Juneau; Skagway; Whitehorse, Yukon
Day 1 Juneau
Begin in Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, arriving via ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway System or jet service into Juneau International Airport. The city of Juneau was built on the prospect of gold in 1880, and prospectors Richard Harris and Joe Juneau helped jumpstart the gold fever that inspired so many miners to flock from around the world to Alaska.
Juneau’s history comes alive at the Alaska State Museum, Juneau-Douglas City Museum and Last Chance Mining Museum. Artifacts on display at all three depict the city’s history in mining, statehood and Alaska Native culture. The Juneau-Douglas City Museum focuses on mining history and the life of pioneers at the time, and offers a screening of the documentary, "Juneau: City Built on Gold." The Last Chance Mining Museum is a short drive from town or a 45-minute scenic stroll, and is in a building associated with the original Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Co., which operated from 1912 to 1944.
Day 2 Skagway
Take the ferry or fly by air taxi to Skagway, located further north along the Inside Passage. Beginning in 1887, Skagway and the nearby town of Dyea were the jumping-off point for more than 40,000 gold-rush stampeders en route to the Klondike Gold Fields in the Yukon. They got there overland via the Chilkoot Trail, which is now a popular backpacking adventure.
Today Skagway is home to the most visited national park in the state, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The park commemorates the epic voyage made by stampeders and protects the trail, historic buildings and Gold Rush character of Skagway. Bring your camera and stop here to visit local museums, participate in a guided tour of the Skagway Historic District, explore the local trails, tour the Dyea townsite with a park ranger or hike the Chilkoot Trail. (Located at the start of the Chilkoot Trail, Dyea was once home to thousands and is now a virtual ghost town.)
Day 3 Skagway – Whitehorse
Continue your exploration of Alaska’s gold rush history at the Trail of '98 Museum and Gold Rush Cemetery in Skagway, or try your hand at gold panning through an organized tour. Take a ride aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad; it was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush and is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The rail line offers tours to the White Pass summit and the Yukon. Choose a one-way train excursion to Whitehorse, Yukon. The scenic trip includes a narrated 67.5-mile train ride to the Yukon city of Carcross, where you’ll board a motorcoach connection to the city of Whitehorse.
Day 4 Whitehorse
Whitehorse was established as a trans-shipment point during the Klondike Gold Rush and features a number of historical attractions for learning more about its vibrant past. The capital city of Yukon, Whitehorse also boasts an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities and is the traditional territory of two First Nations peoples — the Kwanlin Dun and the Ta’an Kwach’an. Hop back on a motorcoach bound for Skagway or fly home from Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport.