Our arrival to Skagway coincided with a non-cruise ship day. It was dead quiet in town. The timing provided an opportunity to admire the historical buildings and architectural details of the gold rush town. The next day we witnessed the mass of tourists descend from the dockyard towards Broadway Street, a perfectly manicured movie set of jewellery stores, souvenirs shops, art galleries, and restaurants.
Hike The Dewey Lake Trail System
The town’s beautiful setting, surrounded by stunning mountains was our draw. After inquiring about possible half-day hikes nearby, it was suggested we try the Alpine mountain lakes of Lower and Upper Dewey. With so much daylight still ahead, we set out for a late afternoon hike.
The trailhead is easy to find, across the tracks between 3rd and 4th Street. From the start, it’s a steady uphill climb along a well-maintained trail. A few miles in, deep in the forest we were at once familiar following a noisy creek–as if we were back in our beloved Adirondacks.
At Lower Dewey Lake you can walk the loop around the lake, but we continued to Upper Dewey. The trail progresses at a strenuous grade, and as we gained elevation, we encountered mud and soon packed snow.
The past few months, all of us had been mostly sedentary. Cardio and muscles were feeling it. Slowly, with gentle encouragement and prodding, we forged ahead.
Soon, we were standing on the edge of Upper Dewey Lake admiring the view. A primitive cabin sits by the lake, available for rent from the Skagway Recreation Centre. Here we refuelled for the walk back down.
We were not encouraging companions, our minds and body feeling the 3,100 ft (945 meters) of climbing in 3 steep miles.
Ginette followed reluctantly, “only another half-hour then we turn around.”
Heading towards the Punchbowl, the walking was on soft packed snow, thru spruce traps and boulders and not so pleasant without snowshoes. Gordon snapped a few pictures from over the ridge before we turned around.
Dirty, hungry, and stiff, coming off the mountain at 9:45 pm, we rushed to find a restaurant before closing.
“You’ve got five minutes before the kitchen closes, can I bring you something to drink?”
“Absolutely. We’ll have a burger and beer.”
Life is good!
Yakutania Point Trail System
The next morning, after breakfast in town, we enjoyed a lovely walk along the Yakutania Point trail. One nice flat track, just what we could handle.
Continuing further leads to Smugglers Cove.
Explore Beyond Broadway
When you are ready to yonder away from the main street madness, there’s an authentic Skagway to discover.
Gold Rush Cemetery and Lower Reed Falls
As a point of interest, visit the Klondike Gold Rush Cemetery. While you can tell that some of the head markers have been touched-up, it is still worth a look around.
An extra 5-minute walk just beyond the Cemetery, up against a gentle hill, leads to the lush setting of Lower Reed Falls.
Happy day in Skagway!