Bennett Camping Adventure
Escape into the heart of the northern wilderness aboard the scenic White Pass & Yukon Route railway. Depart Carcross or Fraser, camp in Parks Canada’s campground on the shore of beautiful Bennett Lake, then return via the White Pass & Yukon Route. Keep in mind that although Bennett is a short distance from “civilization”, it is a remote backcountry setting. There are no supplies or services at Bennett so make sure to bring everything you need. The campground is a 400m walk from the WP&YR station so pack appropriately.
- Visiting an outdoor museum
- Bear safety
- Camping practices
- Park regulations
- Permits and reservations
- Current conditions
- Emergency contact information
Visiting an outdoor museum
Lake Bennett is located at the northern end of the Chilkoot Trail in the traditional territory of the Carcross Tagish First Nation. In the winter of 1897-1898 it became a boat-building centre and tent encampment—home to 15,000 Klondike Gold Rush stampeders. By 1899 it had become a town with streets, stores, hotels, docks and warehouses. The completion of the White Pass and Yukon Route from Skagway to Whitehorse in 1900 spelled the end for Bennett City. Within a year the townsite was all but abandoned.
Today all that remains is St. Andrew’s Church, artifact scatters of discarded tins and broken bottles and cultural landscape features such as rock terraces and wharf pilings. As you walk the trails at Bennett, you are on the former streets of the town. Please, be careful of broken glass and rusty objects which are relics from the Klondike Gold Rush and are found on the beach, in the lake and around Bennett, as well as along the Chilkoot Trail. Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site is protected for all to enjoy, now and in the future. Help reduce trampling of cultural features by only walking on trails. It’s illegal to remove, damage, deface or destroy any cultural or natural resources. This includes:
- Artefacts such as bottles, cans, boots, glass, etc.
- Rocks. It may not be immediately evident, but rocks are often part of historical landscape features such as terraces or building foundations. Avoid moving rocks.
- Animals and plants, including flowers and berries.
Please moor watercraft or floatplanes close to the Bennett Train Station outside the boundary of the National Historic Site.
Step back in time and explore the Gold Rush era town of Bennett City or go for a hike on the legendary Chilkoot Trail.
- Learn about local First Nations history and the Klondike Gold Rush
- Visit St. Andrew’s Church
- Swim: North Lindeman beach or Bare Loon Lake campground
- Wildlife viewing and bird watching, bring your binoculars
- Star gazing in late July and August
From the church, follow the Chilkoot Trail:
- Stampeder cemetery: on the south side of the trail; 1 km/0.8 mi return
- North Lindeman beach: 4 km/1.6 mi return
- Bare Loon Lake: 12.8 km/7.9 mi return (hiking time 4-6 hours)
Canoeing or kayaking
There are no Parks Canada water-rescue services available on Bennett Lake.
- Bennett and Lindeman Lakes are big and sometimes very windy; floatation and spray decks are advised
- The rapids on One-Mile River are class III+; do not attempt in a canoe or sea kayak
- Stay on the trails when transporting your canoe or sea kayak around Bennett
Bennett is located in bear country. Before you go, familiarize yourself with the principles and practices of safe travel in bear country.
- Watch Staying Safe in Bear Country at the Parks Canada office in Whitehorse, Skookum Jim House in Carcross or the Trail Centre in Skagway.
- Read the You Are in Bear Country brochure.
Parks Canada recommends carrying bear spray.
When you arrive
Immediately upon arrival in Bennett, stow all bear attractants in the bear-resistant storage lockers. Then, set up your camp.
- Never leave your backpack, or attractants unattended
- DO NOT TAKE FOOD TO TENTSITES
- Cook and eat ONLY at the day use shelter or picnic tables
Attractants must be stored in the storage lockers at all times. This includes:
- Food (including pet food) and beverages
- Garbage, including leftovers and food packaging
- Dishes, utensils, pots and pans
- Fuel and stove
- Toiletries or other scented products such as dish soap, sun screen, insect repellant, medications etc.
Storage lockers are 53cm/21” H x 61cm/24” W x 61cm/24’ L, so ensure you pack appropriately.
Pack in - pack out
There are no garbage bins at Bennett, so bring a garbage bag/container.
- Store all garbage/food waste in the storage lockers with your other attractants
- Use the gray-water disposal pit. Strain food leftovers and store as garbage
- Please take all garbage/food waste with you when you leave
There are outhouses. Toilet paper is NOT provided, bring your own.
Surface water (river or lake) is the only source of water at the campground. Bring a water purification kit, water filter or sufficient fuel to boil water.
Open fires are prohibited in Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site. Bring a backpacking stove and fuel for cooking. No barbeques.
Fishing and fishing gear are prohibited.
Metal detectors, firearms and mountain bikes are prohibited.
Wildlife and off-leash pets are not a good mix. Porcupines and bears are found in the Bennett area.
- Pets must be leashed and under your personal and physical control at all times
- Do not leave your pet unattended
- No pets in the shelter
- Be prepared to scoop dog poop; biodegradable bags can be deposited in the outhouse
- Feed and water your pet by the picnic tables and not at your campsite.
Respect your neighbours
- Please, no excessive noise.
- Generators are not allowed
- There is a private cabin at Bennett. Please do not disturb the owner or their property.
Permits and reservations
For those overnighting in Bennett, Camping Permits are required. There is no onsite registration. Permits are available from the Parks Canada office in Whitehorse, Skookum Jim House in Carcross or the Trail Centre in Skagway.
- Maximum group size is 12
- Camp only in designated campsites. One tent per campsite
- Promotional Offer: Wednesday and Thursday nights, $9.80 per campsite per night (includes GST)
Your Bennett Camping Permit is also valid for day use on the Canadian portion of the Chilkoot Trail.
A special permit is required for:
- Commercial activity, such as guiding, videography and photography
- Special events, such as weddings
Reservations are recommended. You may reserve Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time) by calling Parks Canada at:
- 1-800-661-0486 (Canada & U.S. )
- 1-867-667-3910 (local & overseas)
- 867-668-7245 (Whitehorse)
- 867-821-3930 (Carcross)
- 1-800-343-7373 (toll free)
During the summer operation season up-to-date trail conditions are available online or by calling the Trail Centre, 8:00 – 5:00 Alaska Daylight Time, seven days a week.
Parks Canada 24 hour emergency dispatch
From satellite phone: 1-780-852-3100
There is no cellphone coverage at Bennett. The closest telephones are at Canada Customs (Fraser) on the South Klondike Highway or Carcross. Satellite telephones are the preferred form of communication. Other satellite GPS messenger devices, such as SPOT or inReach are also effective. Be aware that coverage can be adversely affected by vegetation and topography in some locations.
Leave an itinerary and emergency numbers with family or a friend.