Important Logistical Information

Chilkoot Trail –Important Logistical Considerations—2016

  • Southbound train from Bennett to Skagway is scheduled to run on Tuesdays and Fridays only.  If you are hoping or planning to meet the train, you must take this into account when planning your hike.
  • Northbound train from Bennett to Carcross is scheduled to run only on Wednesdays and Thursdays and SaturdaysTrain schedules can change.  Check with the White Pass and Yukon Route if you are unsure. http://www.wpyr.com/yukonadventure.html
    • Therefore, there is no train from Bennett scheduled on Sundays and Mondays.
  • Parks Canada is officially not allowing hikers to use the Bare Loon Cutoff beginning in 2011, and it is illegal to hike on the tracks in Canada.  Previously there was a “look the other way” approach to the law. No longer.
  • Commercial groups over 8 (including guides) can only cross the pass on even numbered dates.
  • Peak season is late June through early August.  July itineraries, especially ones meeting the train, will likely fill the fastest.
  • There will be more snow earlier, such as in June.  Some hikers prefer the snow cover and find some of the hiking easier than on the rocks that are covered rather than exposed.  Some don’t.  You may or many not want or need extra equipment such as gaiters earlier in the season.
  • Alaska Airlines http://www.alaskaair.com/ is the only airline that services Juneau.  They are based in Seattle, and most if not all flights into and out of Juneau connect through Seattle.  Don’t be surprised if you get a bonus night in Seattle as a result of a long layover.
  • The most affordable way to get between Juenau and Skagway is the Alaska State Ferry, the Alaska Marine Highway.  It typically takes about 6.5 hours to make the 90 miles journey, though occasionally there is a fast-ferry that takes less than half that time.  http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/index.shtml Schedules change, but typically in the summer there is daily service between Juneau and Skagway.  Always double check, and recheck your scheduled ferry, as one broken ferry can mess up the whole system.
  • If the ferry schedule is similar to past summers, it can be possible to avoid the night in Juneau by getting an early flight out of Seattle, and catching the ferry (or a flight, but you never know for sure if those will go) the same day.  If you overnight in Juneau, make sure that your hotel gives complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport and ferry, or you can pay more for taxi service than your room.  There is also a hostel in downtown Juneau called the Driftwood Lodge http://www.driftwoodalaska.com/ which is the most affordable overnight option.  It’s downtown, so you can get around by walking and they have free shuttle service to all transport hubs.
  • You can also fly on small planes between Juneau and Skagway, but these flights are always dependent on the weather.  They don’t fly if the clouds are too low.  We suggest the Full Flex ticket option and keeping the ferry in mind as a back-up transportation option.  Two services operate flights on this route, Wings of Alaska http://www.wingsofalaska.com/ and Air Excursions http://www.airexcursions.com/

Custom Options: Contact us to inquire about custom options. guide.manager@packerexpeditions.com  P.O. Box 601 Skagway, AK 99840 Email:  Phone: 907-983-3005 / Fax: 907-983-3544 Trip enters Canada. Guests much have a valid passport to clear U.S. and Canadian Immigrations. Canada requires Visas from citizens of some countries, list can be provided.

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