The drive into Skagway from Whitehorse is 110 miles. I should say 110 miles of the most unusual beauty we’ve seen so far.
This route is called the Klondike Highway. The Klondike Hwy is the route prospectors took to get to the newly discovered gold at Dawson City. The road as it is now was not completed until 1976. Especially as the road nears the coast and the city of Skagway, it drops down to sea level from above the tree line. The road comes down through a notch of mountains laced with long waterfalls and running water and small natural ponds. The literature calls it “moonscape” which is a good description of an area of more recently glaciated rocks.
This picture is a suspension bridge which seemed to hang on the side of the mountain.
The first impression of Skagway is “crowded tourist stop.” There were two cruise ships in the harbor when we arrived so the streets were crowded with shoppers. The stores were quaint and colorful, though. And, if I were a shopper, I might have enjoyed browsing.
We parked on a side street, took off our bikes and started riding. We visited the Gold Rush Cemetery, the harbor to watch the harbor seals trying to catch the salmon that were trying to climb the fish ladder. The streams above were full of the determined salmon as well. Since it was Sunday, we ate a fresh fish meal at the local bar.
As 5:30 approached, and we were riding the back streets toward our truck, it struck me this town is like any other small town. Building things, tending flowers and shopping for groceries. I definitely left with a better feeling than when I arrived.
Another must visit in Alaska.
As I write this, I hear what sounds like ocean waves, but it is a huge lake. We asked the border petrol officer if we might camp hear the area nearby. He directed us here. It is no fee, unattended. I feel we are definitely in the wild.
Tomorrow, it’s the Cassiar Highway.