Skagway Alaska was the port of call following our memorable day in the town of Juneau.
We were somehow blessed with another beautiful day with incredible weather, although all the crew on-board the Island Princess assured us it would rain, because it supposedly “always rains in Skagway”!
Without a drop of rain or even so much as a threatening cloud, we were among the first to disembark from the ship and make our way into what would be my favorite Alaskan city!
Along the dockside, cruisers will see what is known as the Cruise Ship “Signature Wall”. Since the late 20’s crews have been commemorating their ship’s first visit to Skagway with a colorfully painted “stamp”.
Although there is a shuttle that takes passengers into town, the walk is only about 1/4 mile and takes less than 15 minutes.
This leisurely stroll takes you along the harbor and past colorful local seafood restaurants.
The Historic Mining Town Of Skagway Alaska
Downtown is a well-preserved representation of what this historic mining town looked like centuries ago.
It is a town with less than 1,000 yearly residents and primarily thrives on the tourism industry. The shops that line the main street are souvenir shops, eateries, and art galleries.
Since we were among the first off the ship and into downtown, we had the fortunate opportunity to photograph the quaint storefronts without throngs of tourists.
One of the most iconic (and most photographed) buildings in all of Alaska is the Arctic Brotherhood Hall, built in 1899. The facade consists of close to 9,000 pieces of driftwood collected from local tidal flats.
Another downtown landmark is the Red Onion Saloon. During the Gold Rush, it was Skagway’s most exclusive brothel. Now it serves as a restaurant/bar and museum with daily tours. The waitresses are still dressed as the “ladies of the night” once did back in the 1800’s.
Things to See Nearby
Just outside of town you will find some other gems worth visiting! You can either take a local tour, do your own walking tour, or rent a car like we did.
Our first stop was the Gold Rush Cemetery. It was fascinating and somewhat heartbreaking to read the stories of those who lost everything (including their lives) in their efforts of striking it rich.
Following a short trail leading from the graveyard, you will find Reid Falls.
We followed the sound of rushing water to the base of Lower Reid Falls.
Across the Skagway River from the graveyard is the Klondike Gold Fields. Here visitors can pan for gold, meet a sled dog, and sit in a chamber to experience 40-below temperatures to truly experience what it was like back in the days of the gold rush.
The railroad tracks also run right along the river taking passengers on the world-famous White Pass & Yukon Railroad.
Also just outside of town, on Dyea Road, is an overlook that provides visitors the opportunity to look out over downtown and the Skagway Harbor where the cruise ships are docked.
Travel farther down Dyea Road for stunning views of classic, beautiful Alaska!
Check out a quick video of our visit to Skagway Alaska below!