Being Prepared For Winter In Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site – Parks Canada

Being Prepared For Winter In Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site – Parks Canada

20 January 2022 – Klondike Snowmobile Association

Hi all! Parks Canada has kindly asked us to share the following message:

Being prepared for winter in Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site starts from home by Parks Canada

On these dark -40 January mornings, familiar enough to Yukoners yet still a challenge for many of us, we often wonder, is the lure of White Pass just as strong? Will snowmobilers and skiers alike head out to the endless slopes and deep powder? Is Log Cabin parking lot seeing any traffic apart from the odd raven atop an outhouse? Our guess is no, not today – it’s absolutely frigid out there, and this cold snap will eventually break after all, and the Pass, the snow fields, the Log Cabin parking lot and Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site (CTNHS) will be waiting and welcoming. Why temp a dead battery or worse while cozy at home on a second cup of coffee? But like we said, that’s just our guess.

While this cold snap is certain to break in the coming days (and likely has by the time this is published), many of us start this new year wondering when the continued threat of Covid will break. Setting into our second winter of the pandemic, Yukon has seen surges in outdoor recreation in all seasons, a good thing and likely tied to the positive benefits of outdoor physical activity. If the last two years are any indication, Parks Canada expects continued high winter use of CTNHS, particularly at Log Cabin parking lot where snow-searching recreationalists tend to stage from. Here are some reminders on how to stay safe while recreating within the site this winter, whether navigating Covid or the ins and outs of being prepared for a winter day (or days) in the backcountry:

  • Be self-reliant. Winter users are responsible for their own safety. Minimize demands on emergency response and the health care system by doing your best to avoid injury or getting lost while recreating.
  • Plan ahead and leave a trip plan with someone at home. Visit to learn about trip planning and how to best prepare for the backcountry.
  • Be prepared for limited emergency response. A search and rescue response could take 24 hours or longer. There is no cell service within the boundaries of CTNHS. Bring an alternate form of communication including emergency response contact information, otherwise the closest phone is at Canada Customs, Fraser. (Parks Canada 24-hour emergency response: 1-780-852-3100; Carcross RCMP 1-867-821-5555).
  • Know before you go. Use resources like Yukon Avalanche Association and Avalanche Canada websites, check the Yukon avalanche bulletin before you head out to play, and use the Mountain Information Network (MIN) to keep well informed.
  • Minimize the spread. The health and safety of visitors and staff is a priority for Parks Canada. Follow Covid-19 protocol as well as the advice of public health officials recognizing that CTNHS is exclusively in B.C. Most visitors travel through small Yukon communities to get to the historic site. Travel responsibly and do your part to protect Yukoners who call these communities home.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. Tuck into coziness and drink soothing teas.
  • Avoid stopping in vulnerable communities along the way, and follow travel advisories issued by First Nation governments and communities. If a First Nations government or community has not issued an advisory, travel responsibly and follow Yukon’s Safe 6 plus 1.
  • Embrace Yukon’s Safe 6 plus 1, and adhere to current orders and directions under B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer while in B.C., and under Yukon’s CEMA while in Yukon.
  • Come prepared with your ‘Covid-kit’ including hand sanitizer, masks, water and snacks, and avoid congregaging or recreating in groups outside your bubble.
  • Gear up and go! Back up and head home! Avoid lingering unnecessarily at trail heads or beside your vehicle. One day we’ll be able to socialize more freely again.
  • Joint use is respectful use. While a wide variety of users enjoy CTNHS, most are looking for the same thing – a fun and safe snow-filled experience. Whether snowmobiling, cross-country or backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, or camping, check important CTNHS bulletins before leaving home.
  • Did you know that:

    • Camping in the Log Cabin parking lot is currently authorized under Superintendent’s Order until May 15, 2022? Following Covid protocol is mandatory.
    • Every third weekend (Friday to Sunday) is designated as non-motorized throughout the winter, meaning snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles cannot operate within site boundaries? There is an exception for cars and trucks accessing Log Cabin, but unloading and loading snowmobiles in not permitted.
    • Users can access historic Lindeman City and Bennett City, and camp adjacent to day-use shelters while following some restricted use regulations at each of the sites? Ensure ice is solid before all lake, river or creek travel and watch for overflow.
    • Yukon Highways and Public Works (Fraser) plows the Log Cabin parking lot on Parks Canada’s behalf as and when other priority areas allow. If the lot is inaccessible, respect this hard working team and other highway users by not parking on the road. Use other pull-outs including the lot at Fraser which often has ample space. A big shout out and thank you to the Yukon Highways team at Fraser for all their work, particularly throughout these record breaking snow seasons!

    Do your part in keeping the site clean by packing out what you pack in, not littering or leaving fire debris, and tidying outhouses after use. Learn more about winter recreation in CTNHS from the comfort of your home, and respect fellow visitors in all forms of recreation once you hit the snow.

    Parks Canada Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site facilitates a Winter User Group made up of non-profit and government groups who interact directly with the historic site. It meets once annually at a minimum, to discuss safe and respectful joint use of the site. The group has recently complied a Winter-Use Information Kit to unify and share messaging on safe and responsible recreation, particularly during the ongoing pandemic. Parks Canada is grateful to the member groups who participate, many of which operate on volunteer time, including the Klondike Snowmobile Association. The collective and continued input into the conversation is much appreciated.

    Enjoy the winter season ahead, stay warm, and plug in those cars, trucks and snowmobiles. For now, we may just dive into cup number three.

    Parks Canada

    Learn more about winter activities at the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site any time on Parks Canada’s website at!

    Recent Posts