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Skagway's Broadway Street

Skagway Information
By Tom Ogg

Language and Currency
What is Skagway Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Skagway Port Reviews

Language and Currency

The Official language of Skagway is English and the currency is the U. S. dollar.

What is Skagway Like?

Typical Skagway Street

Skagway sits at the very end of the Lynn Canal and is the gateway to the Klondike that was established during the great gold rush days Its streets are bordered with wooden sidewalks and buildings with false fronts, which give Skagway the feeling of an old west town. Given its colorful past, Skagway is fun to visit and an interesting place to explore. You will love it. Skagway is also connected to the Alaska Highway system and this is where most cruise/tour passengers will depart their ship.

What is the Weather Like?

Skagway's sunniest days are during the early summer (May and June) and then gets increasingly rainy. It can be cool when the wind is blowing so be sure to plan to dress in layers.

Where Does the Ship Dock?

Docked Along the Lynn Canal

There are two separate docks in Skagway. The first is along side the Lynn Canal directly south of town.

Docked at the Foot of Skagway's Main Street

The second is basically at the foot of Main street a short 5 minute walk to the center of town. Usually the smaller ships will dock in town and the larger alongside the Canal.

Here is a Panorama Showing Both Cruise Ship Docks

Both are within short walking distance to the center of town. There is a shuttle ($1.00 each way) between the docks and the center of town for those that do not want to walk it.

Where is the Shopping?

Downtown Skagway's Broadway Street from the Train Tracks

There is a 7 block long shopping area right on Broadway Street in Skagway. Simply walk into town and then start up the street and you will pass shop after shop. There are also some shops on some of the side streets as well..

What is There to Buy?

Shopping in Skagway

Just about everything Alaskan you can think of is available in Skagway. Of special note are the two gold jewelry shops that offer jewelry made from real gold nuggets. I purchased a 1 once gold nugget charm for my wife's charm bracelet and paid just about the raw price for gold for it. In addition to gold, furs, local artwork, knock-knacks and miscellaneous trading post items, there are quite a few museums and other entertainment venues. Note to Starbucks addicts: This is the location of the one and only Starbucks you will find on your cruise. It is located across the street from the train station in a curios store. Look for it on the right side of the street as you enter town.

What is There To Do?

White Pass and Yukon Railroad

There is lots to do in Skagway. First and foremost, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad was built at the turn of the century (1898-1900) to connect Skagway with Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Prior to the completion of the railroad prospectors would climb the White Pass Trail from Skagway up into the Yukon's promising gold fields.

The White Pass & Yukon Railway's Train Station

When one sees the terrain these prospectors had to traverse with all of their gear, it puts an entirely new perspective on just how rugged these folks must have been. The 3-hour round trip train ride to the top of White Pass is a wonderful adventure. (HINT: Sit on the left side of the train for best viewing) and well worth the investment.

Lower Dewey Lake

My favorite thing to do is to hike up to Lower Dewey Lake. Lower Dewey lake resides on the other side of the mountain that soars straight up from the Lynn Canal. It is a pristine environment that seems far away from any town or civilization but is really an easier hike that only takes an hour or so. I will caution folks that the climb up the face of the mountain, while well marked, is quite steep and may wind some folks if they are out of shape.

Hiking the Lower Dewey Lake Trail

Take your time on the way up as the way down is a breeze. To find the trailhead simply go east from the train station to where you cross over the stream that empties into the bay. Turn left and follow the train tracks about 200 yards until you come to the sign announcing the various trails you can hike from here. There are trail maps in the box marking the beginning of the trail. As you proceed up the hill you will see some stairs that go under the big water pipe that carriers Skagway's water supply from Lower Dewey Lake.

The Entrance to the Lower Dewey Lake Trailhead

Proceed down the stairs, under the pipe and follow the trail until you go through the bogs and come upon Lower Dewey Lake. It is simply beautiful. One can find more information about Skagway's hiking trails at the national Forest office in the visitor's center downtown at the corner of 2nd and Broadway. There are several hikes that can easily be done during the ship's visit.

The Skagway Cemetary

Another great walk is to simply walk through town (go north on Broadway Street until it ends and then go west one block to State Street and continue north) until you hit the Klondike Highway that leads to the Yukon. Turn left on the highway until you see the a dirt road that continues past the main train yard

Soapy Smiths Grave Site

You will shortly see the sign leading to the graveyard and Soapy Smith's gravel site. It is a wonderful walk that leads to the graveyard that dates back to the 1800s and well worth the effort to make it.

Reid Falls

Also, take the short hike up to Upper Reid falls.

Jewell Gardens

After viewing the graveyard and falls, you can turn to the right on the main highway crossing the bridge over the Skagway River to Jewell Gardens.

Skagway River

The walk over the river is wonderful, but Jewell Gardens is hardly worth the $8.00 entrance fee. Unless you are keenly interested specifically in Alaskan gardening, save yourself the money and look over the fence to see the same thing you would pay for. Return to downtown Skagway by heading south on Main Street to see just about all of Skagway that there is.

The local tour operators offer a myriad flight seeing, fishing, helicopter, motor coach and myriad tours and sightseeing options.

eIs There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?

Yes, I would give the ride to the top of the pass on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad this status. If you haven't done it and generally don't do these types of excursions, this one is worth it.

Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Skagway's Red Onion Saloon

Yes, the Red Onion Saloon on Broadway is legendary. Once a bordello (around the turn of the century) it is now a fun restaurant/bar where the waitresses dress the part and offer tours of the bordello portion of the building. While extremely touristy, it is worth a visit.

The Skagway Fish Company

While the Red Onion is a legendary watering hole, if you want some quality food and maybe a glass of wine, then the best spot in town is the Skagway Fish Company.

The Skagway Fish Company's Interior

Located on the Lynn Canal between the ships docked there and the walk into town, The Skagway Fish Company is where the locals chose to dine and drink, so you know it has to be good. I would highly recommend the deep fried halibut.

Motels in Skagway

 Port Reviews


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