Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, Alaska
NICKNAMED THE “Meanest 33 Miles of History,” the Chilkoot may very well be the world’s longest museum. Along the route, hikers pass Gold Rush artifacts from the 1800s like boots, boats, and grave markers (assuming people leave them as they lie). Decomposition, decay, and increasing meltwater are also to blame for the disappearing ruins, which could be totally gone in a few decades. Keep your eyes peeled for artifacts—including an easy-to-spot boiler—on the 7.7-mile Canyon City section. Turn around at the old settlement or pitch a tent near the Taiya River.
TRAILHEAD Chilkoot (59.5120, -135.3466) SEASON June to September PERMIT Required ($21); obtain from the visitor center in Skagway. CONTACT nps.gov/klgo