Skagway’s original name, Skagua, means “Home of the North Wind”.
Skagway, with a population of just around 1,000, is located at the northernmost point of the Inside Passage in Southeast Alaska. It is placed 103 air miles north of Juneau and 110 road miles south of Whitehorse, Yukon. It is one of only three cities in Southeast Alaska accessible by road. Nestled at the northernmost reaches of the Inside Passage, the streets are lined with wooden boardwalks and restored buildings, looking much as they did 100 years ago.
Skagway’s history and spectacular natural setting create unparalleled sightseeing and recreation opportunities.
Skagway rarely disappoints visitors. You only need to take one step in Skagway to realize you are in a place of unsurpassable beauty. A seven-block corridor along Broadway features historic false-front shops and restaurants, wooden sidewalks, locals in period costumes and restored buildings.
For recreation there are two parks, one recreation center, a playground, bowling, museums, fishing, hiking, boating, camping facilities, ice skating, skiing and snowmobiling. For the adventurous, Skagway has an excellent trail system that begins just blocks from the downtown area and allows hikers to trek to alpine lakes, waterfalls, even the graves of Skagway’s most notorious residents, Soapy Smith and Frank Reid.
Today Skagway survives almost entirely on tourism, as bus tours and more than 400 cruise ships a year turn this small town into a boomtown again every summer. Up to five ships a day stop here and, on the busiest days, more than 8,000 visitors — 10 times the town’s resident population — march off the ships and turn Broadway Avenue into a modern-day version of the Klondike Gold Rush.