Today during our Alaska Cruise (here’s our Alaska Cruise & Skagway pics) we stepped back in time while visiting Skagway, Alaska where we had an awesome experience hiking the Chilkoot trail, retracing the very steps of the gold rush stampeders.
This famous trail on the outskirts of Skagway, now a green moss-covered northern temperate rainforest, is a great excursion while in Skagway if you’re looking for some moderately strenuous exercise… it’s a hike over uneven, hilly terrain for the first mile and then mostly flat ground for the remainder.
It was well worth it though as…
…we learned lots about the history of Skagway and the gold rush and it was definitely a good time for picture snapping! 🙂
The treat was at the end of the hike when we boarded a raft for a relaxing river float down the now tranquil Taiya River (It was once a vital component for transportation in Skagway and beyond during the gold rush era) where we passed through a number of different ecosystems making the float a mystical ride mixed with alpine tundra and temperate rainforest showing a variety of fauna and flora along its valley.
Skagway has a visitor count of over 750,000 people annually. Funny thing though, the population year round is only 968…
…that has to be a little overwhelming for the residents at times but they tell us they love the business during their short summer season. 🙂
When you visit Skagway, which we highly recommend you do on an Alaska Cruise, one of the most popular things to do besides the galore of sightseeing and recreation opportunities, is take the white pass & yukon route railway train experience… we did it during our 1st Alaska Cruise in 2008 and loved it!! (You can see our pics of that here)
Here you’ll board the train and travel 20 miles from Skagway (there’s a longer option if you choose) to the summit of the white pass – a 2,865 foot elevation!
It truly is amazing, you really get to see the heart of Alaska and it’s beauty…
…don’t forget your camera!
Built in 1898 during and for the Klondike Gold Rush, the Train ride from Skagway has become Alaska’s most popular shore excursion carrying over 360,000 Cruise passengers during the May to September tourism season, so be sure to book it in advance.
And whether before or after the train ride make sure to stroll down Broadway street in Skagway (no worries, it’s nowhere near the size of the New York one :-)) to check out the historic shops and to people watch.
A visit to Skagway, period, is definitely an unforgettable journey and experience for you and your entire family.
For more on Alaska, check out our other Alaska Blog Posts.
We appreciate You!
Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!