The Chilkoot Trail, the original Klondike gold rush trail, is a classic hike that attracts history buffs and appeals to experienced wilderness backpackers. It spans two countries (U.S. and Canada) with distinctly different terrain in each country. The U.S. side is characterized as a coastal rain forest, heavily wooded with a thick understory of berry bushes, punctuated with dozens of waterfalls that flow into the Taiya River that parallels the trail. The Canadian boreal forest is drier, with expansive granite peaks and a chain of azure lakes that form a part of the headwaters of the mighty Yukon River as it begins its 2,000 mile journey to the Bering Sea. The crux of the hike is the ascent over the 2,500 foot, high alpine Chilkoot Pass at the midpoint (and international border). At the Chilkoot Pass a steep shale slope requiring the use of arms and legs to surmount large boulders is the most difficult section, which can take between an hour and several hours depending on the strength and stamina of the hiker.