Day Sixtynine

Skaqway, AK to Chilkoot Trail-Canyon City
August 2nd, 2009

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Getting on the trail
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
The Bus Playlist
16 in a shuttle, 7.5 on the trail
Cloudy, in the 60's
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Squirrels, birds, eagles
Our Tent, Canyon City Campground
Anchorage, AK

Daily Didactic
Morning started at a ridiculous hour in Pullen RV Park, in order to grab breakfast and then get to the railroad parking lot for our shuttle pickup at 7:30. Our goal was to get on the trail a little before the crowds. The Chilkoot Trail is a 33 mile with designated campsites that you reserve a spot in when you register months in advance. Folks do the trail in three days, but we've always done five shorter days of hiking with four nights. This leaves us with long afternoons for napping and sleeping, but also makes a five day backpacking trip relatively relaxing. Parks Canada and the US Parks Service jointly manage the trail, which is half in the U.S. and half in Canada. They allow 50 hikers over the summit every day, which means there can be a few hundred folks scattered over the trail on any given day. For reasons that are confusing to Brian our pace tends to be a little faster than most, so we have less passing to do if we get going earlier.

We got an awesome breakfast at Glacial Smoothies and caught our ride in the railroad parking lot right on time. We've traveled out the five or so miles to Dyea and the trailhead with "Dyea Dave" the last two times we've done the trail, and today we had his equally entertaining sister driving us. After remedying a packing malfunction at the trailhead we got a slightly later start than we hoped, but still ended up the seven and a half miles down the trail at Canyon City around noon. We made some lunch and then made our way a half mile up the trail to the historic Canyon City site for a look see. The Chilkoot Trail was only in heavy use for the year of 1898 and was nearly abandoned a few years after that. It was opened as a backpacking trail in the 70's. What this means is that "townsites" look a lot more like forests and generally you are looking at rusting stoves with no buildings, cans, and other "artifacts". Canyon City sports a stove and an enormous boiler that was used to power the tramway they built to ferry prospector goods over the pass ten miles away. It's a little underwhelming the first time you see it, but an enjoyable walk none the less.

We napped, read, and had some dinner before a rousing game of Yahtzee.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

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Morning at Pullen at 6:30 to get an early start What we will swap the bus for the next five days. Seems odd to Brian
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Our ride to the trailhead. Brian could have spent all day in there The end of the road for us
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The trailhead, only 33 miles and 5 days to go Chunks help
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The Taiya River, we'll follow it to the pass Theresa appreciating the bridges and boardwalks
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In the beaver ponds the boardwalks were just about under water History, artifacts, and a little litter
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A pretty stream Tree overcoming rock
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The trail just short of the Canyon City campsites Free of packs and tents pitched, we head over to the old Canyon City site
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Brian, clearly excited by the suspension bridge About the only thing left in Canyon City
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The old boiler that powered the tram over the pass Theresa and Cori heading back to camp
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Our kitchen for the evening, and a confusing collection of activity The old warming hut, getting a new foundation
The cook tent in the background

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