i would be interested to know what anyones opinion would be on fun and interesting things to do in Skagway that don't cost a fortune. We will be sailing on NCL Star on June 6th. We have rented a car in Skagway since we will be there for such a long time (I think about 11 hours). We have already determined that we will not take the train ride, but understand that you can do the same route by car. Any suggestions? And with your suggestions, could you tell much time we would spend doing various adventures? Thanks so much for taking time to help!
One thing that we've signed up for is the Klondike Gold Dredge, which is part of our White Pass Railroad excursion. I think it would be pretty interesting, as it's very historic and you get to pan for your own gold! They even guarantee that you WILL find gold. The website states that it's located only 1.7 miles from the cruise ship docks. I won't get to tell you about it, as we're returning from our cruise the same day you are leaving. Here's the website:
All the gold panning is fake, with seeded gold. It is good for those with interest, but a more authentic look is at the Last Chance Mining museum in Juneau. For clairfication- the Klondike Highway is NOT the same as the White Pass- scenery is superior from the train, but certainly not for everyone. Before getting the car head to the Park Service visitor center- it will greatly enhance your later drive with all their free attractions. http://www.nps.gov/klgo/schedule.htm
Drive and make stops at the Gold Rush Cemetery and detour on the Dyea road and take a look there too, stop at the Slide Cemetery. Consider heading 75 miles north to Emerald Lake and return, scenery significantly drops off after that point. Skagway is an excellent walking city- take a look on side streets and consider a walk down past the airport- will also see the school.
At this time of year I think the drive is actually better than the train. With the cold spring you might see some real neat remnants of winter as you crest the hill out of skagway and cross the border into the yukon. That is one of my favourite parts of the trip. After about 15 miles of that the drive is much like any other. You may want to consider the drive into whitehorse (captial of the yukon). It is only about an hour but the city has something to offer. Skagway itself is kinda neat and I would spend a couple of hours walking around and getting some ice cream. even if you buy nothing else (maybe a drink in the saloon) you will enjoy your time there.
I am always amazed at how many people think the train is worth doing. Unless you are really into trains, I just don't get it.
The highway is on the opposite side of the valley that the train takes - one of the neat things about the train is that you are basically clinging to the side of the mountain as you climb up to the pass so you get a better view of the valley floor - with the highway you can see where the train travels and also the original pack trail - there is a spectacular bridge and waterfall before the summit and you will probably still have some snow at the summit.
To Chuck - to walk around Knott's berry farm you have to pay an entrance fee to walk around Skayway is free - not a lot of history at Knott's but plenty at Skayway - on my last cruise to alaska Sitka and Skayway were my favorite ports - Juneau been bigger and more developed less so.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Skagway on a budget
Just a reminder - if you do decide to drive into Canada, make sure you have your identification with you (passport or government issue photo id and certified birth certificate) or you will not get back into the USA to get back to your ship!
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!