A Travellerspoint blog

From Skagway to the Yukon

sunny 65 °F

Skagway is a tiny town with a year round population of about 700 people. In the summer months between cruise ship employees, tourists, and local seasonal residents the number of people milling about the city can reach 20,000. The town itself stretches about four by twenty street blocks and the majority of the city center sits on a narrow strip of eight blocks. On this particular day our cruise ship was the only ship in port and the town felt like an abandoned ghost town. With so little to do in the city center, most cruise passengers partake in guided excursions, which is how we spent our day in Skagway.


My friend Rose lives in Skagway during the summer months work for the cruise lines. She got us tickets on an amazing guided tour up White Pass into the Yukon Territory in Canada. The tour was phenomenal and took us through six different climate zones as we made our way from the marine climate to lush, forest dense mountains. When we arrived in Carcross, a tiny town in the Yukon, we were literally in the world’s smallest desert, complete with sand dunes. It was slightly odd being surrounded by snow-capped mountains and pine cone laden fir trees while sitting amongst the sandy dunes with an icy breeze blowing past.


I think these photos sum up the extreme diversity in landscape - it truly was surreal!



We spent the afternoon at Caribou Crossing where we enjoyed a BBQ style lunch in a giant mess hall (vegetarian style of course!). Caribou Crossing was a tourist trap complete with gold panning and ATV riding all at an additional cost. I went straight for the dog sled area where I snuggled up with four week old husky puppies. Round and cuddly, the puppies melted my heart and I could have stayed there all day. I was hesitant to watch the dog sledding as I have strong feelings about animal rights, but curiosity got the best of me and I wandered over towards the ruckus of barking. My ideas about dog mistreatment were quickly erased as I witnessed the dogs experience sheer joy while pulling the sled. You may have strong beliefs about animal rights, but I kid you not, these dogs were far from unhappy. As the passengers were loaded, six dogs were chosen (out of about 40 or so) and harnessed to the sled. The chosen dogs leapt for joy and strained against the reins eager to pull the sled. The remaining dogs howled like wolves as they realized it wasn’t their turn. Realizing we were running short on time, we quickly gave the puppies some more love before clambering aboard our outdated motor coach to head back over the pass.


Once back in Skagway, Rose met us downtown and gave us a tour of the sights and took us on a short hike out to Smuggler’s Cove. We enjoyed a surprisingly good dinner at the Red Onion, a former brothel (man, what is it with Alaskans and their prostitutes?!) and then said our farewells before boarding the ship.


The next two days will be spent on board the cruise ship as we sail through the icy waters of Glacier Bay and College Fjord. The geography of Southern Alaska is so diverse and it’s incredible how many landscapes, climates, and weather patterns we have experienced in such a short time. We still have so much more to see, so stay tuned!

Posted by Jennylynn 07:16 Archived in USA Tagged cruises

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beautiful palce really it's

by bellaouch

Yes really it is tiny town, but very beautiful, I like it very much & also like your blog.


by sampeter

I lived in Toronto for 5 years long time ago and 'going' back for a holiday is on my list of places to visit. Reading your article brings a tear to my eye on what a beautiful country Canada is and how much I truly miss it. I can't hardly wait for the day to return 'home' to feed my soul.

by CWai

Welcome to www.jiaoin.com

Traveler's home

by jiaoin

I actually live here... http://web.mac.com/stellbrink/KS_Photography/Start.html

by 4traveller

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