SKAGWAY: GATEWAY TO THE KLONDIKE
Updated: Oct 29
Discover this charming area that served as the setting of Jack London's book, "The Call of the Wild". This magical place is located on the state’s south coast, near the north end of the Lynn Canal, in the Alaskan Panhandle.
Originally home to the Chilkoots and Chilkats Native Americans, Skagway came to prominence in 1896 after the nearby discovery of gold along the Klondike River. This event catalyzed what would be known as the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s. During this time, hundreds of thousands of gold prospectors settled into the area in search of fortune. The town grew both in size and structure during this economic boom, but by 1899, the gold rush fever had passed.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
An abundance of charming historical buildings line the main streets in town. Broadway Street illustrates life during Skagway's heyday—when opportunity and riches were as easy to find as the gold that brought treasure-seekers from near and far. While walking along this historic seven-block stretch, don't be surprised if you bump into residents wearing late 19th-century attire from when the town came into prominence.
Here are some of Skagway's top attractions:
The main street conveniently hosts the shopping area. Explore lovely boutiques brimming with various Gold Rush-inspired treasures, including gold nuggets, jewellery, hats, and train paraphernalia.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park
Walk in the footsteps of Skagway's founders with a stroll through this historic downtown district. This site features more than 15 buildings from the city's illustrious past and a park with a visitor centre offering various guided tours and scenic hikes.
White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad
Deemed an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, this narrow-gauge train built in 1898 whisks guests on a 3.5-hour journey. The ride follows the scenic trail taken by miners during the Klondike Gold Rush - past legendary sites such as Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point, and Dead Horse Gulch - up 266 metres to the summit of White Pass and back.
Skagway Museum and Archives
Immerse yourself in Skagway's intriguing history through a unique collection of relics, mementoes, and photographs. The historic McCabe College Building, once utilized as both a federal courthouse and a jail, houses the museum.
For nature lovers, Jewell Gardens is the perfect place to visit. The flower gardens are meticulously maintained, fostering various flowers, herbs, berries, and vegetables. A glassblowing studio and a miniature railroad train add to the fun! Depending on the season, you may have a chance to witness floral arranging demonstrations where you can learn tips and techniques for creating your own beautiful floral arrangements.
Hundreds of relics of the past rest untouched along this scenic passage. From age-old pickaxes to decrepit wagon wheels, these tools of the gold-mining trade give a glimpse into what life was like during the gold rush. Their trail also has a suspension bridge for you to cross and spans the raging waters of the Taiya River.
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