Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

Parks Canada is opening the Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail to hiking for the 2021 season, but aspiring hikers will need to charter a plane or boat in order to access the trailhead.

The government announced the decision on April 15.

The hiking season will begin on June 1. Starting April 27, visitors will be able to reserve their itinerary by phone. The available hiking route is from Bennett Lake to the Chilkoot Pass and back. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, cross-border hiking is not permitted in 2021.

Normally the 33-mile route starts in Skagway, Alaska and includes coming over the Chilkoot Pass before crossing into the Canadian side to finish at Bennett Lake. To exit the trail, hikers often take the White Pass railway or fly out.

This year there is no train service, but access to and from Bennett Lake is available by air charter or boat. There is no road to Bennett.

Visitors must follow applicable provincial and territorial travel restrictions. Self-isolation, if required, cannot be completed on trail.

Social distancing and B.C. provincial guidelines apply while within site boundaries; hiking parties are limited to core bubbles.

Camping is available at Bennett, Bare Loon Lake, Lindeman City and Deep Lake; day-use shelters will be operating at reduced capacity. Masks are required in all indoor spaces and where social distancing cannot be maintained including in outdoor spaces and along the trail.

(Haley Ritchie)

Hiking

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