(Southeast Alaska) Skagway is located on the north end of Taiya Inlet on Lynn Canal, 2-1/2 hours by fast ferry or 90 air miles northwest of Juneau; 108 road miles south of Whitehorse, YT, via the South Klondike Highway. Skagway is 15 miles by water and 359 miles by road from Haines.
Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau, Box 1029, Skagway, AK 99840; phone (907) 983-2854.
Skagway is the oldest incorporated city in Alaska (1900). In July 1897, the first boatloads of gold stampeders bound for the Klondike landed at Skagway and Dyea. By October 1897, Skagway had grown to a population “of about 20,000.” By the summer of 1899 the stampede was all but over. The newly built White Pass & Yukon Route railway reached Lake Bennett, supplanting the Chilkoot Trail from Dyea. Skagway persisted, both as a port and as terminus of the White Pass & Yukon Route railway, which connected the town to Whitehorse, YT, in 1900. Cruise ships, and later the Alaska State Ferry System, brought tourism and business to Skagway. Scheduled state ferry service to southeastern Alaska began in 1963.
Skagway has a post office, gas station (with diesel), a hostel and several churches. There is 1 bank in town with an ATM. There are several restaurants, cafes and bars; a grocery and True Value Hardware; the Klothes Rushclothing store; and many gift and novelty shopsoffering Alaska and gold rush souvenirs, photos, books, gold nugget jewelry, furs and ivory. The Skaguay News Depoton Broadway carries books and newspapers.
Skagway offers a variety of accommodationsfrom hotels to bed and breakfasts, including the historic Skagway Innand At the White HouseB&B in town, and Chilkoot Trail Outposton Dyea Road. RV camping at Garden City RV Park. A tent campground is located near the Chilkoot Trail trailhead near the old townsite of Dyea on Dyea Road.
- Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Parkencompasses a 6-block historic district in Skagway’s business area; the Chilkoot Trail and Dyea; and a visitor center with exhibits and films on the history of the area and a current schedule of guided walks in Skagway and Dyea. Visit website for more information.
- Skagway Museumin the McCabe College Building preserves Alaskan historical material and displays of Alaskan pioneer life.
- Hike 33-mile the Chilkoot Trailover Chilkoot Pass(elev. 3,739 feet) to Lake Bennett, following the historic route of the gold seekers of 1897–98. Visit website for more information.
- The Days of ‘98 Show, the longest running show in the North, is a lively 1-hour musical/drama about con man Soapy Smith’s reign over Skagway during the days of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897-98.
- Jewell Gardens & Glassworks, at the historic Clark Farm at Milepost 2 on the South Klondike Highway, is Skagway’s showcase garden: glass-blowing studio; gift shop; G-scale railroad; and a restaurant.
- Ride the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad; website has schedule and prices.
- Go flightseeing with Temsco Helicopters; glacier landings, glacier hiking, dog sledding.
- Enjoy microbrews at Skagway Brewing Co.; smoked salmon at Dejon Delights; or great food at the Red Onion Saloon, home of the Brothel Museum.
- Soapy Smith and Frank Reid are buried at the Gold Rush Cemetery (both men died in a gunfight in July 1898).
- Drive Dyea Road to the old Dyea Townsite. The National Park Service offers daily walking tours of the Dyea historic site in summer.