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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:26 PM
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Default Help with Skagway excursions

We will be going to Alaska in Sept of 2006. We are booking our excursions, but we don't know which one we should do in Skagway. We have narrowed it down to these two.


1. Eagle Preserve Wildlife River Adventure

2. White Pass Scenic Railway


We have heard great things about the train but haven't heard much about the eagle preserve river adv. From what we've read this one is a good chance to see moose and bears. Has anyone done this one? Please help and Thank you in advance
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Old July 13th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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The White Pass RR is definately superior, if interested in scenery, history, engineering. And gives you an opportunity to enjoy Skagway which has a lot to offer.

The Eagle Preserve is in Haines, you will be ferried there, going back the way you came on your ship. It is a scenic area, BUT- eagles are just about everywhere in Alaska- if you look and they just are not in the numbers that they will be late fall due to this being the latest salmon run.

Nope, NOT a wildlife area, and sightings extremely rare. Less than 25% of the trips, and this is counting, binocular sightings of "moose dots".

If you are considering this for the wildlife, sorry but not a good selection. Very nice scenery certainly.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 09:34 PM
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We wanted to rent a car but they were all booked, those that I talked to at dinner & the next day had a great day. Do you like to hike? Mark & I packed up our backpacks & set out for the day. Yakutania Point to Smugglers Cove & on around. Also followed the train tracks down (and waved at all the passengers) to the GoldMine Cemetary & up to Reid Falls (nice to cool off up there), of course the cold one @ the Red Onion topped off all the hiking!

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Old July 16th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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ALWAYS reserve cars in advance. Available in all ports.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 03:37 PM
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We agree, don't miss the White Pass R.R. - You may want to take the R.R. one way and the bus in the other direction. 3-1/2 hours on the train might be too much. Skip Liarsville, if offered; it's a waste of time and money. Spend the rest of your time just walking around Skagway. There should be some bargains in September.

LL
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Old July 24th, 2006, 05:37 PM
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White Pass is an awesome and memorable excursion!

We had our two children with us and my elderly mom and we ALL loved it! Our Ds is a train buff and this was "his" excursion, but we all had a blast.

I would have to say take the train, the views are unreal!
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Old August 7th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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We've done both of these excursions and White Rail was the better tour. Agree that you should skip Liarsville. The day we did White Rail was crystal clear. The guide said he had been there 5 years and never seen the peaks of all the surrounding mountains at the same time. Great day.

The Eagle Preserve was nice and while we did see a fair number of eagles they were not in the abundance I would have expected. We also saw a moose and calf and a variety of other animals. It was however a long day. The bonus was that the drive from the ferry to the preserve was nice and our guide was a bubbly young lady who gave us a good deal of iformation about day to day life in small town Alaska.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 08:01 PM
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Hi we will be going to alaska in sept too. we have narrowed our choices between two trips offered by princess. one is the Best of skagway, which is the white pass railway trip and then down to Lairsville. and the other is klondike scenic hightlights, which also includes the white pass train ride and then a trip to the suspension bridge over tutshi river. the bridge is a new offereing for princess, has anyone gone on this trip or can anyone tell me why lairs ville is not good.
thanks a bunch you guys are so helpful.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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We rented a car on our last trip and drove up to Carcross in the Yukon..best thing we've done there. You see lots of beautiful scenery and it's less money than the train.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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SoCalGal,

We rented a car on our last trip and drove up to Carcross in the Yukon..best thing we've done there. You see lots of beautiful scenery and it's less money than the train.

You don't know what you're missing!

The train has guides who provide narration the whole way, pointing out important historical sites and telling the history of the area and the railroad. The rail line also goes through terrain where you could not build a road, and the views in those segments are the most spectacular.

Norm.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 01:28 PM
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I totally agree with not missing out on the narration of the train! We learned so much from the guides and they were awesome and VERY knowledgable!
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Old August 10th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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We've done the train and feel that you can read up on Skagway history. I copied a guide to Carcross on the internet for our trip....it gave all the mile markers and points of interest. You see so much more by car, including a wolf that we saw on the road to Carcross. You travel at your own leisure (and lots more comfortable than the smelly train) for half the cost for the four of us which included my 85 and 86 year old parents. Sorry to disagree, but you see the very same sights as the train and much, much more. But, to each his own.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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SoCalGal,

We've done the train and feel that you can read up on Skagway history. I copied a guide to Carcross on the internet for our trip....it gave all the mile markers and points of interest. You see so much more by car, including a wolf that we saw on the road to Carcross. You travel at your own leisure (and lots more comfortable than the smelly train) for half the cost for the four of us which included my 85 and 86 year old parents. Sorry to disagree, but you see the very same sights as the train and much, much more. But, to each his own.

Like a car (technology that had not made it to Alaska) on a road that didn't exist can ever reproduce the experience of going up to the gold fields the way the prospectors did it during the gold rush....

BTW, why do you assume that you won't see a wolf from the train? You may well see not only wolves but also bears, dall sheep, and other wildlfife of the area along the tracks.

And why do you assume that the coaches are smelly and uncofortable? In fact, the railroad regularly buys new coaches built in the "period" style that are quite comfortable and maintains its equipment very well. The coaches are anything but smelly, and they are more comfortable than many rental cars.

Norm.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 10:40 PM
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Norm,

Do you work for the White Pass and Yukon Railway? You can't stop the train to take pictures (like we did of the wolf). My lungs are very sensitive to the smoke the train gives off and it drifts right into the cars....stinky. And if you really want to do what the early prospectors did, then walk up there! Like I said, to each his own.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 07:31 AM
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Both are good options depending on your interest. For Clairfication- the views are NOT the same from the Klondike Highway and White Pass, less than 3 miles is a common view and the scenery indeed is superior from the train.

But this is not for everyone. I have done and greatly enjoyed both many times. There is an EXCELLENT road guide for the South Klondike Highway that offers a great "narration", this is actually written by Murray (Yukon) who posts to this board. Just a definate highlight of the trip to have it. www.explorenorth.com

You have no access via rail into the Yukon with the regular run of the train. If time allows the Lake Bennett run is just fantastic.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:22 PM
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We enjoyed the train in the morning. Then we rented bikes for an hour and followed the train tracks down to the GoldMine Cemetary & up about a 5 minute walk to Reid Falls. The falls were a delightful surprise. We also did a little hiking also.
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