Skagway, Alaska. Year round population is approximately 900 give or take. Despite its small size, this city made a name for itself as the “Gateway to the Yukon” during the Yukon Gold Rush when gold was discovered in the Klondike River, 600 miles north of Skagway.
Out of the Gold Rush came an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and our first excursion in this city, the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. As we boarded “The Scenic Railway of the World”, we were filled with anticipation of the sights we were going to see, including the Klondike Trail of ‘98.
As we pulled away from the docks, we were provided with background information on Skagway and the men who found the gold in the Klondike. As we started our 2,885-foot climb to the summit of White Pass, we couldn’t get over the beauty of everything. The mountains, glaciers, gorges, and waterfalls were spectacular, and the original trestle bridges alone are a marvel of civil engineering.
We stopped at the summit, which is at the boarder of the US and Canada, and rolled our way across the boarder. Making it my first time into Canada, but not my last! We then turned our seats around and started our descent. I highly recommend you take a ride on one of the routes offered by White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad if you are ever in Skagway. It is definitely a one of a kind way to see the beauty of Alaska and this trail that was a part of America’s and Canada’s history. You can even check a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark off your bucket list!
After our train ride, we wandered around Skagway, did a little souvenir shopping, and grabbed a quick lunch at Skagway Fish Company, a great little local joint, before we headed off to our second excursion of the day: a Backcountry Jeep Safari to Carcross, Yukon! But that’s a story for another day.