Dyea was originally a community of Tlingit Indians. Today, it is a ghost town in Alaska with few people left except those living in homesteads in a valley that is all but abandoned. Dyea is situated at the confluence of the Taiya Inlet and Taiya River on the south side of the Chilkoot Pass where the Chilkoot Trail commences. The Chilkoot Trail was the entry point for many Klondike Gold Rushers in the late 1800s, but prospectors abandoned this trail in the latter years of the rush for the White Pass Trail that started out of Skagway, Alaska because of the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad built there.
Today, Dyea along with the Chilkoot Trail is part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. The Chilkoot Trail remains Dyea’s biggest attraction, drawing many hikers around the world. Every summer, it is a popular feat to come trace the steps of gold miners on their way from Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon. The Tlingits had prevented the use of the Chilkoot Pass up until the Gold Rush. But they were unable to stop the stampede of gold rush seekers. The historic trail runs from Dyea all the way to Lake Bennett in British Columbia, winding through landscapes that change dramatically. The pass begins at tidewater and follows a path through a rain forest before rising into an alpine tundra that peaks at 1,120 meters and then descends into a boreal forest littered with lakes. Evidence abound throughout the trail of the hardships suffered by gold rushers, from wagon wheels, to collapsed canoes, to worn-out boots. The trek from Lake Bennett to the Klondike takes between 3-5 days to complete and covers about 55 kilometers. The trail is regularly patrolled by both Canadian and U.S. Park Services, as it can be treacherous in some areas, especially at the summit. Even in the summer, hikers may encounter snow, hail, sleet, fog, thunderstorms, and heavy rain. To avoid having to hike back, the White Pass and Yukon rail service operates in the summer and can return travelers from the Klondike back to Skagway, Alaska.
“Dyea, Alaska.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyea>
Simpkins, Mary Ann. Canada. New York: Prentice Hall Travel, 1994. ISBN: 0671882783.
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