Backpack Alaska's Chilkoot Trail


Global Adventure - Backpack Alaska's Chilkoot Trail

Relive the experience of the Klondike gold miners as you retrace their route up and over the Chilkoot Pass, in a strenuous 5-day, 33-mile backpack with ~6800 total feet of elevation gain. The journey will begin and end in historic Skagway Alaska. Families are welcome (the leader is a Qualified Youth Leader).

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sun, Aug 9, 2015 — Sat, Aug 15, 2015
  • Global Adventures Committee
  • Global Adventures, Backpacking
  • Singles, Families, Retired Rovers, Adults, 20-30 Somethings
  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 33.0 mi

The group will meet on August 9, 2015 in Skagway where we will explore the town's historic district, get our trail permits and enjoy a welcome dinner.   On August 10 we'll shuttle 20 minutes to the Dyea trailhead, and backpack the Chilkoot Trail from the 10th to the 14th. On August 14th we'll take the historic White Pass & Yukon Route train back to Skagway, where we'll enjoy a celebration dinner and a last night at a hotel in Skagway.  The trip concludes on the morning of August 15th in Skagway.  NOTE:  Trip dates are tentative until trail permit and train ticket are obtained.

Participants have a variety of transportation choices to get to and from Skagway. (You will need a valid Passport to participate as the route crosses the US/Canada border.) Options include float plane or fast ferry to Juneau to connect with a commercial flight home, or the Alaska Marine Highway ferry down the Inside Passage to Bellingham (it is permissible to pitch tents on the deck of the ferry and sightsee and relax through the four day trip.)   More information on options will be provided in the first trip letter upon registration.

Itinerary Highlights:   We begin our journey in Skagway, Alaska, at the northern terminus of the Inland Passage in southeast Alaska (96 airmiles north of Juneau).  Here we will get our trail permits organized and see where the Gold Rush began. After a welcome dinner we will retire to our local lodging for the night. The next morning a short shuttle will take us to the Dyea Trailhead where we begin our five day backpack following the pathway of the Klondike miners of old.  At the end of the trail, in Bennett, you can reward yourself with a hot meal at the historic Bennett Eating House. After that we will take the historic White Pass & Yukon Route train ride back to Skagway where we will enjoy a celebration dinner and our last night in Skagway as part of the trip. The trip ends the next morning in Skagway.  For a detailed itinerary description, click here.

Time of Year:   The trip is scheduled for the 'high season' on the trail, when rangers are on-duty and trail crews are on-site, but avalanche danger and snow hazards are at a minimum and temperatures and precipitation are most favorable.

Lodging:  In Skagway at the beginning and end of the trip we are planning to stay at the Historic Skagway Inn (double occupancy).  On the trail you will carry your own tent and sleep system. 

Food:  Participants will be responsible for their own meals during the backpack and lunches while in town. While in Skagway, we will eat dinner together as a group as part of the tour package.

Leader’s Experience:   Lisa has been a climb leader for the Mountaineers through the Tacoma branch since 2005. In the past she has led groups of friends on successful international trips. Lisa led a Global Adventure backpack to Hawaii’s Na Pali coast in 2014.

Participant Requirements:   Participants must be experienced backpackers and well conditioned for strenuous trail days, with the confidence and balance to negotiate some bouldering sections.  Flexibility and the ability to get along with groups under sometimes difficult and demanding conditions are essential.  Must be Mountaineers members with a current waiver on file.

Trip Price Detail:   $850 per person.  Includes two nights lodging in Skagway (at the beginning and end of the trip), the shuttle from Skagway to the Dyea Trailhead, and the train ride down from Bennett; backpack permits; and two group dinners in town are included (alcohol not included). Not included are transportation to and from Skagway, your backpack food, cost of a passport, and personal items.

Registration Instructions:  To register, complete the attached application form and email it to the leader at  After you receive leader permission, call Mountaineers Member Services at 206-521-6001 and give them a credit card number for the full trip payment, required in advance to register.  Registration closes June 1, 2015 .

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel because of an emergency, you may receive a refund less expenses incurred and a $100 administrative fee.


Backpack Alaska's Chilkoot Trail

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

After receiving your deposit, the leader will send out a series of letters or emails providing information to help participants succeed on the trip, including recommended and required gear, recommended maps and guidebooks.


Trip Reports