The Chilkoot Trail and the town of Dyea are located in the Taiya River Valley, in Skagway, Alaska. In the beginning, the Chilkoot trail served as a dividing line between two Native American tribes. As time went on, the trail became a popular route during the 1897-1899 gold rush. Thousands of people traveled the Chilkoot trail, making the trail become a major port for gold. The town of Dyea began to expanded and development as more miners, and their families, migrated there to find gold. Today, Dyea is a nearly abandoned town located in the middle of the Taiya River Valley. The Chilkoot Trail has been constructed for hikers to be able to hike through the trail.
the 1870s, the Taiya River Valley, served as a dividing line between the coastal
Tlingit Indians and the Interior Athabascan Indians. The Chilkoot trail was
also used for travelling and trading goods. The trail was a connecting path for
travelers and tribes. By the time the gold rush started, the trail was one of
the main links that connected coastal Alaska and the Yukon River drainage. This
valley and trail became very popular for expeditions. Frederick Schwatka, Dr.
Willis Everette, and William Olgivie were some of the explorers that traveled
along the Chilkoot Trail.
the gold rush, people began to settle down in the town of Dyea. Housing mainly
consisted of tents and shacks.This was because people knew they would not be staying here long. Gold miners, were only traveling to find gold. The miners would settle down for a short period time, and then miners would find another place to find gold. As more people migrated here, trams and telephone/telegraph
lines were installed. Although the town was expanding, it was still very small.
In 1898, the population was about 800 people. By 1899, the town was nearly
rivalry is the main cause for the abandonment of Dyea. This was between the
Chilkoot Pass route and the White Pass route. William Moore found the White
Pass to be less steep. The distance to the lakes was longer, but Moore saw a
possibility in development. Moore developed a trail for the White Pass, but by
1896, very few people used this route. The Chilkoot Pass was the most popular
route. During the peak, 1889, there were over 200 businesses open on this pass.
After the gold rush, travelers stopped passing through the Chilkoot trail and
the town of Dyea. This led to loss in businesses, and people leaving the town
to find better. There are still some buildlings remaining in Dyea, but most
were either moved or burned down. Very few people still live in the town of
Dyea, leaving the town nearly abandoned. Today, the Chilkoot Trail is used for
hiking. The trail was constructed to make hiking much easier.