Skagway, Alaska


Skagway is another popular destination for cruise ships and tourism is the significant economic driver for the borough. The population in Skagway is said to be 862 although that number reflects the census of 2000 and has certainly changed since then. One thing is certain about the population of Skagway is that it doubles during the summer months as the tourists and cruise ships make their way along the popular inside passage.

Traveling to Skagway

Nearly all cruise lines that come to Alaska place Skagway on their itineraries, so it's likely that if you are considering a visit to Skagway that this is how you will arrive. If not there are other modes of transportation that can bring you here. You can fly to Skagway from Juneau if the weather is good.

There are smaller air taxi carriers that fly propeller planes into Skagway for a modest fee. It is also possible to use the State of Alaska ferry system to get to Skagway from Juneau. This trip will take a full day and the trip is a relaxing scenic experience with ample opportunity to view wildlife. The really adventurous traveler can get to Skagway by motor home, car or tour bus via the South Klondike Highway.

Things to do in Skagway, Alaska

Klondike Gold Rush National Park

The Klondike Gold Rush National Park consists of three units. One of these units is located in the Skagway historic district and consists of several historic buildings. There is also a unit called the White Pass. This is a trail that leads up the Skagway River to White Pass. The third is the Chilkoot Trail. This trail takes a hiker from sea level to Alpine tundra in 16 miles. During the hike you will pass through the costal forest up into the Alpine tundra. There is plenty of wildlife to see during your hike including Seals, Bears and other animals.

Skagway Museum & Archives

The Skagway Museum & Archives contains many of the historical and cultural artifacts of Skagway. This includes tools used during the gold rush and baskets, beadwork and carvings that highlight Skagway's native Alaskan Heritage. The museum is located in the McCabe College Building. Built in 1899 the building has served as a school, jail, court house and marshal's office.

Skagway Fishing Tours

Skagway is home to many charters and fishing tours. Many of the private companies that do the fishing charters do other tours as well including Bus or Rail Excursions, Yukon Adventures and Dogcart Excursions. For fishing, charter vessels are used and include heated cabins and restrooms. The tour companies typically offer fishing tackle, bait and gear. Most tour companies will provide transportation to and from your hotel in Skagway. During your fishing excursion you may be fishing for Halibut, Salmon and other fish native to the cold Alaska waters.

Yukon Bus and Rail Excursions

If you want adventure, scenery and history the Yukon Bus and Rail Excursion is for you. On this journey you will travel 28 miles between Skagway, Alaska and Fraser, British Columbia. Along the way you will experience impressive waterfalls, glaciers and mountains. The Scenic Railway of the world was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush and during the ride you will pass through tunnels and bridges that will take you back in time. After the train ride you will travel by tour bus to other areas such as Carcross, Lake Bennett and Emerald Lake before returning to Skagway.

Skagway Glacier Helicopter Tours

Located in Skagway is Temsco Helicopters, Inc. The Tours provided by Temsco are quality air tours that will take you to places that are only accessible by aircraft and avid hikers. The Glacier Helicopter Tour is highly recommended. During the tour you will travel by Helicopter to a large Glacier. The helicopter will drop you off on the Glacier and a team of Temsco guides will walk you around on the glacier to view the natural cracks, streams, holes and beauty that make up the Glacier. After a half hour or so, the Helicopter will arrive with another load of visitors and you will re-board for a scenic flight back to Skagway. I took this tour myself and I can tell you its well worth the time and money.

Skagway Hotels and Lodging

Skagway has lodging options for every price and comfort range imaginable. If you happen to drive a Motor Home to Skagway, you can stay at one of the RV parks available. The RV sites have water, sewer, electric, restrooms, showers and almost any other amenity you can think of. Skagway is also home to Bed and Breakfast lodging where you will have all the comforts of home. You may also be interested in cabins, lodges or regular hotel lodging in the area. Whatever your preference is you will be able to find a place and a price that will fit your budget.

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