After the Klondike gold strike in 1896, thousands of hopeful prospectors purchased their gear in Skagway and began the long tedious journey to the goldfields 689km (428 miles) north in the Yukon. In early 1898, Skagway grew from one cabin to a bustling and rowdy town of 10,000. The town retains much of its charm today and still resembles the lawless boomtown it was during the gold rush years with colourful saloons and wooden pavements.
Skagway’s exciting gold rush history and spectacular natural setting make it a popular cruise stop.
Walking tours led by a park ranger explore the Skagway Historic District where buildings have been restored to their glory days. Visitors can check out the town on a replica antique street car and enjoy honky-tonk music at the Red Onion Saloon. The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad travels through some of Alaska’s most ruggedly beautiful terrain. Flight seeing, gold panning, dog sledding, kayaking and jeep tours are also available.
• Gold Rush Cemetery
• Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park (www.nps.gov/klgo)
• Skagway Trail of ’98 Museum
• The Days of ’98 Show with Soapy Smith (www.thedaysof98show.com)
Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau
245 Broadway, Skagway, AK 99840 USA
Tel: +1 90798 32854.
Gold nugget jewellery; items carved from fossil ivory and jade; handmade clothing and toys; items made from skin, fur or bone; and woven baskets of beach grass, bark and baleen. Miniature hand-carved totem poles and smoked salmon are also popular souvenirs.
Salmon, halibut, trout and crab are popular menu choices. Clam chowder is another favourite. Alaskan delicacies include smoked salmon, wild berry products and reindeer sausage.
When to go:
May through September is the most popular time to visit.
2km (1.2 miles).
5-10 minutes walk.