The 2022 Chilkoot Trail experience will be limited to hiking the American or Canadian side of the trail only, as international travel along the trail corridor will continue to be prohibited. The reservation line will open April 25 according to the reservation schedule.

The Chilkoot Trail travels 53 km (33 miles) from Dyea, AK to Bennett City, BC with an elevation gain of over 1000 meters (3500 feet). The Chilkoot Pass (and international border) lie more or less at the halfway point, making for roughly 26 km of trail on the Canadian side. A return trip from Bennett to the Pass coincidentally covers the same distance as the entire Chilkoot Trail, with a lesser elevation gain of 450 meters.

Whether sticking to an overnight at Bennett or hiking towards Chilkoot Pass and back, the Canadian side of the trail promises spectacular hiking.


Permits and regulations

During the summer hiking season (June 1 through September 13, 2022), every person overnighting in Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site requires a permit. Those without required permits are subject to fines.

 Fees apply

Planning your hike
COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines

British Columbia’s orders and restrictions under the B.C. Provincial Officer of Health apply within the boundaries of the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site. Please take time to read through current B.C. province-wide restrictions as well as restrictions and guidelines specific to the Chilkoot Trail prior to your hike. Self-isolation is not permitted within Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site and, if required, must be completed prior to arrival.

  • Crossing the U.S./Canada border within the boundaries of the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site is illegal, as is using the train tracks and rail corridor for access.
  • Maximum group size is dictated by B.C.’s Outdoor Gatherings order at the time of your hike, but not to exceed 12.
  • Masks are encouraged in all day-use shelters and/or where social distancing can not be maintained.
  • Day-use shelters at Bennett, Bare Loon, upper Lindeman and Chilkoot Pass are open and may operate at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. Capacity limitations will be indicated at each location. There is currently no day-use shelter at Happy Camp.
  • Respect social distancing while enjoying the trail’s campgrounds.
Getting to and from Bennett

Access to Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site is limited to entering and exiting from Bennett by train, air charter or boat only. Accessing Bennett via the train tracks is illegal.

Bennett is the northern trailhead for the Chilkoot Trail. There is no road to Bennett. Please contact carriers directly to arrange your travel logistics. Note that some carriers may have limited services based on COVID-19 restrictions. Bring a communication device (InReach©, satellite phone, other non-cellular device) to communicate with your carrier from Bennett at the end of your hike. There is no cellular service anywhere within the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site, including Bennett.
 

Air carriers

Float plane companies

Alkan Air
1-867-668-2107

Alpine Aviation
1-867-668-7725

Amber Airways
1-867-334-3535

Black Sheep Aviation
1-867-668-7761

Tintina Air
1-867-332-8468

Train services

White Pass and Yukon Route
1-800-343-7373

Helicopter companies

Canadian Helicopters
1-867-633-4354

Capital Helicopters
1-867-668-6200

Fireweed Helicopters
1-867-668-5888

Transnorth Helicopters (Great Slave Helicopters)
1-867-668-2177

Horizon Helicopters
1-867-633-6044

 Flying in and around national parks and historic sites in Yukon and northern British Columbia

About the hike
What to expect

The Chilkoot Trail is a hike for experienced backcountry hikers. Experience in route-finding and navigation are required. Some sections can be more of a route than a trail, visibility is often low to nil due to inclement weather, and snow covered sections should be expected well into July (and sometimes beyond). There are no route markers over snow-covered sections. In low visibility weather, route finding can be especially challenging.

Plan for the weather. Fog, rain, and snow are common, especially at elevation, anytime of year. Learn more about weather and trail hazards to best prepare.You are responsible for your own safety. Know what it means to be self-reliant, and plan accordingly.

There is no telephone or cell phone service along the entirety of the trail, including Bennett. All post-hike travel arrangements must be made prior to starting your hike.

Crossing the international border within the boundaries of the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site is prohibited at this time.

Bennett to Deep Lake

The trail between Bennett and Deep Lake campgrounds is well established, below treeline, and a mix of sand, hard-pack, bedrock, and mud. Stellar views including glimpses of Lindeman Lake and Moose Creek Canyon present themselves along the way. Subalpine boreal forest transitions to alpine tundra as you climb more or less continuously towards Chilkoot Pass.

Deep Lake to Chilkoot Pass

The climb out of Deep Lake meanders above treeline to Long Lake Ridge, where views become wide open, and eventually through Happy Camp Canyon to Happy Camp campground. The trail can be more of a route in this section. Weather can deteriorate, visibility is often reduced, and snow can persist well into the summer. Be prepared to camp on snow at Happy Camp until late June/early July.

Early in the hiking season, plan to travel between Happy Camp and Chilkoot Pass in the early, cooler parts of the day as this section takes you through an avalanche zone. The slope to the Pass is talus-covered and requires slow travel as rocks can slip underfoot, and knees can take a beating (especially on the way back down). There is a day-use shelter at the top of Chilkoot Pass making it a logical place for a rest, however, no camping permitted. Views are spectacular.

Hiking season

Reservations are required during the summer hiking season (June to mid September). You may encounter Parks Canada and U.S. National Park Service (NPS) staff along the trail during the hiking season, however, while Parks Canada has a staff cabin at Lindeman City, there is no guarantee that someone will be there at a time you may require assistance. Regardless of the season, you are responsible for your own safety and may be expected to pay for rescue/medical costs. You should have international travel insurance that covers these types of expenses.

Early June

Winter-like conditions
Chilkoot Pass in early June

Extensive snow travel and route-finding are required. There are no route markers and low visibility conditions are common. While travel conditions may be very difficult, the days are wonderfully long. Winter travel equipment and winter travel experience is strongly recommended. Snow camping is likely. There will be few other hikers on the trail.

Avalanche hazard: During the early hiking season you will want to travel between Happy Camp and Chilkoot Pass early in the day to reduce your exposure in avalanche terrain. Recognize that a return hike from Happy Camp doubles your exposure.

Mid-June to early July

Early season backpacking
Early Summer view of Chilkoot Pass

Expect significant amounts of snow at higher elevations. There are no route markers and low visibility conditions are common. As the season progresses, the snowfields become "punchy" and develop snow/ice bridges over streams and between rocks which can collapse without warning. Travel conditions are highly variable and dependant on weather and time of day. 

Avalanche hazard persists until mid-July. During this time you will want to travel between Happy Camp and Chilkoot Pass early in the day to reduce your exposure in avalanche terrain.

Mid-July to early August

Summer backpacking
Chilkoot Pass in July

The trail/route is generally snow free though some snow patches persist. Travel conditions are highly variable and dependant on weather. Severe rain or snow storms are possible even in the middle of summer.

Peak visitor use occurs during this period. Campgrounds can be crowded.

Mid-August to mid-September

Fall backpacking
View from Chilkoot Pass in early September

The trail/route is generally snow free though a few snow patches may still persist.

Fall weather is wetter; fog tends to be more common at elevation; daylight hours are shorter and nights are colder (often below freezing). The colours are turning.

There are generally fewer hikers on the trail at this time of year.


Post season

Mid-September into October
Hiking in late September

There is no regular patrol presence on the trail and the trail/route is not marked. Up-to-date information on trail conditions is no longer reliably available. Fall weather is wet; daylight hours are short and nights are cold (below freezing). As fall progresses fresh snow becomes increasingly likely. You will need to be self sufficient and accept a high level of responsibility for your own safety. Winter travel experience, route finding, avalanche hazard evaluation and self rescue skills are required. 

There are no fees in the off-season, however you must contact Parks Canada in Whitehorse (1-800-661-0486) prior to your trip.

 Fall hiking

Choosing your campgrounds

Camping is allowed in designated campgrounds only.

Please note: there is currently no day-use shelter at Happy Camp.

You must specify which campgrounds you will stay at for each night of your trip, and how many tent sites you will need when you make your reservation. While this requires careful pre-trip planning, it eliminates over-crowding in campgrounds and ensures that everyone will have a place to camp.

Campgrounds
Bennett:
kilometre 0 / mile 0
Bennett Campground
Bennett Campground
Location & facilities
Bennett shelter

Trail mileage: kilometer 0 / mile 0
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

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.

Bare Loon Lake
: kilometre 6.4 / mile 3.9
Bare Loon Lake Campground
Bare Loon Lake Campground
Location & facilities
Bare Loon shelter

Trail mileage: kilometre 6.4 / mile 3.9
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 is 6.4 kilometers / 4 miles from Bennett making it a popular destination.

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

Upper Lindeman City
: kilometre 11.3 / mile 7
Lindeman City Campground
Upper Lindeman City Campground
Location

Trail mileage: kilometre 11.3 / mile 7
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: 20 sites, on the ground
Cook Shelter: Log Cabin with wood stove
Food storage: Bear lockers

Lower Campground
Closed to camping
Day use shelter: Log cabin with wood stove
Description
Interpretive tent at Lindeman City

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.

The main base of operations for Parks Canada staff is located at Lindeman, however staff are not on the trail daily.

Deep Lake:
: kilometre 16.1 / mile 10
Deep Lake Campground
Deep Lake Campground
Location & facilities
Early season at Deep Lake

Trail mileage: kilometre 16.1 / mile 10
Elevation: 884 meters / 2900 feet
Setting: Treeline, overlooking lake near creek mouth
UTM coordinates: 8V 492132 6625233
(NAD 83)

Tent sites: 10 sites, wooden platforms
Cook shelter: No: cooking area with picnic table
Food storage: Bear lockers

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: 26 sites, wooden platforms.
Cook shelter: NO
Food storage: Bear lockers

Description
On the trail leaving 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.


Individual campsites within the campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Open fires are prohibited throughout the national historic site. There are wood stoves available in some shelters below tree line, but wood supplies may be scarce and/or wet. The wood stoves may be closed during times of high/extreme fire weather index. Carry a backpacking cook stove and plenty of fuel. Remember to maintain social distancing, clean up after yourself, and to keep all your food and other attractants in the onsite bear lockers.

If you plan to take a day-trip within your Chilkoot experience, pack a day-pack with food, water, extra clothing for all weather conditions, bear spray, and the gear you need to be safe and self-reliant.

Map: Chilkoot Trail map
  • Map available for purchase
    Hiker's Guide to the Chilkoot Trail

     

    A Hikers Guide to the Chilkoot Trail

    Annotated Chilkoot Trail Map: $9.50 + shipping

    Available from Parks Canada - Yukon

    Telephone:
    1-800-661-0486 (North America toll free)
    867-667-3910 (local or overseas)
map of the Chilkoot Trail

Hiker safety

A safe and enjoyable trip on the Chilkoot requires careful planning. You must be well equipped, self sufficient and in good physical condition. Hiking with a partner or small group is preferable.

  • Water and waste
    Water availability | Waste water disposal | Human waste | Pack-in Pack-out
    Drinking water source along the trail

    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 water sources at all campgrounds and at Chilkoot Pass.

    Purify all drinking water.


    Waste water disposal pit
    Waste water disposal pit

    Waste water disposal

    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.

     Never wash clothes, dishes, or yourself directly in a water source.



    Outhouse at Chilkoot Pass

    Human waste

    Outhouses are located in all campgrounds and at Chilkoot Pass.

    Toilet paper is not supplied on the Canadian side of the trail.

    It is best to bring your own!
     


    Pack in - pack out

    Nothing should be discarded in the park. You must pack out everything that you pack in.

    • Bring a garbage bag/container for your garbage and food waste: ziplock-type bags work well
    • Store all garbage/food waste in the storage lockers with your other attractants
    • Take all garbage/food waste with you when you leave

      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.

  • Be self-reliant

    Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site is a remote wilderness park. Natural hazards are present in the area.

    • 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.
    • Carry survival gear, i.e., extra food, clothing, matches, etc.
    • Bring a communication device (InReach, satellite phone, other non-cellular device) to communicate with your carrier from Bennett at the end of your hike. There is no cellular service anywhere within the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site including Bennett.