Starting this summer, everyone who hikes the Chilkoot Trail is being required to enter or leave the north end of the trail by either train or float plane.
They are no longer able to go through Log Cabin, as hikers have been doing Ã safely and successfully - for more than 40 years.
I recently hiked the trail and was shocked to learn that, because of the actions of either Parks Canada or the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, hiking out the “cutoff trail” to Log Cabin is now a punishable offence. So, instead of a pleasant day hike from Lake Lindeman to Log Cabin, as thousands of hikers have done over the years, hikers are now forced to go all the way to the Bennett station house and then pay at least $50 to get out to the Klondike Highway.
This is unfair - especially to those who reach the northern end of the trail on a day (such as Saturday) when the White Pass train does not run.
If these new rules are enforced, it will result in the Chilkoot becoming an “elite trail” that will be open only to wealthy hikers and it will be closed to the many Yukon residents, who may wish to spend just a day or two at the northern end of the trail.
In years past, hikers had no injuries or other public safety problems while hiking to or from Log Cabin.
I urge the proper officials to consider reviewing the new restrictions and allow the previous rules to apply once again.
Santa Fe, New Mexico