Pack out

You must pack out everything that you pack into the park. Keep your meals simple and light -- this will cut down on the weight you carry in and the garbage that you will have to carry out. Nothing should be discarded in the park, including food scraps, wet garbage, grease and cigarette butts.

Human Waste

Outhouses are located in every campground and at Chilkoot Pass. Toilet paper is not supplied on the Canadian side of the trail, and supplies on the U.S. side are sometimes limited. It is best to bring your own.