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.


Designated camping

Campsites at Happy Camp
Tent sites at Happy Camp

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.

At the time of reservation you must specify which campgrounds you will stay at for each night of your trip. While this requires careful pre-trip planning, it eliminates over-crowding in campgrounds and ensures that everyone will have a place to camp. Choose your campgrounds with the least experienced member of your group in mind!!!

Group size

Hiking with a partner or small group will give you greater flexibility when planning your hike. Maximum group size is 12. In addition, only one large group (9 – 12 people) is permitted to cross Chilkoot Pass on any single day.

Groups larger than 12 are required to break into smaller groups and can not cross Chilkoot Pass on the same day or camp in the same campground on the same night. Allow ample time before and after your hike to avoid unnecessary conflicts with other travel arrangements.

Trail access & egress

Hikers at the Dyea trailhead
Dyea Trailhead

Dyea trailhead

The Dyea trailhead is a distance of 16 km / 10 miles from Skagway. Access is by all weather dirt road. Overnight parking is available in Dyea at the National Parks Service campground located 1 km / ½ mile from the trailhead. There are a number of private shuttles that provide transport from Skagway to the trailhead at Dyea. While these services are reliably available individual operators vary from season to season and specific contact information is not available until the onset of the summer hiking season. Contact information for these services is available at the Trail Centre.

Bennett trailhead

Bennett trailhead
Bennett Trailhead

There is no road to Bennett. Access is by train, floatplane or boat charter. There is no phone or cell phone service at Bennett. All post-hike travel arrangements must be made prior to starting the trail. Contact carriers directly:

Hiking trip options

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.

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.

Hikers between Canyon City and Pleasant Camp
Canyon City to Pleasant Camp

The American side

Most hikers spend two nights on the American side of the trail. Faster hikers will often 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. An early departure from Sheep Camp (on the trail before 6:00 am) is essential to ensure safer travel through the avalanche zones early in the day when avalanche hazard is lower. Spending two nights on the American side is recommended in the early season to facilitate an early start.

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. In the early season hikers are advised to travel early and take a rest/lunch break at the Pass before proceeding through the avalanche areas to the north. Note: THERE IS NO CAMPING AT CHILKOOT PASS.

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.

Hikers on the sand dunes near Bennett
Hiking the sand dunes into Bennett

The Canadian side

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 of choice for those spending three nights on the Canadian side. Lindeman City and Bare Loon Lake are both within striking distance of Bennett by train time for those spending only two nights. Remember: Choose your campgrounds with the least experienced member of your group in mind!!

Campgrounds

Chilkoot Trail Profile
Chilkoot Trail profile

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.
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
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 and campground.
Shelter and campground

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: 32 sites, on the ground
Cook shelter: Log cabin w/ wood stove; wall tent w/ wood stove
Food storage: Bear box & bear pole

Description
Suspension bridge across the Taiya River
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 pole: ROPE REQUIRED

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.

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


Sheep Camp:
kilometre 20.9 / mile 13
Sheep Camp
Sheep Camp
Location & facilities
Sheep Camp shelter, tent sites in background.
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: 25 sites, wooden platforms
Cook shelter: Log Cabin w/ wood stove; wall tent w/ wood stove
Food storage: Bear lockers

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

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. Don't miss the Ranger Talk at 7:00 pm each evening.

Note: 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 6:00 am) is essential to ensure safer travel through the avalanche zones early in the day when avalanche hazard is lower.


Canadian campgrounds

Happy Camp:
kilometre 33 / mile 20.5
Happy Camp
Happy Camp
Location & facilities
Happy Camp tent sites
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: Food cache in storage cabin

Description
Coming into Happy Camp.
View 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
Tent sites at Deep Lake.
Tent sites 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
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
Shelter at Upper Campground
Shelter at Upper Campground

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

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

Campsites in Lower Campground.
Campsites in Lower Campground
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

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.

Interpretive tent and Lindeman City Warden Station, Lower Campground in background
Interpretive tent at Lindeman City Warden Station, Lower Campground in background

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 and 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.
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
Bare Loon shelter

Within easy striking distance of Bennett by train time, Bare Loon is a popular – though sometimes crowded – final night destination. As space is limited you must be booked into Bare Loon if you wish to stay here. From Bare Loon it is 6.4 kilometers / 4 miles to Bennett.


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

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
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 the Chilkoot Trail the Bennett camping fee is included in your Trip Permit).

Your trip itinerary

At the time of reservation you must specify which campgrounds you will stay at for each night of your trip. . If you are planning on taking the train, make sure your exit day corresponds with the train schedule: White Pass & Yukon Route or call: 1-800-343-7373.

Before calling to reserve please ensure that you can provide us with the following information:

  • # of adults (17+), youth (6-16) and children (5 & under) in your group
  • # of tent sites needed
  • dates & desired campgrounds
  • Credit card information