Chilkoot Trail: Into the forest

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA P1010174_1024x768 P1010179_1024x768 P1010181_1024x768 P1010183_1024x768 P1010187_1024x768This August I welcomed my good friend Nick from Ottawa and we hiked the Chilkoot Trail.

This historic trail was used by aboriginal people for unknown hundreds or thousands of years. It suddenly gained a lot of traffic (at gunpoint) in the 1890s as prospectors rushed towards the Klondike gold fields.

The history of the Chilkoot is one of misery, greed, and people hauling tonnes of gear across a craggy and slippery landscape.

Today the Chilkoot is maintained by the US and Canadian parks service. You need a passport to cross as the trail begins in Alaska and ends in the Canadian province of British Columbia. (From which prospectors would continue to Yukon)

The first day began in Skagway Alaska. A person must register with the parks service and is given checkpoints for every night. Our first day’s trip was a short hike from Dyea Alaska to a camp called Finnegan’s point. At this stage and the following day, the forest is thick with moss and roots.

Our second day’s walk took about eight hours to Sheep Camp.

Here’s the elevation map for the 5-day hike.



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