Skagway Scenic Drive Excursion Reviews
We tour a Scenic drive tour up into the Canadian Yukon Territory. The driver was engaging with lots of great information about what we were seeing and where we were. He told very interesting stories about the 1898 gold rush and the travels up the Klondike trail. It was foggy in the morning so we didn't see a lot of the amazing scenery on the way up and through White Pass but in the afternoon we got to see everything. He made lots of brief stops at various pull off spots so we could climb out, stretch our legs and get some incredible pictures. We had a great lunch of sandwiches, soup and the best homemade pie I've ever had at the Spirit Lake Wilderness Resort. We had about an hour to explore the small village of Carcross before heading back towards Skagway with more stops along the way at the Yukon and Welcome to Alaska signs for more pictures. After all the time on the ship and our other excursions being on the water as well it was great to have a chance to experience some of the beauty of the interior of Alaska and the Yukon Territory.
On Day 4, Skagway, we booked a private tour with Beyond Skagway Tours. If you have a larger group, this can be well worth the price since you pay by the hour and not the person. The tour was originally booked for 7 hours, but in the end we added an extra hour and 45 minutes. We really did need that much time to explore and enjoy ourselves at each stop.
Stopping to build an Inukshuk near Summit Creek was a highlight for the kids. I think I saw a badger along the way, but only caught the hind end as it went over the edge into the ravine.
We drove into Canada, reaching as far as Carcross. Be sure to get your passport stamped at the Post Office there since they don't stamp it at the USA/Canada border. Eat lunch at Carcross Bistro, a new place whose menu includes buffalo burgers, caribou sausage, salmon salads, and poutine, plus other natural, sustainable, or organic fare.
At Caribou Crossing, a cute little tourist and photo stop, we saw an excellent taxidermy museum of arctic animals including a woolly mammoth. The museum showed a wide variety of animals--including a few oddly included tropical species. The quality of lifelike posing made it easy to imagine them alive. The descriptive plaques were helpful and informative, but too brief for my preference. The halls depicting Yukon gold mining history were excellent in helping to visualize what these explorers experienced. Great historic photos plus reenactment exhibits helped.
Caribou Crossing gave us the only bona fide experience of live animals on our Skagway day: the dogsled kennel. It was a working kennel owned by a currently active Yukon Dogsled and Iditarod Dogsled musher. You can feed the dogs, hold the puppies, and for an extra fee of $36, ride for 1 mile on a summer sled pulled by the dogs. This was a highlight of the tour for our kids.
Beyond Skagway Tours also took us to Carcross Desert which is technically not a meteorological desert because it receives too much rainfall. The sand dunes were created by mica and soil blowing into the area, and it looks like a real desert. The kids enjoyed climbing the monstrous dunes and looking for treasure that Beyond Skagway had hidden there as part of its 100-mile scavenger hunt.
We panned for gold at Tagish Lake and found gold dust. We also picked thimbleberries (giant raspberries) there.