The Chilkoot Trail has been designated a national historic trail

A foggy view of the Chilkoot Natonal Historic Trail’s summit warming shelter. (K. Unertl/National Park Service)

The federal government has designated the Chilkoot Trail as a national historic trail. The designation, which was included in the federal omnibus spending bill, was announced Jan. 7 in a press release.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as the Chilkoot National Historic Trail,” said Angela Wetz, superintendent of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. “To get people learning about the history of this area, of the park and the stories of the people that came here and the people that have been here for millennia.”

The Chilkoot Trail is the 20th in the nation to get the designation and, at 16 miles, the shortest. The designation could lead to some funding opportunities.

“There is some trail system funding that’s out there, not necessarily something we would get right away,” Wetz said. “But we would be able to compete for those funds in the Park Service.”

Right now the trail is closed due to flood damage from an October storm. Wetz says the designation will not affect the pace of repair.

“We are aiming towards an Aug. 1 opening, but we still have a lot of logistical  issues with supply chains and everything else to get us there,” she said.

To celebrate the designation, the park intends to hold a ceremony when the trail reopens.

KHNS - Haines

KHNS is our partner station in Haines. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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