Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Alaska Excursions: Skagway

Skagway is located on the panhandle of Alaska.  This beautiful Alaska town is known for access to breathtaking train rides, gorgeous scenery and some of the history of the Klondike Gold Rush. Speaking of the Gold Rush did you know that John Nordstrom of Nordstrom’s department stores got his start here? He sold his claim worth $13,000 before moving back to Seattle. Here are some great excursions where you can learn more about this beautiful city.

Take a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad in a vintage passenger coach. Discover glaciers, gorges, mountains, waterfalls, tunnels and see the Klondike Trail of ’98. Pass Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch.  White Pass Summit Train Excursion offers a cruise friendly refund policy and lasts 2.75 hours. It is offered daily from late April until mid-October. 

Join your professional guide for a short tour of Skagway’s historic district before you begin your climb towards the Chilkoot Mountains on this White Pass Summit and Yukon Suspension Bridge Experience. Take in the scenery of the Summit as you make several stops at choice locations. Past the summit visit the Yukon Suspension Bridge and venture out onto the bridge for stunning views of the Tutshi River below. Learn about Gold Rush history and if time permits stop at the Gold Rush Cemetery on your way back to the ship.  White Pass Summit and Yukon Suspension Bridge Tour from Skagway lasts 3 hours and is available from May through September.*

Head to Chillkat Bald Eagle Preserve, the largest gathering of bald eagles in the world. Start with a narrated ferry journey to Haines to then transfer to a river boat for a journey through the Chillkat Bald Eagle Preserve. See some of the best wildlife and scenery this part of Alaska has to offer. You may be lucky enough to encounter a moose, bear and other wildlife during your trip. A boxed lunch is provided on your return to Haines.  Jet Boat Tour and Raptor Expedition From Skagway lasts 6.75 hours and is offered daily.*

Combine sightseeing and rafting on this scenic river float. From your cruise ship take a 10 minute drive to the Dyea valley, an old Gold Rush settlement. Once you arrive you will be fitted for a life jacket before boarding a rubber boat with a professionally trained guide. Take off down the Taiya River and learn about local history while you take in the beautiful river and mountain views. At the end of your journey enjoy a snack before heading back. Minimum age is 7.  Scenic River Float (from Skagway) lasts 2.25 hours and is offered from late April through October.* For an alternate day long rafting experience check out Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Rafting Shore Excursion from Skagway that offers a cruise friendly refund policy.

Spend the day kayaking on Chilkoot Lake State Park. You day starts with a 45 minute ferry ride along the steep-walled fjords that connect Skagway to Haines. Upon arrival in Haines you will meet your guide for drive to the park. Once you arrive, you will be fitted with a life jacket and then board a two-person kayak.Your expert guide will show you the basics of paddling, before you head out on your adventure. Spend about an hour and 30 minutes exploring much of what the lake has to offer. After paddling ashore enjoy a boxed lunch before heading back to Skagway.  Chilkoot Lake Kayaking Shore Excursion from Skagway offers a cruise friendly refund policy, lasts 6.5 hours and is offered from May through September. Minimum age is 7.

Take a trip to the gold rush era town of Dyea, as you head out through downtown Skagway learn all kinds of interesting facts about Skagway and the gold rush era. Along the way to Dyea you will make stops at Naku Bay overlook and see North America’s longest and deepest Fjord. Next stop at the trailhead of Chilkoot Trail, the main route to riches during the gold rush before heading to your final destination, the abandoned gold rush town of Dyea.  Historic Gold Rush Scenic Drive lasts 2 hours and is offered from the end of April through October.* A small group nature hike of Dyea is also available*

Board the “Scenic Railway of the World” for a 28-mile scenic train journey between Skagway, Alaska and Fraser, British Columbia and then take a spectacular bus journey through the northern corner of British Columbia and into the Yukon Territory as far as north Emerald Lake. The train was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush and was designated as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Some of the points of interest for your trip include White Pass Trail of ’98, Bridal Veil Falls, Tutshi & Tagish Lakes, “Welcome to Yukon” sign, and World’s Smallest Desert.  Yukon Rail & Bus Excursion includes lunch, lasts 7.5 hours, and is offered May through September.* A shorter White Pass Summit Rail & Bus Excursion lasting 3.75 hours is available and a bus only tour is also available.*

Take a high-speed catamaran ride along the steep-walled fjords that connect Skagway to Haines and spend the day at Chilkoot Lake State Park. The park offers a beautiful lake surrounded by snow peaked mountains, a salmon filled river and Tlingit cultural sights. Visit in May, June or July for the best viewing of bald eagles and wildflowers. In August see the pink salmon begin their run up the Chilkoot River to spawn. August is also the best time to see brown bears as they are witnessed feeding along the banks of the river. This Chilkoot Lake Nature and Wildlife Viewing from Skagway lasts 6.5 hours and is offered from May through September. 

Not for the faint of heart is this challenging full day hiking adventure to climb to the top of a peak along Skagway’s White Pass. Along the way you will explore the strenuous off trail alpine terrain of Alaska. The route will cover approximately 6 miles and gain up to 3,000 feet in elevation with an objective to climb one of two peaks, Feather Peak or Mount Cleveland. Minimum age is 12. Lunch, water, snacks and equipment is provided.  White Pass Mountaineering Adventure is available beginning at the end of April.*

Join professional mountain guides on this climbing and ziplining adventure in the mountains of White Pass. Climb up and rappel down the smooth granite walls of White Pass and experience 5 zip lines though the coastal temperate rainforest of Alaska. Minimum age is 6. Rock Climbing, Rappelling And Ziplining lasts 4.5 hours and is offered from late April though the end of October.*

Tours with an * denoted at the end offer a Cruise Friendly Refund Policy & Back to the Ship Guarantee. 

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