A must see cruise stop on Alaska’s glorious Inside Passage, Skagway is a tiny town that packs a big punch. A historic downtown area quickly gives way to some of the rawest nature on earth, making a cruise to Skagway a great way to see the true wilderness. Explore the local shops and fill up on the various meals found in Skagway before getting your heart racing on one of the many available excursions in this gorgeous slice of paradise.
Here are our top nine recommendations for things to do in Skagway; each with memories that will last a lifetime.
1. Explore Downtown Skagway
Home to under 1,000 permanent residents, Skagway sports a charming Gold Rush era downtown along Broadway, lined with small businesses. While shopping is always fun, don’t miss swinging by the visitor’s center and the local museum where 19th-century artifacts are on display.
2. Get Out on the Takshanuk Mountain Trail
Some of the most pristine mountain wilderness on the planet awaits just outside of Skagway on the Takshanuk Mountain trail, where eagles fly overhead and waterfalls tumble down beneath snow-capped peaks. The most popular way to explore this massive area is by 4×4 tour, which allows you to get deep into nature and far off the beaten path in a short amount of time. Tours include lunch at a wilderness lodge as well as catamaran transport from Skagway to Haines, where the Takshanuk Mountain Trail is located.
3. Ride the White Pass Rail
Get on board a replica Gold Rush era steam train and head for the Yukon while crossing over the alpine splendor of White Pass, which is over 3,000 feet above sea level. As an addition to your Alaskan cruise, our White Pass Railroad Adventure excursion lets you seamlessly combine this exciting trip into your cruise vacation for a truly extraordinary sea to rails combo.
4. Visit the Skagway Cemetery
Home to the tombs of famous Gold Rush-era characters like Jefferson “Soapy” Smith, this historic graveyard is a short walk outside of Skagway and can be reached on the local shuttle bus. Be sure to check out the “World’s Largest Gold Nugget”, a piece of creative tourism marketing invented by Martin Itjen, who also rests his soul here.
5. Check Out the Sawyer Glacier
Get up close and personal with one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders on the planet, a giant glacier. The Tracy Arm and Glacier Arm Explorer excursion allows you to spot marine life as you circle around the glacier in a catamaran. The sound of “white thunder” – the sound made by pieces of blue ice breaking off the Sawyer Glacier and crashing into the icy sea – resounds all around you.
6. Hike the Chilkoot Trail
One of the most legendary treks in North America, the Chilkoot Trails travels 33 miles from Dyea, located just 10 miles from Skagway, to Lake Bennett, British Columbia. Often referred to as the “World’s Longest Museum”, the Chilkoot Trail is home to hundreds of artifacts left behind by Gold Rush-era explorers and offers nine different campsites for you to use along the way.
7. Climb Klondike Rock
Rope up and hang loose on one of the sheerest pieces of pure granite in Alaska at Klondike Rock, located just outside of Skagway on the Klondike Highway. Both rock climbing and rappelling are available to the whole family (ages 6 and up) through the Klondike Rock Climbing and Rappelling Adventure excursion, which includes transport, gear, and a professional guide.
8. Get Wild on a Helicopter and Dogsledding Tour
Some of the most fun things to do in Skagway come in combos. Try something that is guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping like our Helicopter and Dogsledding Tour to the ice-covered mountains just above Skagway. See the historic town and its rugged surroundings from a bird’s eye view before landing at an authentic dog camp and letting a team of huskies guide you across a massive glacier.
9. Go Ziplining in Grizzly Falls
Go deep into the Alaskan coastal rainforest in an all-wheel-drive vehicle where the lush beauty of the Grizzly Falls area awaits. Our unique Grizzly Falls Ziplining Expedition offers you and the family over ten different zip lines and a handful of suspension bridges so you can explore the forest from above and cruise right over the mighty waterfalls themselves.
Travel to Skagway Is Heating Up. Don’t Miss Out!
Small town charm meets larger than life nature in Skagway. A winning combo that is drawing more and more visitors every year. A cruising to Skagway is one of the best ways to see this hidden treasure as it’s far from international airports and highways. Whether planning a family cruise or an outdoor-oriented adventure, Skagway should be at the top of your list.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.