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Hiking the Chilkoot Trail
6 nights - Group Size 4-7 participants per tour
Retrace the Stampeders route one-way over the Chilkoot Pass on this enlightening adventure. The Chilkoot Trail now serves as a historic outdoors museum, with the discarded equipment, grave markers and other reminders of the gold rush found along the route. It is a good idea to immerse yourself in the trail's history before you go, (we highly recommend reading “Chilkoot Trail” by David Neufeld and Frank Norris) to appreciate the historic impact more while on the trail. Note: On the Chilkoot permits are mandatory. It’s a very good idea to reserve well in advance if you're traveling from mid-June through mid-August when pressure on the trail is the heaviest. Only 50 people a day can start from Dyea, to keep damage to the trail to a minimum, and to maintain as much as possible a "wilderness" feel to it.
Arrive Whitehorse and transfer to a downtown hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to Carcross and over the White Pass to Skagway, the staging point for the gold rush Stampeders and for modern travellers on their way to the Klondike. There is the opportunity for an optional ride on the historic train of the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad from Fraser to Skagway. After a visit to the historic town, you will continue to Dyea, where you start your hike on the Chilkoot Trail. Today you'll hike to Finnegan's Point (7.9 km / 4.9 miles, approx. 3hours hiking time) where you will spend your first night on the trail.
After breakfast continue your adventure through the coastal rain forest. There are lots of creek crossings, with some very impressive bridges, including a suspension bridge that takes a side-trail across the Taiya River to the ruins of Canyon City. Visit the remains of the long abandoned Canyon City town site before continuing your hike to Sheep Camp (13.0 km / 8.1 miles, 5 to 6 hours hiking time). You will follow the banks of the Taiya River amid the lush rain forest. This is a pleasant day with some easy and some short but fairly steep climbs and a lot of time for breaks.
Today you will leave very early and climb above tree line where we'll enjoy the superb view of mountains and glaciers. 100 Years ago, the most common feeling on the trail would probably have been despair. As spring progressed, the rumours were spreading that everyone on the trail was too late, that there was no ground left to stake in the Klondike. Artefacts become more and more common as the stampeders continually re-evaluated what was absolutely necessary to carry across the ever-steeper trail. Later in the day you will cross the border between Alaska and Canada, over 1100 meters (3700 feet) above sea level! From here you will descend over snowfields to the inland portion of the trail. Passing small lakes, creeks and rock outcrops you reach "Happy Camp" (12.1 km / 7.5 miles, 6-8 hours) in late afternoon.
As the trail winds its way along rivers and lakes, it gives an incredible view of gorgeous scenery. Gradually descend to Deep Lake and further into the forested area of Lake Lindeman (8.8 km / 5.5 miles, 4-5 hours hiking time) where you will spend another night in a pristine wilderness setting. From Happy Camp to Lindeman is in some ways the best part of the trail, with expansive views, gentle grades (except for a bit of ridge-work above Long Lake), and a great feeling of accomplishment.
Today you continue your trek to Bare Loon Lake - a nice swimming hole in hot weather - and on to Lake Bennet where the Chilkoot Trail ends (11.3 km / 7.0 miles, 4 to 5 hours hiking time). You will have time to visit the old train station and the partly renovated log church in Bennet. A float plane will pick you up by late afternoon for the spectacular flight back to Whitehorse. Upon arrival in Whitehorse, you will be met at the airport and transferred to a hotel where you definitely will enjoy a hot shower and your final night.
|Dates||Departures June to July|
|Prices From||£1355 per person|
Price Includes: Transfers, first and last night in hotel in Whitehorse, transportation by van to Skagway and Dyea, sightseeing in Skagway, flight by float plane from Lake Bennett to Whitehorse, all meals on the trail including non-alcoholic beverages, all equipment, Chilkoot park fees and licences, local driver and guide. Price Excludes: International flights, meals and beverages in Whitehorse and Skagway (2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners), train ride on the White Pass and Yukon route from Fraser to Skagway (£65 per person), gratuities and items of a personal nature.