Hairpin Turns and Bottomless Valleys on a Day Trip to the Klondike

White Pass & Yukon train to Skagway, Alaska Scenic curve on the White Pass & Yukon--Photo by Wallace Immen

 You’ve got to hand it to people who have a vision about how to make a fortune.

As thousands of world-be prospectors set out from Skagway, Alaska, across the rugged mountains to the Yukon in quest of fabled fortunes in the Gold Rush of 1898,  other people immediately thought of ways to make money helping them on their way by building a (toll) road and a dramatic (priced by passenger and weight of  freight) railroad through the stunning mountains that line the Alaskan panhandle.

They’re both wonders to behold and on my recent visit to Skagway aboard Oceania Cruises’ Regatta,  I travelled across the White Pass to the Yukon by bus and then caught the White Pass & Yukon train for the trip back to Skagway down from Fraser, Yukon.

I’ll let pictures do the talking:

Guide iin Skagway, Alaska

James Valentine, our bus driver and guide, born and raised in Skagway–winter population 950 –Photo by Wallace Immen

Sign in Alaska's White Pass

Most people did the Yukon crossing during avalanche-prone winter, so they could prospect in the summer.

Glacial Stream in Alaska

A glacial stream. No one has successfully white-water rafted here–Photo by Wallace Immen

Fraser, Yukon Territory

Catching the train at Fraser, in Canada’s Yukon Territory–Photo by Wallace Immen


Glacial lake in Alaska

Beautiful blue lakes filled with fresh glacial melt, pretty to look at but tough to cross unless they’re frozen–Photo by Wallace Immen

Trail of '98 in Alaska

The old, and extremely rugged trail of 1898–Photo by Wallace Immen

Trestle on the White Pass railway to Skagway

Trestle on the railway with stunning snowy mountains all around–Photo by Wallace Immen


Old trestle on the White Pass & Yukon railroad

Looks like a dead end–Photo by Wallace Immen

Editor’s note: White Pass & Yukon rail service resumed July 26 after a derailment of a train on July 23. No passengers were seriously injured and the company said in a statement that it has taken steps to ensure safety in the future.  

About Wallace Immen

Wallace Immen is Executive Editor of The Cruisington Times, the Best in Cruising, Travel, Food and Fun. He's sailed on all of the world's seas to ports in over 100 countries and travelled on every continent. Contact: Website | Twitter | More Posts

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