Skagway stands as the gateway to the Yukon, located 90 miles north of Juneau at the top of the Inside Passage’s Lynn Canal. Named after the native word for “windy place”, Skagway sits amid the imposing St. Elias Mountains as one of the most popular ports of call on the Inside Passage. Famous for the discovery of gold in the late 1800’s, Skagway once boasted a population of over 10,000, with another 20,000 gold seekers passing through to strike it rich. With a current year-round population of less than 800, the true Skagway remains unchanged. A rugged land that inspired poet Robert Service and author Jack London, Skagway continues to welcome visitors today.
Skagway’s colorful past full of saloons, gambling, dancing girls and gold seekers are gone, but the atmosphere remains in the quaint accommodations that dot the community. A considerable selection of rustic lodges and cozy Bed & Breakfasts are available for an authentic Alaskan stay.
Skagway Tours and Attractions
A tribute to Skagway’s gold rush days, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park is a site not to be missed. During the summer, Park Rangers offer guided tours through the historic district, sharing the history behind the western saloons, frontier hotels and boarding houses. Film presentations and slide shows are available at the local visitor center. Skagway also offers an array of options for hikers; enjoy a pleasant walking tour or trace the steps of sourdoughs on the Chilkoot or Dead Horse Trail. Spend an afternoon wandering through galleries of scrimshaw, ivory, bent wood boxes and other mixed media; tour the local museum or pay respects to Skagway’s historical figures at the town cemetery. A number of organized excursions are available for cruise passengers and other visitors including motorcoach and train trips to the White Pass summit, entertaining shows, city tours, hiking, flightseeing, gold panning and more.
Completed near the end of the gold rush, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad connects Skagway with Whitehorse. Today the Railroad makes a great day trip out of Skagway as it showcases the terrain inaccessible by other means of transportation. Unlike most of the other Southeast port towns, Skagway is connected to the mainland by road. Passing through the gold rush towns of Carcross and Whitehorse, the Klondike Highway is a scenic route, allowing visitors to travel by car through the Yukon and into Alaska. Most visitors reach Skagway by cruiseship during summer months, and the city is also a ferry port for the Alaska Marine Highway. Commercial air service is available via nearby Juneau.
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