Step back in time and explore historic Skagway using our detailed walking tour.

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Walking Tour Points

Rail­road Hous­es were a sign of Skag­way’s matu­ri­ty after the gold rush. For many years, Skag­way resem­bled a com­pa­ny town; most of the fam­i­ly bread win­ners worked for the WP&YR rail­road. To make life more com­fort­able for its offi­cers, the com­pa­ny built and made avail­able nine homes in town. Three are seen here. Although the com­pa­ny sus­pend­ed ser­vice to White Horse in 1982, it reopened as a sum­mer tourist rail­way in 1988.White Pass is still…  ...more

As a near­by mark­er tes­ti­fies, this cor­ner marks the scene of the Reid-Smith Gun Bat­tle. Near here, crim­i­nal king­pin Jef­fer­son R. Soapy” Smith and sur­vey­or Frank Reid shot it out on the evening of July 8, 1898. Just four days ear­li­er, Smith was the undis­put­ed leader of Skag­way. He had been cho­sen as the grand mar­shal for the July 4th parade, and was cheered by his fel­low cit­i­zens. On the 8th, how­ev­er, a stam­ped­er just back from the Klondike…  ...more

A good place to start any tour of Skag­way is the for­mer White Pass and Yukon Rail­road Depot. This mas­sive, col­or­ful struc­ture, built in 1898, was a dom­i­nant part of Skag­way life until 1969, when rail­road oper­a­tions moved to the WP&YR’s new build­ing two doors east. The old depot is now the Nation­al Park Ser­vice Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, where vis­i­tors can enjoy movies, walk­ing tours and oth­er activ­i­ties dur­ing the sum­mer. Although the tracks are now…  ...more

One of Skagway’s best-known char­ac­ters, for bet­ter or worse, was Jef­fer­son Ran­dolph Soapy” Smith.. He was not a man to be tak­en light­ly. He was a well-estab­lished con man through­out the west of the Unit­ed States and was the epit­o­me of the word crook.

Bux­om Red Onion Madams in come-hith­er cos­tumes call out from their perch­es, while wait­ress­es in corsets and pet­ti­coats serve food and drinks: there’s no place in Alas­ka quite like the Red Onion Saloon, a bar, restau­rant & muse­um set in what was once a real bor­del­lo… The atmos­phere is live­ly and the tours are bawdy, fun, and flir­ta­tious — how else to run a tour of a broth­el muse­um? Plus, their bar and restau­rant is one of the most happening…  ...more

At the cor­ner of 3rd and Broad­way lies the Mas­cot Block, a row of three sep­a­rate busi­ness build­ings. The Mas­cot Saloon, on the cor­ner, dates back to 1898. It was one of more that 80 saloons in a town once described as the rough­est place in the world.” The saloon oper­at­ed until August 1916, when Pro­hi­bi­tion closed it down; it lat­er served as a drug store. Next door sits the old Pacif­ic Clip­per Line office. Skag­way was an active port both…  ...more

The best Gold Rush bar in town fea­tures over 100 orig­i­nal rein­deer and Coors beer bot­tles as well as some pre-Pro­hi­bi­tion artifacts.

The St. James Hotel, present­ly a hard­ware store ware­house, is famous as the birth­place of the White Pass and Yukon Route rail­road. Dur­ing the win­ter of 1897 – 98, it took tremen­dous effort for the stam­ped­ers to haul the required ton of goods” from Skag­way to the Cana­di­an lakes. To ease the strain, sev­er­al tramways and rail­roads cross­ing White Pass were pro­posed, but the plans were long on spec­u­la­tion and short on mon­ey. Into this atmos­phere came…  ...more

The large, three-sto­ry Pack Train Build­ing is the tallest his­toric build­ing in Skag­way. The three build­ings that make up this block date from 1900, but like many oth­ers on Broad­way, they were first locat­ed else­where. These were orig­i­nal­ly bar­racks that once com­prised part of Camp Skag­way, locat­ed two blocks up Broad­way on 6th Ave. The mil­i­tary aban­doned them when it moved to the Haines area in 1904, and four years lat­er, they were moved here.…  ...more

Across the street, the Skag­way Cus­toms build­ing was built by the WP&YR rail­road and leased to the gov­ern­ment. It orig­i­nal­ly sat on the south side of 2nd Ave. adja­cent to the rail­road depot. In 1969, with the con­struc­tion of the new depot, the build­ing was moved across the street to the north side 2nd Ave. After the Klondike high­way opened in the fall of 1978, the offices were moved to a loca­tion on the high­way. For a time after the customs…  ...more

On the north side of 4th Avenue between Broad­way and Spring, World War II bar­racks can be seen. They com­mem­o­rate the U.S. Army’s inva­sion” of Skag­way from 1942 – 46. These engi­neers and con­struc­tion men were large­ly respon­si­ble for sup­ply­ing the crew build­ing the Alcan High­way and the exten­sive Canol oil pipeline. At one time, more than 80 of these bar­racks were scat­tered around town; few­er than 10 remain.

The Moore Cab­in is the old­est struc­ture in Skag­way. It was built by Cap­tain William Moore and his son in 1887 – 88. Moore was 65 years old when he arrived. He had fol­lowed gold rush­es all his life, and set­tled here to pur­sue one more chance at a for­tune. When the big rush came, his land was over­run by a flood of gold seek­ers. But he pros­pered because he owned a dock, a ware house and a sawmill. He stayed here until 1906, long enough to see his…  ...more

The stone chim­ney seen on your left is all that remains of the Pullen House, once Alaska’s most famous hotel. It was a pop­u­lar stop­ping place for inte­ri­or res­i­dents and tourists for more than 50 years. Har­ri­et Ma” Pullen ran it most of that time. This indomitable spir­it arrived in Skag­way in Sep­tem­ber 1897. In a sto­ry she lat­er told to thou­sands of tourists, she first baked pies in a tent restau­rant on the beach. Lat­er, she rent­ed out the…  ...more

A small bust, just west of the pub­lic rest rooms, in the cor­ner of Mol­lie Walsh Park, pro­claims the mem­o­ry of a remark­able woman. Mol­lie Walsh came to Skag­way, unac­com­pa­nied, in the fall of 1897. A rar­i­ty in her day, she was young, unmar­ried and at least some­what respectable. She remained in Skag­way for a few months, then head­ed north to open a restau­rant in Log Cab­in, a tent town locat­ed along the White Pass Trail. She soon received the…  ...more

The McCabe Col­lege build­ing, cur­rent­ly occu­pied by the Skag­way Muse­um and City Hall, was built in 1899 of native gran­ite brought from Clifton on the WP & YR rail­road. The Methodist school, named for Bish­op McCabe, was Alaska’s first insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion. Fac­ing finan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, pri­vate McCabe Col­lege closed after only three terms. From 1901 until 1956, the build­ing served as the U.S. Court House with the U.S. Marshal’s…  ...more

Along 7th Avenue between Broad­way and State Street, is the Gut­feld Res­i­dence (His­toric Skag­way Inn). Built using mate­ri­als from an 1897 – 1898 build­ing, Max Gut­feld built this res­i­dence in 1918. In the 1920’s the rear wing was added by mov­ing the vacant Ross-Hig­gins ware­house (1901) from 4th Avenue and Main Street to the present site. This street is the site of Skag­way’s once thriv­ing Red Light Dis­trict. As was true in most fron­tier towns,…  ...more

The First Pres­by­ter­ian Church, locat­ed at 5th and Main, is Skag­way’s only remain­ing gold rush church. It was built in 1901 by the Methodists, but in a denom­i­na­tion­al realign­ment, that church body vacat­ed Skag­way in 1917.The Pres­by­te­ri­ans, who had lost their church build­ing to afire the pre­vi­ous year, moved in and have remained ever since. Dur­ing the gold rush, Skag­way had but one house of wor­ship, the Union Church. But by 1900, sev­er­al other…  ...more

The site of the old Blan­chard Gar­den is just two lots east of the Gault House. Dur­ing its time, per­haps the most famous gar­den in Alas­ka grew here. In gold rush days, peo­ple had lit­tle time to care for flow­ers or veg­eta­bles. But just a decade lat­er, Skag­way had become well-known as the Gar­den City of Alas­ka.” The slo­gan remained; until World War II. Many gar­dens thrived; Blan­chard’s being the best known among them. Vis­i­tors to Skag­way were…  ...more

The Gault House is anoth­er of Skag­way’s archi­tec­tur­al trea­sures. Built in 1899, the house prob­a­bly began as a saloon (6th Avenue was once Skag­way’s main busi­ness street). In lat­er years, it became the long time home of Roy Gault, an engi­neer for the WP&YR, and his family.

The Nye House dates from the gold rush. Like many of Skag­way’s old homes, it orig­i­nat­ed as a log cab­in. A series of refine­ments and addi­tions between 1898 and 1901 brought about its present appear­ance. A long time res­i­dent here was Charley Nye, a local pow­er com­pa­ny exec­u­tive and pro­mot­er. The house was once reput­ed to be a gam­bling casi­no, a com­mon enough activ­i­ty in ear­ly Skagway.

The Case-Mul­vi­hill House is a grace­ful Vic­to­ri­an res­i­dence. It dates from 1904, and was built for W.H. Case, a part­ner in the well-known pho­to­graph­ic firm of Case and Drap­er. William J. Mul” Mul­vi­hill, the chief dis­patch­er for the WP&YR rail­road moved in with his fam­i­ly about 10 years lat­er. They lived here until his death in 1949. The house was restored in 1980.

The plan­ta­tion-style White House was built in 1902, and was orig­i­nal­ly the home of Lee Guthrie, saloon­keep­er and civic offi­cial. After Guthrie left town, the house was con­vert­ed into a small hotel. The Army used it for a small hos­pi­tal dur­ing World War II. The build­ing’s name occa­sion­al­ly caused delight­ful con­fu­sion. One sto­ry about it dates back to 1956, when a Repub­li­can cam­paign work­er stopped by to vis­it. No one respond­ed to the knock, but…  ...more

This is where Jef­fer­son Ran­dolph Soapy” Smith and Frank Reid are buried. Both men shot and killed each oth­er in a gun­fight in July 1898. Locate Frank Rei­d’s grave and you’ll find a short hik­ing trail to Rei­d’s Falls.