Chilkoot Trail, AK
Of the 100,000 people who made out for the Klondike gold fields in the 1890s, less than 30,000 made it — which speaks volumes about this tough, three-day trek through Alaska’s Coast Mountains, once known as “the 33 meanest miles in the world”, thanks to a series of deadly switchbacks and narrow traverses. Now part of a National Historic Park, the Chilkoot Trail begins in the Alaskan ghost town of Dyea, then slogs across several climatic zones — coastal rainforest, boreal forest, and high alpine tundra — ending in Bennett, British Columbia, near the headwaters of the mighty Yukon River. Peak season is from June to August, avalanche danger lingers well into late May, and bear spray is a must.
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