Chilkoot Trail Hike, Float & Summit Drive Tour
This excursion retraces the footsteps of the Klondike Gold Rush stampeeders over the historic Chilkoot Trail and float back down on the beautiful Taiya River. Tour the spectacular views of alpine lakes, towering snow-capped peaks, and pristine forest on a drive to the summit of the picturesque White Pass.
Arrive at the banks of the Taiya River, where your 18-foot raft awaits for the scenic float (no whitewater) back to Dyea. The forest gives way to fields of beach greens and wild iris, and the granite walls of the fjords rise steeply to the snow-capped peaks and hanging glaciers. Enjoy a riverside snack of homemade cookies and a hot beverage with countless picture-perfect moments before loading up in the van and continuing the tour up to the White Pass summit.
We’ll drive for about 45 minutes from the take-out to the top of the scenic White Pass. There are many photo opportunities of beautiful alpine lakes, glaciers, towering snowcapped peaks and pristine forests. After enjoying the spectacular scenery, we’ll return through the U.S. Border station and return to the town of Skagway.
(~35 minutes) - From the small boat harbor we’ll board a van and head toward Dyea and the Chilkoot Trail. Along the way you’ll enjoy a driving town tour of Skagway and the scenic coastal gravel road to Dyea.
(~120 minutes) - Once we arrive in Dyea, your guide will get you outfitted with trekking poles and you’ll have the opportunity to use the restroom before we begin tracing the Gold Rush stampeders’ steps along the first two miles of the Historic Chilkoot Trail.
(~10 minutes) - At the end of the hike your guide will get you outfitted with a PFD and rubber boots and provide a safety briefing as we prepare for the scenic float down the Taiya River.
(~35 minutes) - Sit back and enjoy as your experienced river guide rows you down the scenic Taiya River. The stable 18’ raft provides a great platform for photography and taking in the sweeping mountain, ocean and rainforest views.
(~15 minutes) - Once we reach the riverside raft take-out, you’ll be treated to a homemade cookie and hot cocoa and hot tea and some free time to take in the dramatic landscape with the supplied spotting scope.
(~85 minutes) - From the river take-out we’ll begin our drive north up the Klondike Highway to the dramatic summit of the White Pass. There will be many photo opportunities and we’ll stop at the “Welcome to Alaska” sign so that you can get pictures with the sign.
(~60 minutes) - When we depart the summit the leisurely drive back to your ship will take about 45-60 minutes as we make a photo stop at Bridal Veil Falls and stop through US Customs.
Your guide will meet you 15 minutes prior to the tour start time to make sure all necessary paperwork is completed. If you are arriving by cruise ship, your guide will meet you at the end of the Skagway pier that your ship docks at. Otherwise the meeting location is the Small Boat Harbor sign. CLICK HERE to see a map detailing these locations in Skagway. Your guide will be holding a sign that says "Skagway and Haines Excursions".
Who are my guides?
Your guides are experts in the industry. They are fun, well-trained and passionate about guiding and sharing their expert knowledge about the history and natural wonder of Haines and Skagway, Alaska with you! Our staff all go through extensive training and hold current first-aid (mostly WFR and WEMT) certification. Many of our guides also lead courses and guided expedition trips for us both in Alaska and throughout the world.
Is there a bathroom?
Yes – restrooms are available on the dock prior to departing for your tour and a non-flushing “outhouse” style restroom is at the start of the hike.
Do you cancel due to weather?
Our tours embrace Southeast Alaska’s unpredictable weather. Our tours run rain or shine. If in a rare instance weather does cause us to cancel the tour you will be refunded in full and provided with assistance with finding an alternative activity for the day.
How long is the trail?
The tour hikes along the first 1.6-2 miles of the historic Chilkoot Trail.
What is the trail like?
We’ll be hiking over uneven, natural terrain. There are exposed roots, rocks and sometimes slippery or muddy sections. The trail gains and descends 350’ over the course of the two mile hike.
What wildlife will I see?
Though wildlife can never be guaranteed, Bald Eagles, ravens, squirrels and harbor seals are frequently seen on this tour in Skagway. Skagway’s unique landscape somewhat isolate’s it from many of the larger mammals apart from the occasional black bear or coastal brown bear.
Is there any whitewater on the float?
No – there will be no whitewater or rapids on the float.