© Parks Canada
Outside of the summer hiking season, there are no American Park Rangers or Canadian Park Wardens doing regular patrols on the trail and the route is unmarked. Up-to-date information on trail conditions is no longer available. Parties wishing to attempt this trek must contact the U.S. National Park Service in Skagway (907-983-2921) or Parks Canada in Whitehorse (1-800-661-0486). Off season/winter hikers need to be self sufficient and accept a high level of responsibility for their own safety.
Should you decide to plan a trip into the park during the off-season, you must accept a high level of responsibility for your own safety. Remember, medical or rescue assistance may be several days away. If you are not experienced in winter travel, or do not carry essential safety equipment and camping gear, or travel alone, you are limiting your chances of survival if you have an accident.
Let someone know your plans. Leave an itinerary, route map and the names of your party members with a friend or family member and ensure that they have the emergency contact numbers.
Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site is a remote wilderness park. Travellers must be entirely self-sufficient and able to handle any emergency situations on their own. In the event of an emergency you should be prepared for lengthy delays in search and rescue response times due to weather conditions and/or the availability of both aircraft and rescue personnel.
There is no cell phone coverage along the Chilkoot Trail. Satellite phone coverage can be aversely affected by vegetation and topography in some locations. The closest telephone is at Dyea or Canada Customs at Fraser on the South Klondike Highway (6.5 km/4 miles south of Log Cabin parking lot).
As the Chilkoot Trail crosses an international border there is no single emergency contact number that is good for the whole trail. It is important to know which number to call in the event of an emergency. South of Chilkoot Pass you are in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, contact the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). North of Chilkoot Pass you are in Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site of Canada, contact Parks Canada.
Emergency Contact Numbers
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Alaska
NPS Emergency Dispatch: 1-907-683-9555
Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site, British Columbia
Parks Canada Emergency Dispatch: 1-780-852-3100
The trail is not marked and not readily identified during the off-season. Route finding skills are necessary. Carry a map and compass, in case of whiteout conditions and especially if unfamiliar with the area.
Weather conditions can be severe and unpredictable. Conditions above treeline can be especially severe. High winds and driving snow may prevent travel through this open country. Temperatures vary from -46 C/-50 F to -1C/+30 F. It snows up to 508 cm/200 inches per year. Be prepared for snow, rain, sleet and winds in excess of 80kph/50mph. Visibility of less than 8 metres/25 feet is common. Whiteouts can prevent detection of hazardous avalanche terrain, open water and overflow.
Avalanches are a natural phenomenon, which may occur during any season along the trail. Extreme avalanche conditions often exist between Sheep Camp and Deep Lake, and in Moose Creek Canyon. Campgrounds may be unsafe. Extreme avalanche conditions can also develop elsewhere in the park given the right set of conditions, i.e., slope, terrain, weather and snow-pack composition.
Winter travelers are responsible for their own evaluation of snow stability, avalanche hazards, and decisions concerning campsite and route selection. When travelling through avalanche terrain, you need to be capable of identifying and assessing avalanche hazard. You need to be knowledgeable about route finding, avalanche safety and rescue in mountainous terrain. You should be properly equipped with shovels, avalanche transceivers and probes, so as to be able to find and rescue a member(s) of your party if they get caught in an avalanche. Choose your route and campsite locations carefully to avoid unstable slopes and hazardous avalanche terrain areas.
NEVER TRAVEL ALONE. Let someone know your plans. Leave an itinerary, route map and the names of your party members with a friend or family member and ensure that they have the emergency contact numbers.
- Watch for avalanche conditions, overflow and/or open water when travelling over lakes and streams.
- Recognize and know how to treat hypothermia, frostbite, etc.
- Carry survival gear, i.e., extra food, clothing, matches, etc.
Open fires are not permitted in the park. Backpacking stoves or woodstoves in the shelters at Lindeman are your only source of heat on the Canadian portion of the trail.
There are shelters at Lindeman. Both have woodstoves, but firewood supplies may be limited. Tents are required as these cabins are not intended for overnight use.
- Do not remove or disturb any natural or cultural resources.
- Do not disturb, feed or entice wildlife.
- No campfires.
- Pets must be on a leash at all times.
- Fishing is prohibited on the Canadian portion of the trail.
- Metal detectors, firearms and mountain bikes are prohibited on the Canadian portion of the trail.
Area closures may be posted to protect natural and cultural resources in the event of inadequate snow cover or if wildlife is frequenting a particular area.
There is a registered trap line with a cabin in the Bennet/Lindeman area. It is illegal to interfere with or disturb it. We ask your cooperation in ensuring the trap line and cabin are not disturbed.