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.
Took a jeep and van driving to Emerald Lake in Canada. Was beautiful country but there were no animals to be seen. May do something different next time.
We had pre-booked a jeep rental and drove over the White Pass into the Yukon.
The scenery was spectacular, and the gorgeous weather (once we'd crossed over the border!) really made the day. Particularly liked the small town of Carcross and Emerald Lake just beyond that.
Back in Skagway we walked around the town. Another set of interesting 'independent' shops,
We rented a car and just drove on our own to the Yukon Territory in Canada. We bought a guide online and it told us scenic spots all along the drive. We saw several bears and the views were amazing. We split the cost with friends so it ended up being a very inexpensive excursion. I'm so glad we didn't book with a tour group as we passed several of them on the way and I would have hated riding in a bus with strangers. We like to spend as much or little time as we want along with way and the drive was super easy. We drove to Emerald Lake and then returned with plenty of time to still shop in Skagway.
Great tour. The RR is the most popular but we think this was not only much cheaper, but better. Went by mini bus and stopped and got off several times. Mike, the driver, was outstanding.
The ship had bus tours as well. They were on large coaches and we saw them just slowly passing through the places where we stopped and got out.
We did the White Pass Summit Excursion and were more than satisfied. Chilkoot Charters are great.
We took the Traditional Tour with Discover Skagway . For only $45.00 we went in a van up to the Summit, a beautiful drive through the mountains with many photo stops. Our tour guide filled us in on the gold rush and the geology of the area. We also went to the Gold Rush Cemetary. This was an interesting and well priced tour.
This was the best, and cheapest, excursion yet! We rented a car in town (book early - there was a line) and drove all the way to Emerald Lake. It was a postcard picture perfect day. It was also nice to be away from crowds and just be by ourselves.
Yukon Scenic Drive (Skagway)
About $100, purchased from Carnival in advance
We boarded a tourbus (a nice bus with comfortable seating for about 25 people) in Skagway which took us into Canada - through a small slice of British Colombia into the Yukon Territories, to a town called Carcross. The scenery on this drive was magnificent. A few locations along the way were foggy in the morning, but by the time we returned in the afternoon the fog had cleared.
We had lunch at the Spirit Lake Wildreness Resort in Carcross - bland sandwiches and pie, soup, and fresh fruit. I liked that the tour guide radioed the restaurant ahead of time with special dietary needs - we had three vegetarians and two no red meat eaters on board - and the restaurant was able to prepare food appropriately.
Our tour guide, Mark, was excellent. He really knew his stuff - history, geography, life in a small Alaska town - everything we wanted to know, presented in a friendly manner. He even recited Alaska-themed poetry to us! He took photos of everyone (with their own cameras) at the "Welcome to the Yukon" and "Welcome to Alaska" signs, and kept an eagle eye out for wildlife - we didn't see much, but not because he didn't try! This was our first excursion, so I was still getting a feel for how much to tip tour guides - in retrospect, I wish I'd tipped him more. (If you do this tour - and you should - and get Mark for your Tour Guide, tip him an extra dollar for me.)
The knowledgeable driver identified many points of interest on our trip to Emerald Lake and pulled the car over to provide time for picture taking. It was not only enjoyable but informative. A truly beautiful trip.
Nice guide, but foggy & could see very little
A group of us that meet thru cruise critics rented a van and drove to Emerald Lake and then took numerous side trips all the way back to Skagway. Stopped in at the point where the White Pass rail road off loaded passengers. Awesome antique town- but bring your credit card because the it is expensive to buy any trinkets here. You can get great ice cream and scones at this stop. We were fortunate to see black bears, 1st one crossed the road in front of us and we find she had a cub waiting for her on the side of the road-- we went about 8 miles more and another black bear crosses the road to get to not 1 but 2 cubs waiting for her! Truly a site to behold.
It was a great trip and the rental of the car came to $25 a person.