Skagway  is a town with a population of less than a thousand in south-eastern Alaska, the largest state in the United States of America. It is the northern terminus of the Alaska Marine Highway System. It sprang up during the Yukon gold rush in the late 1800s, and now subsists almost entirely on tourism. The historical interest and natural beauty of the area make it a worthwhile place to visit.
The most common way to get to Skagway is by boat, whether cruise ship or Alaska Marine Highway ferry . It is also accessible by commuter flight from Juneau, and by car or via the Canadian South Klondike Highway.
The city is only a few blocks wide and a couple dozen blocks long, on level ground; walking works just fine. S.M.A.R.T. City Transit provides small busses around town and to and from the cruise ship docks. $2.
Start by stepping away from any buildings and turning 360 degrees for an impressive view of the nearby peaks that enclose Skagway.
- Visitors Center, Broadway between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Summer daily 8AM-6PM. Staffed and has walking tour and trail maps available. The driftwood-faced building is among the most photographed in Alaska.
- Skagway Museum and Archives, Seventh and Spring Streets, Phone: 907-983-2420. Photos and artifacts from Old Skaguay including a Tlingit canoe, a Portland Cutter sleigh and Bering Sea kayaks as well as Gold Rush era tools, baskets, beadwork and carvings. Also gold rush genealogy research. $2.
- Jewell Gardens, on the highway just beyond the river, 983-2111, . Unique flowers and vegetables, including some giants.
- Footbridge to Yakutania Point & Smuggler's Cove, south of airport terminal off First Ave. Trails, exercise course, picnic spots.
- Skagway Sculpture Garden, 8th and Spring Streets.
- Skagway Overlook, turnoff and platform at Mile 2 on Dyea Rd.
- Gold Rush Cemetery, Alaska St. Old cemetery which includes the grave of Jefferson "Soapy" Smith and "The Largest Nugget in the World" which is really just a giant boulder painted gold. Trolley tours offered to the cemetery, but if you wish to walk from downtown it will take about 20 minutes.
- Mountain Flying Service (Glacier Bay Flightseeing), 132 2nd Avenue (3 doors down from the visitors center in Haines, or at the Airport in Skagway), ☎ (907) 766-3007, . Mountain Flying Service does charter flights and flightseeing out of Skagway and Haines primarily. They have a spectacular plane with very large windows for flightseeing. Paul the pilot has been flying tours in the area longer than anyone else.
- White Pass & Yukon Route, 2nd Av., +1 800-343-7373,  railroad was built to transport miners from Skagway to the gold. It was in service until the early 1980s, servicing the Yukon's Mining Industry. Today, a portion of the railroad is restored and still in operation. An out-and-back day trip offers great views as the train snakes along the sides of mountains overlooking the river far below; although it goes into Canada, passports aren't required because you don't get off the train. The restored/replica passenger cars feature reversible seats so that passengers face forward both outbound and when the train reverses course to return to Skagway. Excursions start from $110. International trips to Fraser and Bennett Lake, British Columbia are also available. The railroad also offers a transport service for Hiker's returning from Bennett Lake after completing the Chilkoot Trail.
There is no shortage of shops along Skagway's main street (actually Broadway Street, one block from Main), offering an array of standard tourist souvenirs, native/local crafts and imported imitations, jewelry, and other goods. Here are a few:
Granny's Gallery 272 State Street, 907-983-2775, antique native carvings, art and jewelery.
Temptations Fashion Boutique for Ladies 5th between Broadway & State, 907-983-2452.
- Precious Collections Gallery (Northwest Supernatural Art), 4th and Broadway Skagway, Alaska, ☎ 425 306 8297, . 10am-7pm. Special showing of Alaskan Multimedia Artist, Tresham Gregg, working in woodcarvings, silk screen prints, tribal jewelry, puppets, paintings, and more. Plus exotic silver and stone jewelry.
Eat and Drink
A few restaurants and bars along the main street offering a variety of brews and cooking provide a pleasant alternative to - or break from - shopping and excursions.
- You Say Tomato, State St. at 21st Av., Phone: +1 907 983-2784. Natural whole foods, fresh bread and produce, provisions for hikers.
- Skagway Fish Co., Congress Way in the red building, Phone: +1 907 983-FISH. Halibut fish and chips, Alaskan king crab.
- The Stowaway Cafe, 205 Congress Way in the aqua building, Phone: +1 907 983-DINE. More upscale and overlooking the small boat harbor.
- Red Onion Saloon, 2nd and Broadway. Has that Gold Rush era feel. "Meet the Ladies of '98".
- Sgt. Preston's Lodge, 6th and State, +1 907 983-2521, ]. 40 rooms.
- Alaskan Sojourn Hostel, 488 8th Ave (at Main), ☎ +1 907 983-2040 ([email protected]), . One male dorm, one female dorm, one co-ed dorm, and one private room (sleeps 2). Kitchen facilities and outdoor barbecue. No lockouts or curfew. Open May through September. $25 dorms, $75 private room.
- Skagway Home Hostel, 3rd and Main St, ☎ +1 907 983-2131, . checkin: 5:30PM-10:30PM. Kitchen facilities, outdoor barbecue, free internet. Guests are assigned one chore. Same-sex dorms (sleeps 3 each) inside the main house; co-ed dorm in a bunkhouse in back (sleeps 8). People with pet allergies note that there is one cat and one dog living in the hostel. $15 co-ed dorm, $20 same-sex dorm.
Bed and Breakfast
- At The White House, 8th and Main St., +1 907 983-9000. ].
- Pullen Creek RV Park, +1 800-936-3731, ].
- Skagway Mountain View RV Park, 12th and Broadway, +1 888-778-7700.
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