Guide to Planning Your Hike

Learn and Explore

Note for 2021 season: The international border is closed due to COVID-19. Hikers must turn around at the summit of the Chilkoot Pass, if not sooner, and hike out via the trail head in Dyea.

The Chilkoot Trail is a 33 mile long recreational trail. Each summer over 10,000 people hike some or all of it. The majority of visitors day hike on the trail for just a few hours. Others spend an average of 3-5 days backpacking the entire trail. Each year a few hearty people run the trail in one stretch. Ready to tackle the Chilkoot? This guide will get you started.

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5 minutes, 50 seconds

This short video brings to light the common risks and challenges that hikers may encounter on the trail. If you are interested in hiking the Chilkoot Trail check out this video to see if you are up to the challenge. Happy Trails.


Step-by-step planning guide

Permits are needed:

  • for overnight hiking June 1 - September 13, even if you are not crossing the border
  • for any day trip with travel in Canada, this includes trail runners doing the entire trail in one day

Reservations summer 2021 begin April 27, 2021. Learn how to get a permit.

  • review how to Leave No Trace on the Chilkoot Trail
  • pack all of your hiking and camping gear
  • become bear aware, learn about bear safety on the trail
  • review the park's Laws & Policies. Remember, it is illegal to possess or use marijuana and other controlled substances inside a National Park Service unit
  • check the latest Chilkoot Trail conditions report, including current weather at some locations
  • pick up your permit and check in at the Trail Center in Skagway, located on Broadway between 5th and 6th Avenues. During permit season trail orientations, conducted at the Trail Center, are mandatory. Please allow approximately 30 minutes for an orientation. Everyone hiking must attend, not just the permit holder. Day runners need to pick up their permit a day in advance or before noon the day they want to start.

Last updated: April 21, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
P.O. Box 517

Skagway , AK 99840


907 983-9200

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