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How to Spend 1 Day in Skagway

How to Spend 1 Day in Skagway

Located on the Alaskan Panhandle, the small city of Skagway is best known for being the gateway to the Yukon Territory during the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890’s. With only one day to visit, you’ll have time to see historic downtown Skagway and enjoy an outdoor adventure. Here are a few ways to spend a day in Skagway. 

Morning: Dive Into Gold Rush History

Start your day in downtown Skagway’s National Historic District, which boasts six blocks of restored gold rush era buildings and a variety of museums. Highlights include the Mascot Saloon, a monument to Skagway’s rambunctious past; Jefferson Smith’s Parlor, a museum dedicated to Skagway’s infamous con man; the Skagway Museum, which focuses on the Klondike Gold Rush; and the Moore Cabin, the town’s oldest structure. Join a free, ranger-led walking tour of this historic area, or pick up an audio guide made by Skagway local Buckwheat Donahue that includes stories and legends from the town’s gold rush days.

Afternoon: Head to the Mountains

Spend the afternoon traveling to White Pass Summit, located on the border of Alaska and British Columbia, Canada. White Pass was one of the two routes that led prospectors into the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, and it offers views of the Coast Mountains and the Skagway River Valley. You can visit the pass as part of a tour of gold rush–era attractions on a narrow-gauge railroad from Skagway or take a combination train and bicycle tour of the area. Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, spend the afternoon on a dog-sledding adventure, a river float, or a zip-lining tour. 

Evening: Red Lights and Northern Light

Nighttime activities in Skagway vary depending on the season: In the summer, Skagway enjoys up to 18 hours of sunlight every day, so you can hike, kayak, and enjoy other outdoor activities well into the evening. For a taste of history, head to the Red Onion Saloon, Skagway’s infamous former brothel for dinner and drinks, or enjoy a little gold panning and an all-you-can-eat Alaskan feast at the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp. During the winter months, you might also be able to catch the Northern lights from town or from White Pass Summit.

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5 Tours and Activities

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White Pass Deluxe Tour from Skagway
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White Pass Deluxe Tour from Skagway

star-4.5
174
Discover the highlights of Skagway and Alaska’s gold rush history on this tour. Wind through the downtown area and visit the Gold Rush Cemetery, where you hear tales about Frank Reed and Soapy Smith. Aboard a comfortable mini-bus with large windows, travel along White Pass Summit and soak up views of mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. Marvel at the surreal landscape of Tormented Valley. Stop frequently along the way for photo ops and wildlife viewings. Please note that you will need your passport, don't forget it!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.03
From
$50.03

White Pass Summit and Yukon Suspension Bridge Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

White Pass Summit and Yukon Suspension Bridge Tour

star-4.5
28
The area surrounding White Pass is an ideal location to see Yukon’s famous scenery, but it’s nearly impossible to reach from Skagway without a car. This tour picks you up from your ship or hotel, saving you the hassle of navigation, and takes you to White Pass Summit and the Yukon Suspension Bridge. Afterward, you’re driven back to your port of call or hotel.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$118.00
From
$118.00

Grizzly Falls Ziplining Expedition

Grizzly Falls Ziplining Expedition

star-5
32
Soar over glacial waterfalls and stunning Alaska scenery on this ziplining excursion. Meet your guide at the dock and enjoy an entertaining trip through historic Skagway on your way to Dyea. There enjoy a ziplining orientation before strapping in and taking off.  The course features multiple ziplines and suspension bridges to give you views of the surrounding Tongass National Forest and allow you to soar over glacial waterfalls.
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  • 4 hours
From
$184.17
From
$184.17

Skagway Shore Excursion: Scenic River Float Tour

Skagway Shore Excursion: Scenic River Float Tour

star-4.5
55
While your ship is docked in Skagway, enjoy a 40 minute raft ride on the Taiya River. During this peaceful river float, a knowledgeable guide points out any wildlife, including possible bald eagles and even bears, depending on the time of year. Learn about Skagway’s history as you snap photos of spectacular mountain scenery. This family-friendly shore excursion comes with port transport.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$86.16
From
$86.16

Skagway Self-Guided Audio Tour

Skagway Self-Guided Audio Tour

Explore the historic and exciting city of Skagway in the state of Alaska! A major city during the Gold Rush days, you will learn about the boom that took hold of Skagway at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Centre. Perfectly suited for discovery on foot, our self-guided audio tour allows you to set the pace and explore at your leisure as you uncover the stories of this fascinating city. On this audio tour you will discover the many walks and trails surrounding the city along with locals dressed in period clothing. To discover this vibrant city in your own time and at your own pace just download this self-guided audio tour, pop in your headphones, open the map that comes with your download and start walking. The tour will take approximately two hours, but you can pause the audio guide when needed. Grab a bite to eat or do some shopping along the way. Please note that this tour is only available in English.
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  • 2 hours
From
$15.29
From
$15.29