Plan time to relax and enjoy this historical setting as well as to deal with unforeseen difficulties and delays. Allow ample time before and after your hike to avoid unnecessary conflicts with other travel arrangements.


Your hiking itinerary

When you reserve you must specify which campgrounds you will stay at for each night of your trip, and how many tent sites you will need. While this requires careful pre-trip planning, it eliminates over-crowding in campgrounds and ensures that everyone will have a place to camp. Plan your hiking itinerary with the least experienced member of your group in mind.

Hiking trip logistics

Dyea to Bennett

Most backpackers begin their trek in Dyea and hike north towards Bennett. This option retraces the journey of the stampeders en route to the Klondike goldfields and as most weather systems blow in from the coast, driving rain or heavy winds will tend to be at your back. The average trip length is between three and five nights on the Trail.

The American side
Hikers between Canyon City and Pleasant Camp
Canyon City to Pleasant Camp

Most hikers spend two nights on the American side of the trail though faster hikers will often opt to spend only one night. It is desirable, especially in the early season when avalanche hazard is a concern, to stay in Sheep Camp the night before crossing Chilkoot Pass. Spending two nights on the American side is recommended in the early season to facilitate an early departure from Sheep Camp. An early start (on the trail before 6 am) is essential to ensure safer travel through the avalanche zones early in the day when avalanche hazard is lower.

Crossing the pass
Hikers on the 'Golden Stairs'
Climbing the "Golden Stairs"

“Crossing the pass” is the most demanding day. It often takes 12 hours to travel from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp, a distance of only 12.1 km (7.5 miles). There is a day use shelter at the top of Chilkoot Pass making it a logical place for a rest/lunch stop. Note: this shelter is not equipped with a wood stove or heat source. There is no camping at Chilkoot Pass.

In the early season hikers are advised to travel early and take a rest/lunch break at the Pass before proceeding through the avalanche zone to the north. Do not stop or rest in the areas marked by avalanche signs. Parties should hike through avalanche zones in single file, well spaced apart, and travel as quickly as is reasonable.

Many are surprised when the trip from the Pass to Happy Camp takes as long and proves just as challenging as the climb from Sheep Camp to the Pass. Snowfields between the Scales and Happy Camp persist throughout the summer months. Be prepared to camp on snow at Happy Camp until late June/early July.

The Canadian side
Hikers on the sand dunes near Bennett
Hiking the sand dunes into Bennett

Most people spend either two or three nights on the Canadian side of the trail. Spending an extra night will give you more time to relax after the "push" over the pass.

Happy Camp, Lindeman City and Bennett are generally the campgrounds selected by those spending three nights on the Canadian side. If you are considering the two night option, Lindeman City and Bare Loon Lake are both within striking distance of Bennett by train time. If you are planning on taking the train, make sure your exit day corresponds with the train schedule: White Pass & Yukon Route or 1-800-343-7373.

Bennett to Dyea

Hiking north to south you will be moving against the predominant flow of hikers and will encounter many more hikers along the Trail. Descending the steep incline from the Pass to the Scales, while easier on the respiratory system, places greater stress on knee and ankle joints and puts you at greater risk of losing your footing, falling and possibly injuring yourself. As most weather systems move in from the coast you will be travelling into the prevailing wind.

Southbound hikers must pay particular attention to U.S. border crossing procedures.

Designated camping

Chilkoot Trail Profile

Camping is allowed in designated campgrounds only. Individual campsites within the campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Open fires are prohibited. There are wood stoves available in some shelters below tree line, but wood supplies may be scarce and/or wet. Carry a backpacking stove and plenty of fuel.

U.S. campgrounds

Finnegan's Point:
kilometer 8 / mile 5
Finnegan's Point Campground
Finnegan's Point Campground
Location & facilities
Wall tent shelter at Finnegan's Point

Trail mileage: kilometer 8 / mile 5
Elevation: 61 meters / 200 feet
Setting: Coastal forest, near river
UTM coordinates: 8V 481168 6604125
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 8 sites, wooden platforms
Cook shelter: Wall tent w/ woodstove
Food storage: Bear lockers & bear pole

Description
View of Irene Glacier from Finnegan's Point Campground

Finnegan's Point is a small campground with limited space. Located 2-3 hours from the trailhead it is a good choice for those who will be getting a late start. It is also a popular first night destination for large groups as it allows them the opportunity to camp with few other parties competing for facilities. As space is limited you must be booked into Finnegan's Point if you wish to stay here.

From Finnegan's Point it is 12.9 km / 8 miles to Sheep Camp.


Canyon City:
kilometre 12.5 / mile 7.7
Canyon City Campground
Canyon City Campground
Location & facilities
Canyon City shelter

Trail mileage: kilometer 12.5 / mile 7.7
Elevation: 76 meters / 250 feet
Setting: Coastal forest, near river
UTM coordinates: 8V 481571 6608342
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 20 sites, on the ground and tent platforms
Cook shelter: Log cabin w/ wood stove; wall tent w/ wood stove
Food storage: Bear boxes

Description
A suspension bridge across the Taiya River leads to the Canyon City ruins

Canyon City is generally the first night stop for those spending 2 nights on the U.S. side of the trail. Staying here means a short (8.4 kilometer / 5.3 mile) second day hike to Sheep Camp, giving you an easier day before the more arduous push over the Pass.

There is an interesting side trail just north of the campground that takes you to an historic steam boiler that powered a tramway from Canyon City over Chilkoot Pass during the gold rush.


Pleasant Camp:
kilometre 17.3 / mile 10.7
Pleasant Camp
Pleasant Camp
Location & facilities
Pleasant Camp campground
Tent site

Trail mileage: kilometer 17.3 / mile 10.7
Elevation: 244 meters / 800 feet
Setting: Coastal forest, near river
UTM coordinates: 8V 483464 6611242
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 12 sites, on the ground
Cook shelter: Wall tent w/ wood stove
Food storage: Bear lockers


Description
Pleasant Camp is located on the banks of the Taiya River

Pleasant Camp is a good campsite to use as a staging area for a return trip to Chilkoot Pass for those who will be remaining on the U.S. side. The one way distance to Chilkoot Pass is 9.3 km / 5.8 miles.

For experienced hikers who are accustomed to hiking longer distances Pleasant Camp offers a quieter alternative to Sheep Camp the night before going over Chilkoot Pass. From Pleasant Camp it is 15.7 km / 9.8 miles to Happy Camp.

In the early season it is not recommended to stay at Pleasant Camp the night before going over Chilkoot Pass due to increased avalanche hazard.

Sheep Camp:
kilometre 20.9 / mile 13
Sheep Camp
Sheep Camp
Location & facilities
Sheep Camp shelter, tent sites in background

Trail mileage: kilometer 20.9 / mile 13
Elevation: 305 meters / 1000 feet
Setting: Treeline, next to creek
UTM coordinates: 8V 484957 6613515
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 26 sites, wooden platforms
Cook shelter: Log Cabin w/ wood stove; wall tent w/ wood stove
Food storage: Bear lockers


Description
The evening Ranger talk gives hikers a mix of history and trail condition updates

Sheep Camp is the last campground before Chilkoot Pass, making it the ideal staging area for the hike over Chilkoot Pass. From Sheep Camp it is 12.1 kilometers / 7.5 miles to Happy Camp; and, 16.7 kilometers / 10.4 miles to Deep Lake.

Early season hikers, regardless of ability, are strongly encouraged to stay at Sheep Camp the night before going over Chilkoot Pass due to avalanche hazard. An early departure from Sheep Camp (on the trail before 6 am) is essential to ensure safer travel through the avalanche zones early in the day when avalanche hazard is lower.

Don't miss the Ranger Talk at 7 pm each evening.


Canadian campgrounds

Happy Camp:
kilometre 33 / mile 20.5
Happy Camp
Happy Camp
Location & facilities
Happy Camp tent sites

Trail mileage: kilometer 33 / mile 20.5
Elevation: 899 meters / 2950 feet
Setting: Alpine, next to creek
UTM coordinates: 8V 490355 6622805
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 25 sites, wooden platforms.
Cook shelter: Cabin (no wood stove).
Food storage: Bear lockers

Description
Coming into Happy Camp

Happy Camp is the first campground after Chilkoot Pass, making it the most popular destination on “summit day”. Located in the high country, above treeline, the tent sites are exposed and the weather often severe. Spring hikers should be prepared to camp on snow.

From Happy Camp it is 8.8 kilometers / 5.5 miles to Lindeman City; and 13.7 kilometers / 8.5 miles to Bare Loon Lake.


Deep Lake:
kilometre 37 / mile 23
Deep Lake Campground
Deep Lake Campground
Location & facilities
Early season at Deep Lake

Trail mileage: kilometer 37 / mile 23
Elevation: 884 meters / 2900 feet
Setting: Treeline, overlooking lake near creek mouth
UTM coordinates: 8V 492132 6625233
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 12 sites, wooden platforms
Cook shelter: NO: cooking area with picnic table
Food storage: Bear lockers

Description
Deep Lake is an excellent lunch stop en route to Lindeman and Bare Loon

Smaller than Happy Camp, Deep Lake is a potential “summit day” destination for experienced hikers who are used to hiking longer distances and camping with fewer facilities. Though there is no cooking shelter here the weather is often better; and, located at treeline the tent sites are more sheltered.

From Deep Lake it is 9.7 kilometers / 6 miles to Bare Loon Lake; and, 16.1 kilometers / 10 miles to Bennett.


Lindeman City:
kilometre 41.8 / mile 26
Lindeman City Campground
Lindeman City Campground
Location

Trail mileage: kilometer 41.8 / mile 26
Elevation: 670 meters / 2200 feet
UTM coordinates: 8V 495259 6627496
(NAD 83)

Campsites in Lower Campground
Facilities
Upper Campground

Setting: Open forest, lakeshore
Tent sites: 19 sites, on the ground
Cook Shelter: Log Cabin w/ wood stove
Food storage: Bear lockers

Lower Campground

Setting: Forest edge, at creek mouth
Tent sites: 12 sites, on the ground
Cook shelter: Log cabin w/wood stove
Food storage: Bear lockers

Description
Interpretive tent at Lindeman City Warden Station

Lindeman City is located in a beautiful, historic setting on the shores of Lindeman Lake. Today’s tranquil ambience stands in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of 1898 evident in the relict landscape.

Lindeman is a camping place of choice for those spending 3 nights on the Canadian side of the trail. If spending only 1 or 2 nights on the Canadian side of the trail, Lindeman is within striking distance (11.3 kilometers / 7 miles) of Bennett by train time. With two campgrounds to choose from it offers a quieter camping experience.

The main base of operations for Parks Canada patrol staff is located at Lindeman. Don’t forget to visit the exhibit in the interpretive tent at the Warden Camp to pick up your trail completion certificate.


Bare Loon Lake:
kilometre 46.7 / mile 29
Bare Loon Lake Campground
Bare Loon Lake Campground
Location & facilities
Bare Loon tent sites

Trail mileage: kilometer 46.7 / mile 29
Elevation: 747 meters / 2450 feet
Setting: Open forest, on rocky outcrop overlooking lake.
UTM coordinates: 8V 497876 6628630
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 19 sites, wooden platforms
Cook shelter: Picnic shelter
Food storage: Bear lockers

Description
Bare Loon shelter

Within easy striking distance of Bennett by train time, Bare Loon is a popular – though sometimes crowded – final night destination. From Bare Loon it is 6.4 kilometers / 4 miles to Bennett.

As space is limited you must be booked into Bare Loon if you wish to stay here.


Bennett:
kilometre 53.1 / mile 33
Bennett Campground
Bennett Campground
Location & facilities
Bennett shelter

Trail mileage: kilometer 53.1 / mile 33
Elevation: 670 meters / 2200 feet
Setting: Forest edge, at river mouth near lakeshore
UTM coordinates: 8V 500079 6634157
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 18 sites, on the ground
Cook shelter: Cabin
Food storage: Bear lockers.

Description
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Bennett

Once a bustling tent city, Bennet is located on the shore of Lake Bennett at the northern terminus of the Chilkoot Trail. Of historic interest is St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church – the last remaining gold rush era building along the Chilkoot Trail. The scenic campground at Bennett is located in what was once the heart of the historic townsite.

Bennett is generally the final night destination for those spending 5 nights on the trail. Accessible by train, or floatplane, it is also a potential overnight destination for campers who do not wish to hike the entire trail, or those wanting to rendezvous with a party who has hiked over the trail.

A camping permit is required for overnight camping at Bennett. Fees apply (for those hiking or running the Chilkoot Trail the Bennett camping fee is included in your permit).