Chilkoot Trail closed due to flood warnings on Taiya River

A flood notice was issued for the Taiya River by the National Weather Service. The warning extends into early Saturday morning. (Photo by Emily Files/KHNS)

A flood notice was issued for the Taiya River by the National Weather Service. The warning extends into early Saturday morning. (Photo by Emily Files/KHNS)

Skagway’s Chilkoot Trail is closed because of a flood warning on the Taiya River.

The trail is part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. It starts in Dyea  and a significant portion of the trail runs along the Taiya River.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the area extending into early Saturday morning.

Park chief of interpretation Ben Hayes said the trail will be closed until at least Friday morning when the river’s water levels are reassessed.

According to the weather service, 1 to 1.5 inches of rain fell overnight Wednesday in Skagway. An additional 1 to 2 inches is expected through Friday night.

Hayes said the river has not fallen below the flood stage of 16.5 feet. He also said it’s not safe to hike in the deep, swift flowing water along the river.

Today was the last day of the season hikers needed a permit to make the trek up the Chilkoot Trail. But Hayes said until the river is deemed safe, signage and barriers will keep the trail closed.

One local tour company offers a Chilkoot Trail hike and float down the river. Those tours will not be allowed until it’s re-opened.

Hayes says park staff has checked in with one group currently hiking the trail.

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