Directions & Transportation
Skagway is accessible by land, air, and sea. During the summer months it is a very busy cruise ship port providing most of the visitors to Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
Skagway, Alaska is located in the southeastern "pan handle" part of the state.
Image courtesy of National Parks of Alaska
How do I get to Skagway?
Skagway is situated at the northernmost point of the Inside Passage in Southeast Alaska. Skagway can be reached by air, sea, or land.
Skagway has two airlines operating out of the local airport, Fjord Flying Service and Alaska Seaplanes. Both companies charter flights to and from Juneau and other southeast Alaska towns several times a day.
Skagway is serviced by the Alaska State Ferry system. Ferries arrive daily during the summer season (weather dependent) and several times a week during the winter. Most ferries can transport large recreational vehicles as well. Skagway is also a major cruise ship port. Cruise ships dock in Skagway daily during the summer season and typically stay 8 hours. Cruise Line Agency of Alaska maintains a docking calendar.
Skagway can be accessed by highway, however, it requires international travel. The Klondike Highway, a 100 mile stretch of road, connects Skagway to Whitehorse, Canada, the capital of the Yukon. From Whitehorse, drivers can connect to the Alaska-Canadian Highway which connects with highways leading to the lower 48 states.
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I'm in Skagway, how do I get to the park?
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park has three distinct units.
Skagway Historic District
Dyea Townsite and Chilkoot Trail
If you're in Skagway, you're probably already at the park! Start your visit at the Visitor Center located at 2nd and Broadway in the old White Pass & Yukon Route Depot building. Many visitors see this part of the park without realizing it due to a unique partnership between the town of Skagway and the National Park Service. There are 21 restored (and more in progress) historic buildings in town owned by the Park Service and many historic structures owned by other groups. As you stroll through town you will be stepping back in time and can explore inside several NPS historic buildings.
Parking in Skagway can be difficult in the summer months. If you are parking on the street, please read all posted signs carefully. All day parking is available for free in an unpaved lot at the corner of Spring St and 2nd avenue, just one block down from the National Park Visitor Center. This lot has space for both cars and RVs, but can fill up on busy event days and holiday weekends.
In 1898 Dyea was a bustling boomtown and the start of the Chilkoot Trail. The beginning of the Chilkoot Trail is located about 9 miles from Skagway and the Dyea Townsite is 10 miles. The park does not provide transportation to either location, but there are private companies that do as well as lead guided tours at these sites. If you have a personal or rental vehicle you can drive to the Dyea area via the Dyea Road. The Dyea Road is primarily dirt, but graded each summer. For information on how to get to Dyea or current road conditions ask at the Visitor Center at 2nd and Broadway or call 907-983-9200.
Visitors have many options for parking in Dyea. There are designated parking areas for the Dyea Townsite (not to exceed 4 hours) and day-hiking on the Chilkoot Trail at the trailhead. For overnight and multi-day hikers on the Chilkoot Trail, parking is available in designated spots at the Dyea Campground near the day-use picnic area. Parking is available for RVs and cars and is approximately 1/4 of a mile from the trailhead.
White Pass Unit
This part of the park is the least accessible to visitors. There are no roads or trails to the White Pass unit. Most people who see it do so unknowingly from the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad train excursion. You can learn more about this remote section of the park in A Wild Discouraging Mess: The History of the White Pass Unit of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, available free online (PDF 47.4 MB).
The buildings that make up part Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park are incorporated in to the town of Skagway's historic district.