BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Chilkat Pass
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
Pass (2) - Low opening in a mountain range or hills, offering a route from one side to the other
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: SE of Kusawak Lake, W side Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, Cassiar Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 59°41'00''N, 136°33'00''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD27
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 114P/10
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Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 2 May 1957 on 114P/10E as an entrenched local name, and as labelled on 1899 BC Lands map "Sketch map of part of Cassiar District shewing Atlin Gold Fields", etc.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
Originally used by the Chilkat Indians as a trade route linking the sea and the interior. E.J. Glave and Jack Dalton explored the upper Tatshenshini watershed in 1890, crossing this pass before descending Klehini and Chilkat Rivers to tidewater; the following year Dalton returned to build a trail suitable for packhorses, eventually establishing trading posts at Pyramid Harbour, Pleasant Camp and Dalton House. Willis Thorpe, "Long Shorty" Brooks, George Bounds (a butcher) and four other men were the first to drive a herd of cattle over the trail in 1896; it is not certain whether they were working for Dalton or paid him toll to pass. A rail line was proposed over this route in 1898 and would have provided the best and cheapest access to Dawson; it was forgotten when the White Pass & Yukon Railway was begun the same year. The Haines Junction Highway now follows Dalton's trail through this pass. (excerpts from Yukon Places & Names by R.C.Coutts, Gray's Publishing, Sidney, 1980.)
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
The name Chilkat refers to a tribe of Tlingit, and means "salmon storehouse". Their principal village, abandoned about 1910, was about 18 miles SSW of Skagway.
Source: Dictionary of Alaska Place Names, Geological Survey Professional Paper 567; US Department of Interior, Washington, 1967