The Chilkoot Trail starts in Alaska and ends in British Columbia, so a Chilkoot hike means you'll be crossing back and forth across the Canada-U.S. border. A classic northern trek, it is relatively remote and access is limited. All of this needs to be taken into account when planning your hike and making your travel arrangements. You should also keep in mind that travel to, from and in northern locations often involves unexpected delays. It is best to build extra time into your travel itinerary to allow for these delays.
The best way to get to the Chilkoot Trail depends in part on where you are coming from, the amount of time you have and your preferred mode of travel. Depending upon your starting point both Whitehorse, Yukon and Juneau, Alaska are potential "gateway" cities.
The fastest way to get to the here is to fly. If your starting point is in Canada or Germany, then flying to Whitehorse will likely be most convenient. If your point of departure is from somewhere in the U.S. then it might be easier to fly to Juneau then take a commuter flight or ferry to Skagway.
Alaska Marine Highway ferry
If you have the time and the inclination you might opt to follow the "Klondike Trail" and retrace the historic Gold Rush route up the Inside Passage to Skagway from Bellingham, Washington or Prince Rupert, B.C. on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry. Ferry is also an option to get to Skagway from Juneau and/or Haines, Alaska.
Alaska Marine Highway (ferry)
1-800-642-0066 Toll free
City of Skagway
1-888-762-1898 Toll free
If combining your Chilkoot hike with a longer northern tour you might consider driving the storied Alaska Highway to Whitehorse. From Whitehorse drive south on the South Klondike Highway to reach Carcross and Skagway. If travelling from mainland Alaska on the Alaska Highway turning south at Haines Junction and travelling via the Haines Highway to Haines, Alaska and taking the ferry to Skagway is an option.
1-800-661-0494 Toll free
Getting to and from the trail
If you're hiking the Chilkoot Trail your adventure begins in Skagway, where you pick up your permits at the Trail Center. Bennett campers can get to the site by train from Carcross, Fraser or Skagway.
Skagway, Fraser and Carcross are all accessible by road from Whitehorse via the South Klondike Highway. During the summer visitor season there is daily bus service between Whitehorse, Carcross, Fraser and Skagway. Vehicle rentals are also available in Whitehorse.
Dyea trailhead (Alaska)
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 / 0.5 miles from the trailhead.
Private shuttle companies provide transport from Skagway to the trailhead at Dyea. While these services are reliably available 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 (British Columbia)
There is no road to Bennett. Access is by train, to/from Carcross, Fraser or Skagway; and, floatplane to/from Whitehorse. There is no telephone or cell phone service at Bennett. All post-hike travel arrangements must be made prior to starting the trail. Contact carriers directly.White Pass and Yukon Route Railway
1-800-343-7373 Toll free