Over 100 years ago, the White Pass route through the Coast Mountains and the shorter but steeper Chilkoot Trail were used by countless stampeders. Many a would-be miner perished on the treacherous Chilkoot Trail.
The gold rush was a boon and by 1898, Skagway was Alaska's largest town with a population of about 20,000. Hotels, saloons, dance halls and gambling houses prospered. But when the gold yield dwindled in 1900, so did the population as miners quickly shifted to new finds in Nome.
Today, Skagway has less than 1,000 residents. It still retains the flavor of the gold rush era.
Top things to do and see in Skagway, Alaska: View Excursions
1White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad
The "Scenic Railway of the World" links Skagway with Yukon, Canada. A 41-mile roundtrip offers an unforgettable journey to the summit of the White Pass at nearly 3,000 feet in elevation.
Enjoy what is truly an outdoorsman's paradise, with activities you won't find anywhere else. Go for a ride on a dog sled, horseback riding, hiking, river rafting, flightseeing, ziplining and more.
The Klondike Summit, also called the White Pass Summit rises 3,292 feet above sea level along the Klondike Highway. The journey, running parallel to the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, glaciers, scenic vistas and glimpses of the original Brackett Wagon Road and Tormented Valley.
4Gold Rush History
Relive the color and history of the Yukon Gold Rush. Tour the camps, pan for gold and meet a few costumed characters who'll show you what life was like during the boom-town days in the 1800s.
Yukon is a wilderness playground with an extensive network of waterways. On the scenic 65-mile drive from Skagway, the lush coastal landscape gives way to rugged wilderness. Its capital, Whitehorse, is the center for the town's mining and forestry industries, and a welcoming spot for visitors.
Pristine beauty and an abundance of wildlife define Haines. Just 14 miles from Skagway by water, the town is renowned for huge flocks of bald eagles and one of the planet's longest fjords.
7Red Onion Saloon
During the Klondike Gold Rush, the Red Onion Saloon was Skagway's most exclusive bordello. Now this colorful establishment is a bar/restaurant and a National Historic Building.
Meet professional mushers and their amazing canine companions in an introduction to Alaska's state sport. Take a flight to a glacier to experience flying over the snow, or visit the summertime training grounds for a ride in a wheeled sled.