Day 1 – Skagway
Arrive in Skagway via cruise ship, or by flight from Anchorage or Juneau and take a tour of the town’s many historical buildings. Built in 1898, the Mascot Saloon has been restored by the National Park Service and turned into a museum that looks into the vices - gambling, drinking, and prostitution - that followed the stampeders to the goldfields. Other National Park Service-restored buildings include Moore’s Cabin (Skagway’s oldest building) and the Bernard Moore House. The Skagway Museum also has a collection of Alaska Native baskets, beadwork, carvings and gold rush artifacts. A contemporary garden and art studio, Jewell Gardens features beautiful flowers, Alaska Grown vegetables and the chance to watch glassblowing artists at work.
Day 2 – Skagway
In 1898, Dyea was Skagway's rival. Located 15 miles away, it was the staging area for prospectors heading up the Chilkoot Trail to the gold fields. After the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad picked Skagway as a departure point, Dyea became a ghost town. It still has historic cabins and the Slide Cemetery, the burial site of 47 men and women were killed in a Chilkoot Trail avalanche. After driving or taking a shuttle or taxi over to Dyea, take a self-guided walking tour with a brochure from the National Park Service, or join a ranger-led walk.
Day 3 – Skagway
Board the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad for a chance to climb up into the mountains and take in the breathtaking views of glaciers, gorges, waterfalls, tunnels, trestles and historic sites. You’ll be able to see where prospectors headed to try their luck in the gold fields wore the original Klondike Trail into the rocks. If you opt for one of the train’s longer journeys, remember that the railroad crosses into Canada and you must have your passport.
Day 4 – Seattle (Optional)
If your return trip includes travel through Seattle, make a stop at the National Park Service’s Klondike Gold Rush Visitor Center in historic Pioneer Square. The center commemorates Seattle’s role as the place where the first shipment of gold from the Klondike arrived in 1897. The center’s displays document how Seattle grew from 42,000 residents in the early 1890s to nearly twice that by the end of the decade when the gold rush was in full swing.