The Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure
Part of the Chilkoot Trail. Fortunately, this is not part of the Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure
There is probably no trail more famous in Alaska than the Chilkoot Trail. It’s also likely you’ve never heard of it unless you’ve traveled to Skagway. This trail was used by local indigenous tribes for generations. The coastal Tlingit Raven Clans owned the 33-mile trail and used it to trade goods with interior First Nations. They traded salmon and euchalon and other stuff, and never once did they toss their garbage out on the trail.
When Stampeders arrived during the Klondike Gold Rush, they used the trail to access the interior. Not surprisingly, they left a bunch of their junk all over the place which is why we can’t have nice things. Today, we call their garbage “artifacts,” and are encouraged to leave them on the trail. Life sure is weird.
What is the Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure?
Oh, right. Hiking the Chilkoot Trail takes a few days. Who has time for that nonsense? Fortunately, you can hike on the first 1.8 miles of the trail and then take a raft back down the Taiya River. This tour is called the Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure. Let’s take a closer look at this shore excursion because that’s what the article is about.
Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure is a four-hour tour
Hiking is fun and floating is fun. Whoever had the idea to combine these activities was very smart. The hike climbs and descends some rugged terrain on the aforementioned Chilkoot Trail. Along the way, you can make believe you’re a Stampeder off to find your fortune in the Klondike. To make it really authentic, you have to cosplay in thick wool clothing and carry 2,000 pounds of supplies. Sounds fun, right?
Fortunately, hiking is only half of the tour. Your friendly and knowledgeable guide will help you get in the raft and then you’ll float downriver. Have you ever noticed that tour guides are always referred to as “friendly and knowledgeable?” Can you imagine if a tour company said their guides were “mean and dumb?” That wouldn’t work. How about “good looking and smart?” Or maybe “energetic and ornery?” I kind of like that one.
Can you tell us more about the Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure?
Sorry. I get caught up on these things. The rafting trip is fun because you see pretty scenery, birds, and other varieties of wildlife. Sometimes you’re cruising downriver and there is a fallen tree in your way. The guide will navigate the raft with his oars, and that’s where the adventure part of the tour comes into play. I saw some weird looking ducks on the tour when I did it. They had big white heads. The friendly and knowledgeable tour guide said they were “buffleheads.” Did he make that up? Maybe it’s true. Maybe he was just energetic and ornery.
Anyway, if you’re visiting Skagway and you like hiking and rafting, be sure to check out the Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and experience some Alaska history without going too crazy. Wear some good shoes and bring a camera in case you see a bufflehead.