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Thread: Chilkoot trail

  1. #1
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default Chilkoot trail

    Just want to get so info on the trail. Has anyoone done it before? What is the trail like and about how many days can I expect it will take to complete?
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Default chilkoot

    I hiked it last summer with my dad. Here are some pics that may help give you an idea of the terrain. http://www.gi.alaska.edu/~pcotter/pics/chilkoot.html
    We did the hike in 3 nights/4 days. You'll see quite a few people on the trail, but we never felt crowded. Lots of wildlife too.
    Have a good trip!

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    Great pics, thanks
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  4. #4

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    I did this hike with my family and relatives (party of 11) this past summer -what an awesome experience! The Klondike National Historic Park website has lots of helpful hints and info on how to get a vtraiul permit and the hazards and history of the trail. We did it in 4 days and 3 nights from 6-9 July. The first day to Sheep Camp (11. 5 miles) was the most difficult. We all thought Happy camp was the nicest campsite. The mosquitos were bad at the Lindeman City campsite. If you want certain dates you need to make a reservation almost 6 months in advance. The train ride out on White pass Yukon railroad is expensive ($80 per person), although the secnic views are awesome too. I did a hike in Hatchers Pass to Upper Reed Lake (Archangel Road trail system) with my son in August and think it is an excellent trail for training for this hike. Boulder scrambling on it is similar to day 2 hiking up over Chilkoot Pass.

    Good Luck

  5. #5

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    3 of us with our 3 malamutes hiked the Chilkoot Trail in late August. 4 days on the trail over about 56k (36mi). First night we spent at Sheep Camp (~19k or 12m), over the pass on a rainy, windy, foggy day into Happy Camp (~14k or 9m). Then we hiked to Bare Loon Lake (? 17k or 11m) then out to Log Cabin Creek along the railroad. SE Alaska Rainforest, Alpine Tundra, then Boreal Forest, just about each day was a different ecosystem. We had hoped to use a 5th day to scramble around in the pass, but the poor weather and word of deteriorating conditions sent us down the trail.

    2 dogs were tethered the whole trip and another was only loose going up the Golden Stairs. the 3 dogs carried dog packs with their own food and some of our gear.

    Dogs had a great time, so did we. There is an incredible history to the trail which made traveling all the more interesting.

    If you are interested, you can read more here:
    http://www.funhog.us/ChilkootDogs/Ch...DogsAMHLV2.doc
    inside the word document are web address' for some of the pictures we took.

  6. #6
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Looking foward to hiking it in 07
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    I have a friend that did it early in the season last year successfully. They both completed it, but he admitted that he wasn't prepared for it. I'll try to look up pictures for you. They hiked it Memorial Day weekend.

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    Anyone going to hike it summer of '08?
    I'd like to. Figure i could hike it in 3 or 4 days.
    Last time i was DUE to hike it, was running to catch my plane to
    Juneau, and sprained my ankle catching the plane. So ended up
    just riding the train over the pass.
    Anyone know whether usually the snow is gone by middle of June?

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    Snow will still be there in middle of June. 3-4 days is plenty of time. With a light pack you can walk/run it in a day. Ideal times is 3- days. Sheep camp, Deep Lake, and out. Deep lake is the spot to camp on the Canadian (my) side. Not crowded at all, and much nicer than Happy camp or Lindeman. If the weather is warm, allow some time for swimming at Bare Loon lake. The lake really warms up, and the granite slabs around the lake make for some nice relaxing after a refreshing dip.
    Heres my Chilkoot tip. Hike it in September. No registration fees, no hordes of hikers, and great fall colours. Much nicer time of year.
    Quite a few years ago some friends and i mountain biked it in early October, but thats another story......

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    Talking

    Thanks for the info yukoner...in my younger day i could've done it in 1 day, but thinking about 3 days now. Might there be snow in Sept? and nightly temps? below 0 C i'd guess?
    I intend to have about 16-18 lbs on me.
    Afterwards, it's up to Dawson baby! Straight to Gerties and the Bunkhouse.

  11. #11
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    60's the new 40 man!
    3 days and you would be having a great time. Honestly, you can get snow anytime of the year, but early-mid september would be no worse than any other time. Might get crisp on the Canadian side, but not much below zero at night if at all. Indeed, Sept. can be balmy. I think its the nicest time of year to hike it. Hiking down through from the Summit to Lindeman in Sept. with all the colours out in the alpine is spectacular, especially if its sunny.
    Plus, no bugs, and its cooler going over the scales so less sweat!

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    I remember talking to these two women via email, they did it in 2 days. First thing they did when they got to Whitehorse, or that smaller town before Whitehorse, i forgot, was to eat a big greasy Cheeseburger. LOL.

    BUGS! Yeah, forgot about those...there'd be plenty i imagine in the summer...so you got me considering Sept. now...Early Sept might be the peak of colors?

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    Good advice from all the above. I did the hike in '98 (that's 1998!) in 4 days 3 nights. Pretty leisurely schedule. Check the park's website at www.nps.gov/klgo for info on trail conditions, reservations, etc. Also, remember you end up crossing the border so pay attention to whatever new rules there might be with passports, etc. Especially if you're bringing kids that aren't yours. Enjoy!

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    Late August early Sept would be peak, depending on the conditions. September is also nice because you don't have to register, and way less people.

  15. #15

    Question WPY railroad to Lake Bennett?

    Yukoner - is the WhiTe Pass-Yokon RR still running to Lake bennett in late Aug-Sept? or are you implying the "hike out" route to Hwy?

    SEM

  16. #16
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    Thats a good question. I am not sure on that, there website should be able to answer this.

  17. #17

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    last year the train quit hauling folks the last week of Aug. We hiked out to the road which wasn't so bad.

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    we hiked the trail in mid July '06 in 3 1/2 days, taking the train back to Skagway. Some mosquitoes on the US side, but once we were out of the woods and climbing to the pass, the bugs disappeared. Several snowfields to cross on the Canadian side ... but no big deal at all.

    IMHO, there's no sense trying to hike this trail fast, 'cause you'll miss some interesting stuff along the way if you do!

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    Thumbs up Chilkoot Hike

    I was one of five women who hiked the Chilkoot Trail from Dyea to Lake Bennett in July '07. We used four nights and five days on the trail and for a group that didn't know exactly what to expect, and having two young teens as part of our group, I think that was good planning. We took the train from Lake Bennett back to Skagway and it was a welcome ride. We had rain each day and I would suggest to anyone planning their trip to have good quality, light-weight rain gear and an excellent rain fly and footprint for your tent. There are very few areas to get out of the rain and dry out - the last night camping at Bare Loon Lake provided lots of rain, lots of humidity, and no place to bring in wet gear to dry out. We had good gear but many people did not. I loved the entire hike - each day provided different experiences, beautiful scenery, breathtaking views and great memories with friends. On the day we crossed the summit, we were completely enveloped in fog - we couldn't see much of anything other than the boulders we were climbing over. But just as we made it to the top, one of our group members turned around and was able to watch the sun peak in through the fog and a light wind blew the fog away just enough so that we could see the entire green valley far below us. It was an incredible sight and it lasted only for a few minutes - we were able to snap a few pictures (thankfully) - but just as quickly as the fog rolled out, it rolled back in and we found ourselves hiking in clouds once again. The whole trip was fantastic, but we won't forget the brief moment when the sun peaked through the fog and we saw the Golden Staircase below us! Anyone wanting a great adventure should include the Chilkoot hike in their planning.

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