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Skagway

Walking Around Skagway

Skagway's rowdy history is memorialized at the corner of 1st Avenue and Main Street, where a marker notes the infamous 1898 gun battle between Soapy Smith and Frank Reid. From the marker, head two blocks east along 1st Avenue and turn left on Broadway into the heart of the town. Inside the old White Pass and Yukon Railroad Depot at 2nd Avenue and Broadway, you'll find the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park visitor center, one of Southeast's best museums.

The next block north on Broadway—the heart of historical Skagway—contains several of the town's best-known buildings. The two-centuries-old Red Onion Saloon remains a favorite place to imbibe under the watchful eyes of "working girl" mannequins. Next door is the Arctic Brotherhood Hall, the facade of which is constructed entirely of driftwood. Inside, you'll find the helpful Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is full of friendly faces and useful local information. The golden dome of the Golden North Hotel, built in 1898, sits across the street from the old Mascot Saloon. There are also public restrooms here. Keep going up Broadway for Corrington's Museum of Alaskan History, with its large collection of scrimshaw (carved ivory) art. A right turn on 5th Avenue brings you to the Park Service's Moore Cabin, Skagway's oldest structure. The beautifully restored Skagway City Hall is housed in the same granite-front building as the Skagway Museum. Return to Broadway and follow it to 6th Avenue, where you can see The Days of '98 with Soapy Smith show inside historic Eagles Hall.

If you are up for a longer walk, continue 2 miles out of town along Alaska Street to the Gold Rush Cemetery, where you'll find the graves of combatants Soapy Smith and Frank Reid. The cemetery is also the trailhead for the short walk to Lower Reid Falls, an enjoyable jaunt through the valley's lush forest. (A city bus takes you most of the way to the cemetery for $2 each direction.) No tour of Skagway is complete without a train ride on the famed White Pass and Yukon Route. Trains depart from the corner of 2nd Street and Broadway several times a day in summer.

The six blocks that compose the heart of downtown Skagway can be explored in a half hour, but budget two hours to see the Park Service's historic buildings and the Skagway Museum. (If you include the 4-mile round-trip walk to the Gold Rush Cemetery, plan on three to four hours.) Leave some time to explore Skagway's many shops, restaurants, and other attractions.

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