Exploring Skagway

*Edited to include new content.

June of 2018, we decided it was time to venture out and explore a little further from town. We rented a car from Avis. They were very easy to find and was within walking distance of the ship. I have since learned of other rental companies in Skagway, but this company served us well. Be sure to reserve your car as early as possible…there is a limited supply.

Very soon, we were on the Klondike Highway heading to the Yukon and enjoying the freedom having our own transportation provided. There really isn’t any need to worry about getting lost…there is only one real road in and out of Skagway. Be sure to take your passports with you if you plan to cross into Canada!

We made several stops along the way to enjoy the scenery and to stretch our legs. The driving was very easy, but there was some construction along the way, which slowed us down a little. Keep an eye on the time…you don’t want to miss the “all aboard”!

After crossing into the Yukon, we decided it was time to head back to town and explore a little more on foot. There was a short wait at the border, while they checked cars and trucks in front of us.

I am very glad we choose this little adventure and will probably do it again next time we visit Skagway.

View of the town from the Railway Pier.

Skagway is a small, compact city in southeast Alaska and is very walkable.  It is set along the popular cruise route of the Inside Passage and is home to many gold-rush-era buildings, which are now preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Prior to 1896, Skagway was a Tlingit hunting and fishing area.  In 1896, gold was discovered on a tributary of the Klondike River, about 600 miles from Skagway.  After the Klondike gold rush began, the population of Skagway booms to between 8,000 and 10,000.  Many of the original buildings still exist, along with a raised wooden walkway.  On June 28, 1900, Skagway became the first incorporated city of Alaska, beating Juneau by ONE day!

There are a lot of activities to choose from in Skagway, but several of my favorites are the White Pass train, horseback riding, hiking and just wandering the town.

Probably the #1 thing to do in Skagway is to take the White Pass train.  The White Pass and Yukon Route opened on August 1, 1900 and is a narrow gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon. It is an isolated system and has no direct connection to any other railroad.

Another popular activity in Skagway is hiking  There are numerous trails both long and short.  The Chilkoot Trail, “the world’s longest outdoor museum” is the beginning of the route to the Yukon Goldfields. It provides a thrilling 33 miles of spectacular hiking from tidewater at Dyea to Bennett Lake in Canada (17 trail miles in US; 16 miles in Canada). This is by far the most challenging endeavor you can partake in, but also the most rewarding. If you are considering this adventure , visit the Trail Center on Broadway, between 5th and 6th Avenues, which is open from May to September.

I have been horse backing riding in many locations across the USA and Skagway was probably the most beautiful.  The horses are well cared for and the trails took us through the forests and open meadows just outside of Skagway.  Contact https://www.alaskaexcursions.com/horseback-adventures/ for more information.


Whatever you decide to do in Skagway, I guarantee you will have a great time.  Be sure to bring comfortable shoes and rain gear though!

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