Of the 20,000 gold prospectors who once lived in Skagway, less than a thousand residents remain. However, the small town is filled with historical reminders of the Gold Rush days. Fourteen buildings are on the National Historic Register, and you can close your eyes and go back to the days of the wild west. In the late 1800's, Skagway was a truly wild town, which was run by thugs and filled with saloons and brothels. Thousands of people searching for their fortune came to Skagway on their way to the Yukon.
Thousands of Alaska cruise ship passengers visit Skagway today, searching for souvenirs and memories. Many passengers choose to tour the old town or to ride the famous narrow gauge railroad over the scenic mountains on the White Pass and Yukon Railway or to the Yukon Suspension Bridge, both fun things to do on an Alaska cruise.
The Yukon Highway connects Skagway with Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, making it one of only two towns (along with Haines) in Southeast Alaska where you can drive, which contributes to the many tourists.
Like many of the towns in Alaska, the natural scenery is spectacular!
Skagway is the northernmost town on the Inside Passage of Alaska. Its location leads to warmer summers and colder winters than many of the other towns on the Inside Passage.
Salmon in the River in Skagway, Alaska
We were in Alaska in late August, and every stream seemed to be filled with salmon.
Graffiti Hill in Skagway, Alaska
This hill has been "decorated" for years by the crews of different ships that dock nearby. The crews honor their captain by painting the name of the ship and captain on the hill. Legend has it that the higher the name, the more the crew respect and love their captain.
Gold Rush Brothel Tour in Skagway, Alaska
This brothel is no longer in business, but it gets lots of tourist traffic. And, you have to laugh at the sign.
Arctic Brotherhood Building in Skagway, Alaska
The Arctic Brotherhood Building is Skagway's most photographed site and is an excellent example of rustic architecture. The building is covered with driftwood.
The Arctic Brotherhood Hall was built in 1899 for the Fraternal Order of the Arctic Brotherhood. Eleven men organized the fraternity on February 26, 1899, while en route from Seattle to Skagway. They formed the Arctic Brotherhood to provide mutual assistance, friendship, and social interaction in the northern communities of Alaska and the Yukon.
Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown at the Dock in Skagway, Alaska
The Spirit of Yorktown was able to dock within easy walking distance of downtown Skagway.
Fish Ladder in Skagway
Salmon running upstream use fish ladders to bypass man-made obstacles.