Skagway Parks & Trails
There's so much else to do in Skagway, few visitors consider it a destination for hiking other than making the epic trek along the Chilkoot Trail. But the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and municipality maintain a half-dozen scenic trails leading to historic gravesites, campsites, cabins, glaciers, lakes and beaches. They show of this scenic valley that many cruise passengers miss. Start by picking up a copy of the Skagway Trail Map at the visitor information center on Broadway, or printing the online version.
Here's a sampling of some favorites close to downtown. The Lost Lake Trail and riverside sections of Chilkoot Trail make for fun afternoon outings at Dyea, 10 miles northwest of Skagway.
Skagway Hiking Trails
Tucked on the mountainside overlooking the cruise ship docks, this moderate hike offers great views down Taiya Inlet and an idyllic camping spot. This 8‑mile round trip trail is unknown even to some locals. It leads through a mixed stand of trees and descends to a beachfront jutting south towards Haines on Lynn Canal.
This moderate, 2‑mile loop trail near the Skagway River circles a boulder strewn outcropping. It also features sunny lookouts while meandering through a birch and pine forest and leading to a protected cove and picnic area.
Completing this all-day climb, a 10-mile round trip climbing nearly 5,000 feet, isn’t for beginners. But at the top, you’ll be on the ridge separating the Dyea and Skagway river valleys, with an awe-dropping, 360-degree view. Once above the treeline, some rock cairns mark the way, but the trail can be vague due to heavy brush and rocky terrain.
This trail is considered to be a very long museum and the old artifacts left over from the Gold Rush Days must be left alone. Adventuresome travelers can retrace the stampeders’ route to the gold mines by backpacking the 33-mile climb up and over the “Golden Stairs,” immortalized in Charlie Chaplin’s silent film, “The Gold Rush”. The trail begins nine miles out of town in Dyea and on average the trek takes five days to complete, but… ...more
An amazing look at the history of the Alaskan Gold Rush, with the added novelty of hiking from Alaska to Canada. This trip offers a variety of scenery and distinctly different ecosystems: river valley, coastal temperate rainforest, exposed alpine, and arid boreal forest.