Ride The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad
The White Pass Railroad Summit is our most popular excursion in Skagway, one of the best Alaska train tours, and a trip highlight for many Alaskan cruisers. On the train, youll ride from the tidewater to the 2,865-foot elevation Summit of the White Pass and watch for Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point, Dead Horse Gulch, and the original Klondike Trail of 1898 along the way.
Graph The Skagway Visitor Center
Located in the historic Arctic Brotherhood Hall , the Skagway Visitor Center is now a destination on its own. The exterior pattern contains over 8,000 pieces of driftwood. One look and you know why this is considered to be Alaskas most photographed building. Going inside, we were able to get maps and information on all the things to do in Skagway.
Davidson Glacier Skagway Alaska
Originally discovered in 1867, Davidson Glacier is a must-visit natural attraction while in Skagway, Alaska. There are many day cruises lasting around 5 to 6 hours that take you right to the foot of the glacier and back; these tours may include boat rides, raft rides, or canoeing. Youll see tons of wildlife along way, such as whales and seals, and will be amazed by the breathtaking beauty of your surroundings. Be sure to bring your camera so that you can take amazing photographs of glaciers, waterfalls, the animals, and of course, the towering Davidson Glacier.
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Take A Free Guided Walking Tour Of Skagway
- Address: 291 Broadway
- Hours: Mon-Fri 8am 3pm
- Sat-Sun Closed
The local park rangers offer free walking tours of the town. This is a great, affordable way to learn some of the history of the town and to get your bearings before strolling around on your own.
You will get to see a lot of the popular sights around town such as the Red Onion Saloon , the Moores homestead , and the Arctic Brotherhood Hall.
Awesome Things To Do In Skagway Cruise Port
Planning your Alaska cruise and wondering about the best things to do in Skagway cruise port?
Lying in the northernmost point of the Inside Passage in Southeast Alaska, 167 km north of and 176 km ; south of Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon , Skagway is one of the most popular Alaskan ports offering stunning landscapes and a wide variety of activities.
The same cruise itinerary normally includes stops at both Juneau and Skagway cruise ports and then from Skagway, there is a ferry available over to Haines, another incredible city of Alaska.
In this article, I share with you:
- Skagway cruise port info
- 10 awesome things to do in Skagway port of call
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Ideal Things To Do In Skagway Alaska In 2021
A visit to Skagway is an adventure waiting to happen. What are the most ideal things to do in Skagway, Alaska? It’s time to find out!
Skagway is one of the most fascinating towns in all of Alaska. Its rich history and ties to the gold rush make it a must-see for your travel bucket list.
One;glimpse at its small-town charm;and youll see why its one of the most popular cruise ship ports in Alaska.
Its breathtaking landscapes,;infinite activity options, and old-timey atmosphere make it an unforgettable stop in your Alaska travels.;
If youre planning a holiday to the area or will be stopping there on your cruise, you should plan your visit beforehand.;Keep reading to find our recommendation of things to do in Skagway, Alaska.
Skagway Sights And Landmarks
1. Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp
Located at the base of White Pass, the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp is the ultimate destination for foodies. People who book a tour of this former campsite will be treated to an all-you-can-eat Alaskan feast featuring chicken, chowder, and, of course, wild-caught salmon. Dont forget to save some room for a mouthwatering slice of sweet blueberry cake!
While youre getting your grub on, enjoy some Gold Rush era comedies starring a troupe of enthusiastic performers. There are also plenty of authentic artifacts sprinkled around the property to keep all you history buffs intrigued.
Liarsville hosts its Salmon Bake between May 1 September 30 every year. Typically this show lasts about 2 hours and costs between $44-$59 per person. Check out Alaskas official tourism webpage to find out more on this fun event.
2. Port of Skagway
Unless youre traveling in on Klondike Highway, youll probably pass through the Port of Skagway at some point in your travels. Its at this port that youll find all the major tourism boats and helicopters ready to transport you around the area.
Unlike ports in many other cities, Skagways port boasts marvelous mountain views well worth your time. Definitely take a few moments to snap some pics before passing through this heavily trafficked port.
3. White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad
Be sure to visit the White Pass & Yukon Routes website to book your excursion well in advance.
4. State Street
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Float Along The Taiya River
The Taiya River flows for 17 miles near Skagway, Alaska. The Taiya River valley is rich with lush flora, beautiful glacier views, and abundant wildlife, including bears and bald eagles. A relaxing raft tour to enjoy the views and learn about Gold Rush history is a must-do. If youre more adventurous, you can enjoy a hike and float combo and walk the Chilkoot Trail.
Top Things To Do In Skagway Alaska
Musher’s Camp and Sled Dog Experience
Hop on a bus to take the 40-minute drive to Skagways biggest competition during the gold rush era the nearby ghost town of Dyea, which is now the site of a dog mushers camp nestled within the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. When you arrive in Dyea, youll board a Unimog for an exhilarating ride up a mountain road to the site where the mushers keep their sled dogs. Get ready for the ride of a lifetime as you have a seat on your assigned special-wheeled summertime sled. Hold on as a team of eager, friendly huskies pull you down a mile-long trail full of twists and turns through the crisp mountain air. Your guide and musher will give you time to meet and pet your sled dog team, provide you with plenty of information on the history of the sport of mushing and sled-dog racing, and even snap a few photos of you and your team as you race along the mountainside.
Grizzly Falls Ziplining Expedition
Ocean Raft Adventure
Golden Glassblowing Experience
During the Golden Glassblowing Experience, youll stroll through the Gift Gallery and the garden where a diverse selection of plants and whimsical glass blown installations are on display. Each piece of magnificent glass was created on site by the artisans of Skagways Garden City Glassworks.
Play Disc Golf at Seven Pastures
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Dog Sledding And Denver Glacier Flightseeing
If your budget allows you, get ready for the spectacular helicopter ride across endless snow-blanketed fields, ice-capped mountain peaks, dense Alaskan forests, and breathtaking glaciers!
After a 20-minute flight, you will visit Dog Sled Camp, standing atop Denver Glacier, where youll be welcomed by professional Iditarod Dog Racing mushers and the beautiful huskies waiting to take you on a thrilling ride across the snowfields surrounded by mountains and glaciers of stunning beauty.
You will have a briefing and after you get your equipment, you will hop aboard your sleds and start a ride of your lifetime! Make sure you have your camera on you, as you will want to capture this unique moment.
The base for the flight is located approximately 5 to 7 minutes walk from the end of the pier. The flight can accommodate a maximum of 4 passengers at a time depending on their weight, one person may stay in the middle back seat. Wear closed-toe shoes, a warm rain jacket and bring binoculars. No bags are allowed on a ride .
Top Skagway Cruise Excursions
A huge variety of shore excursions, from traditional sightseeing tours to kayaking, mountaineering, and wildlife-viewing adventures, are offered from the Skagway port. Many excursions combine a tour of Skagways historic sites with an outdoor adventure or two.
Here are some of Skagways most popular excursions:;;
White Pass Railway Tours; By far the most popular day trip in Skagway, the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad follows the old narrow-gauge line from Skagway into the heart of the Yukons gold rush territory. A variety of tours are available from half-day White Pass Summit excursions to full-day adventures to Lake Bennett. All tours include sightseeing stops along the way.;;
The historic White Pass & Yukon Railroad photo by Andy Newman/Holland America Line
Chilkoot Trail Hiking The Chilkoot Trail was the major route from the coast into the interior goldfields of the Yukon Territory. This rugged, 33-mile route is popular with backpackers, but day excursions are offered that explore the first section of the trail, often including visits to the ghost town of Dyea and the old gold rush cemetery.;
Dog Sledding Adventures A dog sledding adventure is a great family-friendly option. Not only will you get to embark on an exciting dog sled ride , but youll also have the chance to play with adorable new puppies to help socialize them for future racing success.;
Klondike Highway photo by kasio69/Flickr
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Visit The Visitor Center At Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park
The Klondike Gold Rush Visitor Center and Museum are just a short walk from your cruise ship. Explore exhibits and watch presentations from rangers that help you retrace the history and experience of the Gold Rush. There is also a historic home, saloon, and parlor museum to enjoy.
What Is There To Do In Skagway Alaska
Skagway was one of those towns that really took me by surprise. It was the smallest of all the ports and I didnt put too much time and energy into learning about this great town before we left.
That was a big mistake!
Skagway ended up being my FAVORITE stop on our 7 day Alaskan Cruise and Ill be happy to tell you why. So much so, Ive thought about coming back and staying here for a few days to see everything I missed.
Luckily, I had a friend who had just visited Skagway and gave me some tips. And lucky for YOU, I am passing on my great experiences to you.
So take note, because Skagway is a place where you may want to ditch the normal excursions offered by the cruise lines, and get out and explore on your own.
Dont forget to follow me on to get more Alaskan Cruise Guides!
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Get A Real Thrill With A Helicopter Tour And Dog
For real thrill seekers, one of the most intense experiences on any list of things to do in Skagway is a tour of the glaciersby helicopter!
Many tours of the glaciers in the area include a helicopter ride to the top of the glacier, providing breathtaking views en route, before dropping the passengers off on top of the ice for a dog-sled tour of the expansive swath of ice and snow!
Given the fact that these tours take place on glaciers, they are generally available year-round, weather permitting, and are by far one of the most exciting and thrilling ways to get up close and personal with the stunning majesty of the glaciers of Alaska.
Frontier Excursions & Adventures Skagway Alaska
Frontier Excursions & Adventures was established in 1987 to provide great outdoor tours for adventure seekers. There are many tours to choose from based on what you want to see and do; popular options include the Yukon Discovery Tour & SledDog, the White Pass Summit and City Tour, and the Skagway and Yukon Private Charter Tours. Their White Pass Train and Klondike Highway Combo is great for families and groups with younger kids; the 3.5-hour tour will let you see picturesque views of glaciers, gorges, mountains, waterfalls, trestles, tunnels, and several other historical sites. The vintage passenger cars youll be in have large windows for viewing, are fitted with restrooms, and are heated for comfort.
299 Broadway, Skagway, AK 99840, Phone: 907-983-2512
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Things To Do In Skagway: The Ultimate Guide For Visiting
Nicknamed the Gateway to the Klondike, Skagway is located in southeastern Alaska along the famed panhandle that leads to greater Alaska.
A rocky inlet, the name is derivative of a native Alaskan tribal name that roughly translates as rough seas due to the strong north winds that blow the waters against the rocky shoreline. This tiny town is a major port of call for cruise ships with over 1 million visitors coming through annually!
For this reason, this city has a major tourist economy that results in a huge amount of things to do in Skagway.
Be sure to try some, or all of the experiences on this list of the top ten things to do in Skagway when planning your own adventure to this tiny little town in Americas Last Frontier!
Golf At Valley Of The Eagles
You can spend a day at one of the worlds most scenic golf courses, Valley of the Eagles Golf Links in nearby Haines. From Skagway, youll enjoy a catamaran ride to Haines along the Chilkat River. Youll then get a narrated tour as you drive through Haines, as well as Fort Seward, a national historic landmark that was among the first U.S. army posts in Alaska. Once at the golf course, youll be outfitted with clubs, balls, shoes, and a pull-cart. You can try you hard at the par 36, 9-hole course surrounded by stunning Alaska landscape and wildlife.
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Gold Panning At Alaska 360
Alaska 360, known as Dredge Town, is one of the most popular attractions near Skagway downtown located approximately 15 minutes drive from the end of the port Skagway. This incredible place surrounded by mountains allows you to immerse yourself in the Klondike Gold Rush era, and learn the history of mining from the days of the Gold Rush up to the present day. You get to learn about modern sled dog racing, see Iditarod sled dogs and learn what its like to be a musher!
Visitors can experience the chill of being on the Iditarod trail in 40-below temperatures in the Museum below 40, see the Northern Lights simulation, and learn the art of gold panning after which you get a chance to pan for gold and keep everything you find .
You will tour the authentic gold dredge weighing 350 tons used for placer gold mining in the Yukon, and to top off your day, enjoy lunch and beer at the onsite restaurant and brewery.
The staff are dressed up in traditional costumes which makes the whole experience unique and unforgettable! Get more information on Alaska 360 website
Zipline Canopy & Rock Climbing Tours
Alaska Excursions offers a great Grizzly Falls Ziplining Expedition, a 4-hour trip into Alaska’s wilderness. After meeting up with your guide at the Cruise Ship docks you’ll drive along 9 stunning miles of coastline to Dyea, where you’ll transfer to a Mercedes Benz Unimog for a trip into the hills. Next you’ll start flying through the air through a course of 11 ziplines, the longest measuring 750 feet. Their lines will bring you directly above glacially fed waterfalls, so close you will actually feel the mist as you zoom by. The course also has 4 state-of-the-art suspension bridges. The price includes round trip transportation from the Cruise Ship dock. The trip runs $169 for adults, and $149 for kids 12 years and under.Phone: 983-4444
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Visit Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park Visitor Center
Just a short walk from your cruise ship, youll find the Klondike Gold Rush visitor center and museum. You can watch presentations from rangers and explore exhibits that help you retrace the history and experience of the Gold Rush. If museums are your thing, you can also check out a historic home, saloon, and parlor museum.
Smart Shuttle Or City Transit
The town of Skagway is extremely small and is best to explore by foot. However the city of Skagway provides a shuttle service than can get you from the ship to the anywhere in the city centre and even to the Jewell Gardens and Klondike Gold Fields. The Smart shuttles are white and blue. Find their bus stops all over town at the blue and white poles. Pay the driver $2 for a ticket or $5 for a day pass.
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Overview & History Of Skagway Alaska:
The area had not been settled and was still part of the untouched wilderness in the west. There were a few native American tribes in the region, but for the most part nobody lived there.
That is until gold was discovered in the area in 1896. Once gold was discovered, all bets were off and people flocked to the area.
The gold was actually discovered in the Klondike region of the Yukon Territory, which is about 600 miles from Skagway.
However, you had to travel through Skagway in order to get up to the area where gold was discovered. This made Skagway a very popular stopping point on the way up.
This caused demand for growth and necessities such as stores, homes, saloons, and, of course, bordellos. By 1898, just two years later, the town of Skagway had a population of over 30,000 people.
During this time, it was like most of the old west, a lawless town. One of the members of the mounted police described it as, little better than a hell on Earth.
Due to the fact that the gold was so far away they started building the railroad. This is known as the White Pass Yukon Railway, which is still there for us to see and ride on.
Unfortunately, by the time the railroad was finished all of the gold was gone. People started leaving the area because there was no point in staying.
For example, John Nordstrom arrived towards the end of the gold rush and actually did find gold.