Skagway, Alaska

Skagway, Alaska


The world-famous Alaska Inside Passage ends in Skagway, in the southeast of the US state of Alaska. At the end of the 19th century, the town, which according to the 2020 census had around 1.200 inhabitants, was the starting point of the Klondike gold rush in neighboring Canada. From Skagway, the gold seekers known as “Stampeders” quickly reached the gold grounds on the Klondike River

Welcome to Alaska

Welcome to Alaska


Skagway – Alaska's busy cruise destination

Although gold is still mined in modest quantities in the Klondike region today, the gold rush dates back a long time. Skagway, the northernmost ice-free deep-water port in North America, connects the sea route with highways leading to the Yukon and the northwest Arctic region. From April to October, Skagway is a busy cruise destination. Up to four cruise ships are docked at the three piers during the season. For 2017, the port statistics show 782.000 passengers and 350.000 crew members. The current plans for 2024 so far provide for a total of 502 cruise ship calls. On peak days, up to 8.000 passengers visit the tranquil small town.

Cruise ship Norwegian Sun at Ore Dock

Cruise ship Norwegian Sun at Ore Dock


Skagway – a city as if it were designed on the drawing board

You shouldn't expect buildings like the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower in Skagway, they are better off in Paris. Instead, day guests are offered a fantastically beautiful landscape and a place straight out of a picture book. The community looks like it was designed on the drawing board. Alaska Street, Main Street, State Street, Broadway, and Spring Street lead northeast through the city. Cross streets, from 1st Street to 23rd Street, intersect the five streets. The regional airport's runway runs parallel to Alaska Street.

Broadway from Skagway

Broadway from Skagway


Broadway - Skagway's main shopping street

Broadway is Skagway's main commercial street. There are ancient-looking, mostly flat or two-story buildings with “false facades”, so-called “false fronts”. The sometimes bizarre-looking shops and pubs magically attract cruise ship passengers. Some of the restored houses belong to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. In the buildings, everyday scenes from the town's heyday around 120 years ago are realistically recreated.

Wrong facades in Skagway

Wrong facades in Skagway


Skagway's attraction - the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway

What else can the day visitor do in Skagway besides shopping? Trips on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway, which was built within 26 months during the Klondike Gold Rush, are in high demand. The railway line winds over 20 miles from sea level to 873 meters above sea level. Steep slopes, waterfalls, tunnels and countless bridges provide train travelers with plenty of thrills. More than 400.000 people, including many cruise ship passengers, take a ride on the historic train during the summer season.  

Material from the White Pass & Yukon Railway

Material from the White Pass & Yukon Railway


The Klondike Highway should also be mentioned. The overland road runs from Skagway to Whitehorse/Yukon for a total of 110 miles. Cruise ship guests like trips to the nearby Canadian border. Under Skagway Landmarks we describe the bus ride up to the Canadian border as well as sights in Skagway.

Rocky landscape at the White Pass

Rocky landscape at the White Pass


Update February 2024

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