Welcome to the Skagway cruise port guide. Skagway is the Garden City of Alaska since 1910 and the gateway of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. With just under a 1000 inhabitants this tiny town is everything what you would expect of a small Alaskan settlement. Skagway might be best known for the role it played during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. Tens of thousands or fortune-seekers arrived in Skagway looking to travel overland to the Yukon goldfields via the White Pass Trail. With already a long journey behind them they would arrive in Skagway, facing the temptation of about 80 saloons, ladies or negotiable affection and competition of hundreds of men all in the race for the gold. The journey to Yukon was an extremely hard one and therefore a group of British financiers began the construction of the White Pass and Yukon Rout Railway. With just 10 million US dollars they had to work around the clock to create a train track through one of the most challenging landscapes imaginable. Blasting their way through rock and mountain sides they created a narrow gauge track with a constant gradient of 4% within a years time. Skagway boomed in the late 1900’s. The town is build around the train tracks and it’s town will always have the rowdy and authentic Gold Rush atmosphere. In summer time the town is visited by almost one million tourists. The winter time is somewhat different though. The people that lives here year round goes about their daily lives create a tight bond in their community. You will find Skagway has five churches, one library, one school and a newspaper that is published twice a month.
Between 2nd and 3rd street on Broadway you will find the Visitors Centre for the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. Go inside to check what activities are planned for that day. They especially have some fun activities for kids and educational movies playing throughout the day.
291 Broadway, Skagway, AK 99840, USA
At the Skagway Depot, on your way to town you will cross this machine. It is the first Snowplow of the Yukon rail that still works! It gives you an idea of how much heavy machinery is needed to clear the way in winter time.
When you walk into town one of the first things you are going to see is the famous Red Onion Saloon. Go in for a drink and some history. On the first floor of the famous Red Union Saloon you will find the brothel museum.
If you want you can walk to wonderfull waterfall. It is situated at the Gold Rush Cemetery, 3 mile north of town.
Bernard Moore. It’s been restored to its glory days in 1904, furnished with many original family possessions and exhibits the exciting life of this family in this small Alaskan pioneer town. It is a popular attraction in Skagway. Find its exact location in town on the map above.
Skagway is the garden city of Alaska. One of the gardens to visit is the Jewel Gardens. They are 1,5 mile north of Skagway. Walk through the Organic Gardens of the North where flowers and glass art work meet. Also learn about the glassblowing business here. Best way to visit is by SMART shuttle bus or walk.
Go back in time and experience the days during the Klondike Gold Rush. Go gold panning, experience the extreme 40-below temperatures and much more. Find this attractions about 2,5 mile out of town. Reach it by foot or local SMART shuttle service.
On Broadway you will find the local tourist information centre located in a very unusual building. Walk in if with any kind of questions you have. They have maps, brochures and all kinds of information for you that will make your stay in Skagway more enjoyable.
Easy, accessible and amazing hikes are available starting right in Skagway itself. If you are looking a beautiful hike without to much hustle and bustle this is the one to go for. Pick up a free map at the Visitors centre on broadway and be on your way. The Dewey Lake Trail System is a network of trails that you can hike leading to beautiful lakes, viewpoints and landmarks in the area. Make the hike as easy or hard as you want.
Whenever you get tired of walking just look out for these white/blue signs on the street. Shuttle busses come by to bring you back to the ship. Tickets are $2 per person per trip, $5 for a day ticket.
2 miles north of town you will find the Gold Rush Cemetery. See the old graves of the famous Gold Rush characters like Jefferson Smith, Frank Reid and many more. To reach the cemetery you walk through town up north. It is a 3 mile, levelled walk.
This museum in the centre of town has many treasured artefacts, historical records and photos about the past century in Skagway. Visit their collection of baskets, beadwork and carvings in the Alaska Native heritage collection and learn about the Gold rush in their collection of artefacts and tools used by the gold seekers. Find this beautiful native granite building from 1899 in the centre of town.
Sailing in and out of Skagway is very scenic. Your ship will need to sail through the Lynn Canal which is not a canal but a fjord. This valley shaped by glaciers is the deepest fjord in North America. It can go as deep as 2000 ft / 610 meter. Make sure to have your camera ready when sailing the canal. Be on outside deck an hour before arrival and/or up to 1 hour after departure.
The best theatre production on Skagway’s Broadway is the Days of ’98 show. This show tells the story of famous con-men Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith. It’s a great play combining history, show and can can in a fun 1 hour show. Shows start every day at 10.30, up to 4 shows a day.
The number one thing to do while in Skagway is to ride the narrow gauge railroad to Fraser. It is one of the most scenic train rides in the world that will not fail to impress. These famous tracks were guid in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush. Many that would come to Skagway looking for their fortune would take this train towards the Yukon river. That is what makes this an historical landmark when it comes it to the gold rush. This engineering marvel will take you up 2865 ft / 873 meter into the mountains showing you breathtaking landscapes, glaciers and waterfalls along the way. Buy your tickets through the ship or buy them in town at the Train Depott for 122 US dollars round trip. Please know you have to bring your passport on board of the train as it crosses the US / Canadian border. The journey on the train is fully narrated and have restrooms on board. The journey takes about 3,5 hours and is 40 miles long roundtrip. The train is wheelchair accessible. Fraser Most people taking the train will take it up to Fraser, which is 34 km from Skagway. There is absolutely […]
This is the most important street in Skagway. It is where you will find all the Gold Rush-era buildings that are now occupied by local businesses, restaurants, shops and museums. Stroll the street to pick up your souvenirs and get a feel for historic Skagway.
When shopping in Haines make sure to buy the products with this logo. This indicated the products has actually been made in Alaska.
In Alaska you can find all five species of Alaska’s Pacific Salmon. They are King, Sockeye, Coho, Pink and Chum. Every year from August to October you will find the salmon find the very stream they were born to spawn and die. It is a phenomenal event that you cannot miss if your cruise is arriving in August or September.
The port of Skagway can accomodate 5 cruise ships at the same time. The cruise docks are located not far from the historical city center of Skagway. From the dock it is an easy walk into the town. Read our full Skagway cruise port guide for all the information.