Skagway, a port of call on a Disney Cruise Line Alaska Cruise vacation, is a city on the south coast of Alaska located near the north end of the Lynn Canal in the Alaskan Panhandle. The city is renowned for unspoiled natural beauty and a storied history steeped in the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1880s.
Things to See and Do
Known as the "Gateway to the Klondike," Skagway celebrates its place as the one-time threshold of the late 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush with several must-see destinations designed with the entire family in mind.
The Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park offers Guests the unique opportunity to embark on a walking tour of some of the downtown locales frequented by the thousands of prospectors and miners that made their way through Skagway. Guests can even embark on a hike along the White Pass Trail, the main passage trekked during the Gold Rush.
Adventure seekers will want to take a ride along the late19th-century White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad and travel the very same route in a vintage train car that the miners of yesteryear traveled in as they set out in search of gold. Named an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, the train takes Guests through steep climbs and cliff-hanging turns, through tunnels and atop towering bridges, past glaciers and picture-perfect waterfalls.
The Skagway Museum and Archives displays a diverse collection of age-old treasures from the town's illustrious history, wonderfully curated in a historic granite building. And along the scenic Chilkoot Trail, hundreds of relics of the past rest untouched for all to see. From age-old old pick axes to decrepit wagon wheels, these tools of the gold-mining trade were ditched by the original miners and left to history.
Local Culture and Flavor
Known for its legendary seat during the Gold Rush boom, Skagway is a sleepy town frozen in time. A plethora of magnificent albeit quaint landmark buildings along the main thoroughfare in town, Broadway Street, help to illustrate what life was like during Skagway's heyday, when opportunity and riches were as easy to find as the gold that everyone was searching for. Walking along this historic 7-block stretch, don't be surprised it you bump into residents wearing late 19th-century attire from when the town came into prominence.
Past and Present
Originally home to the Chilkoots and Chilkats Native Americans, Skagway came to prominence when gold was discovered approximately 600 miles along the Klondike River at Rabbit Creek in 1896 setting off 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. Because of its proximity to the Yukon where gold was plentiful, Skagway acted as the gateway to the treasure, and the town grew both in size and structure because of this sudden economic boom. By 1899, gold rush fever had passed.
Today, Skagway with its sweeping mountain and river views is a city of approximately 800 residents that embraces its place in American history. Ironically, it wasn't the gold that made Skagway rich but rather the tourism of that time that came soon afterward and remains to this day.
Fun Facts & Tips
Skagway is also part of the setting for Jack London's book The Call of the Wild.
During the early 1900s, Skagway was known as the "Gateway to the Klondike."
Skagway, Alaska was incorporated on June 28, 1900.