— Driving the Klondike Highway: Part I (Alaska-Canada) —

While many visitors to Skagway choose to board the White Pass & Scenic Rail, we decided to rent a car, take a similar route, and drive the Klondike Highway!

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AVIS Car Rental is located a 15-minute walk from the cruise dock at the intersection of Spring and 3rd in downtown Skagway.

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It was much cheaper for the two of us to rent a car for the entire day than it would have been to go on the train for just a few hours.

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Having a car allowed us the freedom to stop as often as we wanted for photos; a concern we had when considering the train.

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I read that the drive from Skagway to Emerald Lake (Yukon) and back should take 4-6 hours. HA! It took us close to 8 and I felt like we had to rush just a little at the end! The beauty was unreal and we stopped A LOT to take photos!

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The William Moore Suspension Bridge (pictured above) crosses a very active earthquake fault and is only anchored on one side so that it can move freely in the event of an earthquake.

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What I love about this drive is how many turnouts there are. The ever-changing scenery forces you to stop every few miles and just enjoy the views!

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The summit of the White Pass is 3,292 feet. The railway runs through at a lower part of the pass. We simply admired it from a distance!

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The pullout on the side of the road opposite the summit elevation sign is a spectacular spot to photograph the Skagway River Valley.

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Just 15 miles after leaving the city of Skagway, Alaska, you pass into Canada (although the official border crossing is about 20 miles farther down the road).

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Waterfalls are abundant along this drive. My favorites were the multi-level falls cascading down the mountainside.

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There were so many places we passed where I thought “I could pitch a tent here and camp out for a few days”. It was so serene and peaceful…

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Though there are few facilities along this route, we did come across one surprisingly clean outhouse with a scenic view!

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The journey between the official international border crossing and the customs border station was our favorite part of the drive.

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The mountains, rocks, and turquoise lakes came together beautifully to create a remarkable landscape!

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It reminded us a little bit of the Blue Lagoon (geothermal spa in Iceland).

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Every now and again we’d see the rail tracks, so we knew our journey wasn’t that far off from that of the train’s.

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I didn’t realize we’d actually be changing time zones during our one day road trip! So, we entered the Twilight Zone for a bit, then made our way back to Skagway.

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Check out a quick video of our scenic drive below, then head over to read Part 2 of this post!


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