Chilkoot Trail

6:35 sunrise
21:28 sunset

I don’t like hiking. Not really.  So It has taken awhile to write this blog post.  How to write about something that I don’t like… and yet… kinda loved.

I’ve always meant to hike the Chilkoot Trail, the route that gold-crazed stampeders walked and then boated from Dyea, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon.  But every summer I have refused to take days off work to do it or I just got so distracted by bike-love that I didn’t make room in my summer for a multi-day hike.  This year it happened sort of last minute. There was a long weekend and a friend who also wanted to make the trek. There were spots available to summit over the weekend and there was space on the WP&YR train to get us out of Bennett.  We left our decision to the last minute (ie: Friday afternoon) and we finally pulled the trigger when the weather forecast improved from torrential rain to just cloudy and maybe showers.

So how does a 53km walk through history sit with a girl who likes bikes?  Pretty well, actually.  But there are a few rules one has to follow in order to have a good time.

Rule #1
Take along an appropriate hiking partner.  Preferably this partner should want to hike the route at the same speed you do and she should make you lunch.  She should also be perfectly content to carry enough wine for the journey.

Rule #2

Bring wine. Really, this rule applies to most outdoor activities.

Rule #3
Take time to gawk at the beauty of your surroundings as well as the artefacts en route.  Soak in the history. Take lots of photos. Between us, we managed around 350 of them.  Understand, then, my restraint here.

Rule #4
Have the weather gods provide clear weather around Crater Lake so that you can be floored at how crazy gorgeous it is on the Canadian side of the summit.

Rule #5
Pack light.  This kind of goes against rule #2.  We didn’t manage it this time. Perhaps that means I’m open to hiking the Chilkoot again next year.


More photos on flickr if you are so inclined.  The hike is pretty spectacular.


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