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A Southeast Alaska Inside Passage vacation would not be complete without learning about its fascinating Gold Rush history. While hiking either all or part of the Chilkoot Trail just outside of Skagway, visitors will literally find history at their feet. Hundreds of discouraged gold miners ditched their supplies as they gave up their dreams of Klondike gold and headed home. Old pick axes, wagon wheels, shovels and countless other items are found along the 33 mile trail. Less adventurous travelers can walk just part of the trail, while hardcore hikers will want to take on the once-in-a-lifetime trek.
You can get to Skagway by driving Highway 2 from Whitehorse in Canada or by taking a ferry or cruise into the town's port.
The Chilkoot Trail is administered by the U.S. National Park Service and Parks Canada as part of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. A permit is required to hike both the U.S. and Canadian portions. The Park Service cautions that hikers must be properly equipped and prepared to be self-sufficient on this trail. Information on permits and fees, customs requirements, regulations, camping, weather, equipment and trail conditions are available from the Chilkoot Trail Center in Skagway at (907) 983-9234 or visit the National Park Service's Chilkoot Trail website at www.nps.gov/klgo/planyourvisit/chilkoottrail.htm. Visit Communities-Skagway to find more information and links to Skagway businesses.