Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site of Canada

Winter Activities

Skier in Log Cabin parking lot
© Dayne Jones

The Log Cabin parking lot is the most common staging area for winter activities in Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site. The parking lot may not always cleared after heavy snowfalls. 


Log Cabin

There is an outhouse adjacent to the parking lot, but please pack out your garbage. Camping is allowed in the parking lot in the winter. Permits are not required. Fires are permitted in the parking lot if contained in a fire pan and users bring their own wood. Open fires are prohibited at all other locations within the National Historic Site. It is illegal to cut/gather firewood within the National Historic Site. Dogs must be kept on leash at all times.

Cross Country Skiing

Buckwheat Ski Race
Buckwheat Ski race
© Parks Canada

Whether you are a novice or a veteran - whether you want to ski for an hour, a day or a week – the Log Cabin parking lot is an excellent starting point for cross country skiing in the White Pass area. The Father Mouchet/Buckwheat Ski Trails,  home to the annual Buckwheat Ski race, begin across the tracks from the Log Cabin parking lot and are packed and maintained by volunteers through the winter. Cross country skiers may also follow the White Pass & Yukon Route right of way towards Bennett. Please be respectful of other users: move to the side of the trail to allow snowmobiles and dog teams to pass.

Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Log Cabin Mountain avalanche terrain
Log Cabin Mountain avalanche terrain 
© Parks Canada

Larger version

Log Cabin Mountain is the most popular area within Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site for alpine touring, telemark skiing and backcountry snowboarding. Most skiers follow the Historic Site boundary cut line directly through the trees above the parking lot.

The terrain on the lower third of the mountain is generally low angled (<15 degrees), with gladed trees and open meadows. Above treeline the terrain steepens, with the central area providing the easiest ski touring access to the summit; several route options exist. This is avalanche terrain. Parks Canada has rated Log Cabin Mountain using the Avalanche Terrain Evaluation Scale.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling
Snowmobiles at Bennett
© Panya Lipovsky

The Winter Recreation Strategy permits snowmobiling in Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site during specified times. Consult the Winter Use Schedule.

Restricted Activity Areas are in effect at Bennett and Lindeman to protect historic resources. Snowmobiling and random camping are not allowed in these areas. Please be respectful of other visitors:

  • Travel at reasonable speeds in high use areas 
  • Reduce speed when approaching skiers and snowshoers 
  • Yield right of way to dog teams 
  • Do not cross above others traveling in avalanche terrain.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is also a popular pastime in the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site. If you are following the ski trails, please avoid skiers' tracks, by walking to the side or setting off on your own trail.

Dog Sledding

Dog sleds may be used for day trips or overnight stays in the National Historic Site. Dogs can carry the Giardia parasite, so teams should be tethered at least 100 m away from any water body.

Winter Camping

building a snow cave
Building a snow cave
© Peter Mather

Winter camping is permitted in the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site. Unlike the summer, you do not need to stay in designated campgrounds. With the exception of Log Cabin parking lot, open fires are prohibited at all other locations within the National Historic Site. It is illegal to cut/gather firewood within the National Historic Site. Dogs must be kept on leash at all times.

Seasonal Restricted Activity Areas at the Bennett City and Lindeman City townsites protect sensitive historic features.  Access to the Bennett townsite area and overland access between the Lindeman shelters is by ski and snowshoe only.

In the winter the Chilkoot Trail is not marked or maintained as a route and a bridge advisory is in effect. There are no regular patrols. Up-to-date information on trail conditions is not available. Winter users need to be self sufficient, competent in route selection, and accept a high level of responsibility for their own safety.

There are a number of unmaintained visitor shelters within Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site intended for non-exclusive day use.

  • Bennett – Shelter closed for the winter
  • Bare Loon – Open-sided shelter, available for winter use; no wood stove 
  • Upper and Lower Lindeman – Both shelters are open. Both have woodstoves, though firewood supplies are unreliable 
  • Happy Camp – Open. No wood stove. Please note that Happy Camp is located in an avalanche runout zone and is not a recommended winter camp
  • Chilkoot Pass – This shelter is typically buried under snow and may not be accessible for use. No wood stove. 

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is prohibited within the boundaries of Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site.