GATEWAY TO THE KLONDIKE
Skagway was born during the great Klondike gold rush. Those were the days when Skagway had 80 saloons and was known as "the roughest town on earth". The city's rip-roaring past will come alive when you walk down Broadway, a main street so authentic it is part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
This "Gateway to the Klondike" watched as countless fortune-seekers passed on its streets as they headed to the Chilkoot and White Pass Trails during the heyday of Alaska's Gold Rush. Today, you can still feel like a prospector in Skagway, as you walk along its rustic boardwalks and frontier-style storefronts. With only 750 residents, this cozy town lies at the head of the Lynn Canal and offers a pleasant respite from the hustle and bustle of most cities.
More than a century after the Gold Rush, Skagway remains a popular destination for visitors, young and old. With its classic cars and one of the oldest narrow-gauge railroads in the world, the city retains the flavor of days gone by and remains an important link to Alaska's rich history. The adventures of fortune-seeking prospectors still linger in Skagway's streets and with a little imagination you may hear the wild nightlife filled with song and drink. Skagway's rich history brings countless visitors to the city where the past lives on. You'll adore the false-fronted buildings and enjoy the city alive with frontier freedom.
The Moore House, built by the visionary founder of Skagway Captain William Moore and his son J. Bernard Moore, is a popular attraction. Restored to its 1904 appearance and furnished with many original family possessions, the Moore house documents what family life in the late Victorian era was like in an Alaskan pioneer town. You can find Skagway's most treasured artifacts, memorabilia, photographs and historical records of the past century in the Skagway Museum, renowned for its fine Alaska Native heritage collection of baskets, beadwork and carvings.
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If you are in the mood for some frolicking fun, then take in the revue "Skagway in the Days of '98." Complete with dancing girls, ragtime music and a reenactment of the shoot-out between Soapy Smith and Frank Reid, the show has been running since 1927! It is staged several times a day and when cruise ships are in port.
Gold Rush Cemetery
The cemetery is just a short walk from scenic Reid Falls, named after local hero Frank Reid. You will see the impressive monument to Reid and several other whitewashed wooden markers which are replaced by the park service when they get too worn too read.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historic District
Explore the wooden boardwalk lined streets and false fronted buildings,
seven blocks on Broadway make up downtown, and a stroll down this main thoroughfare is a must. Highlights include a stop at the Arctic Brotherhood Hall, the only remaining example of turn-of-the-century Alaskan driftwood architecture. Other buildings like the Trail of '98 Museum, Corrington's Museum of Alaskan History and the Alaskan Wildlife Adventure and Museum present different facets of prospecting times.
Red Onion Saloon
Have a cool beverage served on the original mahogany bar as a lady-of-the-evening mannequin peers down from what used to be the second-floor brothel.
Trail of '98 Museum
Sharing the building with Skagway City Hall, the museum has documents relating to Soapy Smith and Frank Reid, gambling paraphernalia from the old Board of Trade Saloon, Native artifacts and much more.
Before hitting the famous Chilkoot Trail, there are other well-marked trails to try. Hiking to Lower Dewey Lake is an easy, 20-minute climb, and there are more adventurous trails that lead to remote Sturgill's Landing, Upper Dewey Lake and the Devil's Punchbowl. Off the trails and away from Broadway, the White Pass Scenic Railway and Eagle Preserve Wildlife Quest provide additional options for history and nature lovers alike.
A short walk will take you past con man Soapy Smith's final resting place in the Gold Rush Cemetery and the historic train yard of the White Pass Railway. For those wanting to take in some live entertainment, you won't to miss the "The Days of '98 Show with Soapy Smith."
Despite Skagway's reputation as a pioneer town, it is also highly regarded for the Chilkoot Trail, a 33-mile trek through history. Considered by some as "the world's longest outdoor museum", it is the true pinnacle of a hiking adventure. The three to six day trip retraces the route traveled by the gold-seekers, bringing hikers face to face with hundreds of relics the gold-seekers left behind. If a 33-mile hike is a little too strenuous for you, you may consider visiting Lower Reid Falls, strolling through Molly Wash Park or checking out the lookout on Dyea Road.
||White Pass & Yukon Scenic Railway
Travel on this spectacular narrow gauge railway along the Trail of '98. One of the last remaining narrow gauge trains offers an unforgettable ride through the coastal mountains and a unique way to view the history of the region. Aside from the history, many today ride the railway for its breathtaking views of soaring, glacier-cloaked peaks, countless waterfalls and pristine alpine lakes.
Visit this historic gold rush camp where you may explore cabins and tents that were used as saloons, bordellos, bakeries and laundries
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