Best Things To Do In Skagway
1. Sightsee in Skagway
Tiny in size but big on preservation, Skagway offers an authentic glimpse of the Gold Rush era. Take a downtown walking tour and get a feel for what it was really like. (Pro tip: Use Alaska.org’s exclusive Skagway Audio Guide!)
2. Go Beyond the Town
Make Skagway your launching pad to scenic adventures. Travel to the Yukon border—or spend a whole day there—with Midnight Sun Excursions. Love to cycle? Rent a bike or take a guided tour. If trains are more your thing, this is your chance to ride into the Yukon on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush. Or improve your camera skills on a photography tour and capture winning images of the unique wildlife here.
3. Catch Gold Rush Fever
Hiking the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail is no small feat, but it’s a fascinating journey: So many Gold Rush artifacts line the route that it’s known as a “very long museum.”
The good news is, you don't have to hike all of it to experience the wonder. You can join Sockeye Cycle Co. for their Skagway Triple Adventure. You'll bike through a temperate rainforest, hike 2 miles on the Chilkoot Trail, then take a relaxing float trip down the glacially-fed Taiya river.
You can also experience the thrill of finding gold firsthand on a gold panning tour, where you’ll eat fire-grilled salmon and learn about Gold Rush history in addition to panning for the precious metal!
4. Explore a Glacier
Glacier-filled valleys abound outside Skagway, and it’s a great chance to go explore one of these icy blue behemoths by taking a scenic helicopter ride and touching down on one. Then you can go on a guided glacier hike, where you’ll walk around and drink glacier water. Or experience the thrill of glacier dog sledding, where you’ll spend time at a dog camp that plays host to 300 Alaskan sled dogs!
5. Get Out on the Water
With calm waters and scenic mountains, Skagway is a great place to take a sea kayaking tour and look for wildlife as you paddle. You can also easily hop over and visit the charming town of Haines—the quickest way to do it is on the Haines Skagway Fast Ferry—then take advantage of all the fun things to do in Haines!
Skagway Day Tours & Attractions View All
Taking a TEMSCO helicopter tour shows off the Gold Rush lands around Skagway in a new light, revealing gorgeous, glacier-filled valleys, tumbling waterfalls and peak after icy peak at the north end of the Juneau Icefield. Then land on a remote glacier for an exciting guided journey on ice that was formed thousands of years ago!
Midnight Sun Excursions will reopen in 2022. Skagway may be a quaint small town, but it offers a big lens into the Alaska frontier. This tour operator — run by a certified Naturalist for the state of Alaska — offers a friendly and fascinating way to explore some surprising depths of the Alaska wilderness. Options include private tours ranging from 5 to 7 hours that explores the sights of British Columbia and the Yukon
Walk the fine line between folklore and gold fever. The Liarsville Camp, near Skagway, was originally named after journalists who came here during the Klondike Gold Rush and cooked up all manner of tall tales. The event begins with an all-you-can-eat feast in the forest. Then explore the old trail camp and finish off your day with a visit the Fancy Goods store. You can also have your picture taken with one of the dance hall girls or the camp’s ...more
Dog sledding on a glacier is the ultimate blend of Alaskan adventure, as you also get there by helicopter! Board a TEMSCO flight that whisks you thousands of feet above sea level to the Denver glacier and a dog mushing camp hidden away on a snow field, where Alaskan sled dogs will greet you energetically, ready to take you on the ride of your life.
Ride the rails on a real gold-rush era, narrow-gauge railroad from Skagway into the heart of the Yukon. On the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, you’ll have several trip options, taking you past glacial rivers, waterfalls, and gorges for a real taste of wild Alaska. You’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time on this authentic train, as you climb 3,000 feet to scenic vistas and past aptly-named spots named Inspiration Point and Dead Horse ...more
Operating from May to September, this private ferry service is the easiest and fastest way to travel between Haines and Skagway. The 45-minute ride passes through Taiya Inlet, a steep-walled rocky fjord just outside of Skagway, and then opens up to the Lynn Canal near Haines. As you ride, look for seals and sea lions, as well as humpback, minke, and orca whales. Don’t forget to look up from the water from time to time to check out the ...more
Sockeye Cycle offers fabulously in-depth trips that stretch across the state, and even into Canada, and last anywhere from 3 to 12 days. Cycling around Alaska is special in a few ways. The roads can sometimes be quirky, and sometimes a little more rugged than a freshly paved road somewhere else. But on the other hand, you‘ll likely get the road to yourself, so you can relax and spend more time enjoying the scenery. These multi-day trips offer a ...more
Some people love the view of Alaska from the side of a ship, or from above in a bush plane. But this cycle shop and tour operator based in Haines and Skagway proves that there’s nothing quite like the view of Alaska from atop two wheels, as you glide through the gorgeously unique scenery. Its day trips are a fabulous way for independent travelers and cruise passengers to take a detour on their voyage, enjoying a different pace and perspective on ...more
Take the train out of Skagway to some of Alaska’s best hiking. Not just any train, though, but a Gold Rush-era, narrow-gauge train that winds through gorgeous scenery and drops you off at the trailhead. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad winds through stunning scenery on its way to drop you off on hiking trails that offer waterfall, mountain, and glacier views. It’s a fun way to gear up for a day or two of great hiking. The train is an ...more
Guided sea kayaking in Alaska’s Southeast opens up the magical world of water-based touring. Glide through a marine environment with gorgeous views in every direction, and many opportunities to spot wildlife – from eagles and salmon to bears, whales and sea lions. Options include day tours for busy schedules and multi-day immersions, all under the expert guidance of naturalists who help you understand the complex workings of a unique and amazing ...more
Skagway Parks & Trails View All
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.
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
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.
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.