다채로운 역사와 매우 적은 강우량과 쉴새 없이 드나드는 유람선으로 대변되는 스캐그웨이는 내수로 지역을 대표하는 흥미진진한 도시입니다.
스캐그웨이는 방문객들을 결코 실망시키는 법이 없습니다. 브로드웨이 거리를 따라 기다랗게 이어지는 7개 블록의 회랑에는 골드러시 시대의 불법 주점과 레스토랑, 목조 보도가 즐비하며, 시대 의상을 차려 입은 주민들이 여러분을 맞이합니다. 또한 미국 국립공원 관리단 산하 클론다이크 골드러시 국립 역사공원에서 복원한 건물들도 눈에 들어옵니다. 스캐그웨이와 인근의 유령 도시 다이아는 1897년 골드러시를 좇아 칠쿳 트레일을 통해 유콘을 향하던 4만명이 이 곳에 정착하면서 건설되었습니다.
오늘날 스캐그웨이의 주요 산업은 관광업입니다. 매년 여름이면 관광 버스를 비롯하여 연간 400회 이상 운항되는 유람선을 타고 온 방문객들로 붐빕니다. 성수기가 되면 하루에 최대 5척까지 크루즈 선이 들어오고 관광객 수는 8천명에 이릅니다. 스케그웨이 인구의 10배인 셈입니다. 크루즈 관광객들은 배에서 내려 브로드웨이 애비뉴를 거쳐 현대판 클론다이크 골드러시 지역으로 향합니다.
여름철에는 하루에 5번 국립공원 관리인이 이끄는 45분의 역사 지역 코스 무료 도보 투어가 운영됩니다. 스캐그웨이에 지어진 첫 번째로 지어진 선술집인 역사적인 건물 마스콧 살룬 박물관을 비롯하여 유흥가와 같은 유서 깊은 거리로 여러분을 안내합니다.
스캐그웨이는 탐험가를 위한 완벽한 등산 코스를 갖추고 있습니다. 도심 지역에서 출발하여 정상의 호수와 폭포에 도착하는 이 코스는 스캐그웨이에서 악명 높았던 소피 스미스와 프랭크 라이드의 묘지로도 여러분을 안내할 것입니다. 스캐그웨이는 알래스카에서 가장 유명한 배낭여행 코스, 칠쿳 트레일의 시작점이기도 합니다. 칠쿳 트레일은 그 옛날 클론다이크 금광지를 찾아 캐나다 북부로 향했던 이들이 밟았던 길로 약 3~4일이 소요되는 거리입니다. 칠쿳 트레일과 스캐그웨이 도보여행에 관한 자세한 정보는 클론다이크 골드러시 국립역사공원 관광 안내소로 문의 바랍니다.
오랜 역사를 자랑하는 화이트패스와 유콘 루트 열차가 스캐그웨이 북쪽 고개 정상으로 안내합니다. 객실에 앉아 있노라면 글래시어 고지, 데드 호스 협곡 및 브라이들 베일 폭포까지 숨막히도록 찬란한 절경이 눈앞에 펼쳐집니다. 정상에 오르면 미국과 캐나다의 경계를 이루는 2,885피트의 화이트패스가 훤히 내려다 보입니다.
스캐그웨이에서 가장 볼 만한 건물은 스캐그웨이 관광청(전화: 983-2854, 888-762-1898 홈페이지: www.skagway.com)이 입주해 있는 북극 브라더후드 홀입니다. 1899년에 8,833개의 나무조각으로 만든 건물 외벽이 장관입니다.
Arctic Brotherhood Hall
The most outlandish building of Skagway’s seven-block historical corridor along Broadway Street, and possibly the most photographed building in Alaska, is Arctic Brotherhood Hall. What was a fraternal hall is now home of the Skagway Convention & Visitors Bureau. And you can’t miss it even if you tried. Its façade is covered with 8,833 pieces of driftwood that were attached in 1899 and extensively renovated, piece-by-piece, in 2005.
Bernard Moore House
Adjacent to Moore’s Cabin is Bernard Moore House, which was also restored by the National Park Service and features exhibits and furnishings depicting family life during the gold rush.
Chilkoot Trail Center
If you're planning to hike the Chilkoot Trail
, you will want to first stop at this National Park Service visitor center
in the restored Martin Itjen House on Broadway. The center is a clearinghouse for information on permits and transportation for the popular trail that is 33 miles long and includes crossing the Chilkoot Pass.
Corrington Museum of Alaska History
Located in a gift shop, Corrington Museum of Alaska History features more than 40 artifacts, ranging from six-foot mammoth tusk and a fossilized mastodon tooth to hand woven spruce-root and baleen baskets, all set to scenes of Alaska Natives living in the wilderness and European explorers. The most impressive display however is the large collection of engraved walrus tusks.
In 1898, the nearby town of Dyea was Skagway's rival. Located at the foot of the Chilkoot Trail, Dyea was the staging area for thousands of stampeders on the their way to Lake Bennett for the float to Dawson City. After the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad chose Skagway as its departure point in 1900, Dyea quickly died. Today the town is the site of gold-rush cabins, the pilings of Dyea Wharf and Slide Cemetery, where 47 men and women were buried after perishing in an avalanche on the Chilkoot Trail in April 1898.
A self-guided walking tour brochure is available from the National Park Service visitor center in Skagway for those who want to venture out and explore the ghost town. Or you can join a ranger-led walk, which meets at the parking area twice at daily. The NPS also maintains a campground at Dyea, a popular place to spend the night for backpackers who are going to walk the Chilkoot Trail
Gold Rush Cemetery
Gold Rush Cemetery, a 1.5-mile walk from downtown Skagway, is the destination for many visitors who become infatuated with Soapy Smith and Frank Reid, the villainous conman who ran the town and the city surveyor who staged a gunfight with him. Both died from the incident and are now buried in Gold Rush Cemetery. Signs will lead across the railroad tracks to the cemetery, the site of many stampeders' graves as well as the plots of Reid and Smith. From Reid's gravestone, it's a short hike uphill to lovely Reid Falls, which cascades 300 feet down the mountainside.
Located where Henry Clark started the first truck farm in Alaska, Jewell Gardens is a quiet spot of flowerbeds, ponds, giant vegetables and a miniature train. Guided tours are offered of the gardens. Also onsite is a pair of glassblowing studios where artists give fascinating demonstrations while making beautiful glassware.
Laughton Glacier is an impressive hanging glacier that spills out from between the 3,000-foot walls of the Sawtooth Range. It’s reached with a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad and then an easy 2.5-mile hike. You return to the narrow gauge railroad to flag down a train for transport back to Skagway or you can reserve the U.S. Forest Service Laughton Glacier Cabin (www.recreation.gov) and spend the night.
Mascot Saloon Museum
Built in 1898, the Mascot Saloon was one of 70 saloons during Skagway's heyday as ”the roughest place in the world.” Today it is the only saloon in Alaska that doesn't serve beer, wine or a drop of whiskey. Instead the National Park Service restored the saloon to its Gold Rush days and turned it into a museum that looks into the vices - gambling, drinking, and prostitution - that followed the stampeders to the goldfields. Go ahead belly up to the bar for pint of sinful history.
Moore's Cabin is Skagway's oldest building, dating back to 1887. Captain William Moore built the cabin when he staked out his homestead as the founder of the town. Moore had to move his home to its present location when gold-rush stampeders overran his homestead. The NPS has since renovated the building and, in doing so, discovered that the famous Dead Horse Trail that was used by so many stampeders actually began in the large lawn next to the cabin.
Skagway’s history is intriguing so it should come as no surprise that the Skagway Museum is one of the finest in the Inside Passage. It occupies the entire first floor of the century-old McCabe Building, a former college, and is devoted to various aspects of local history, including Alaska Native baskets, beadwork and carvings and, of course, the Klondike Gold Rush. The display drawing the most looks is the small pistol Soapy Smith kept up his sleeve.
The Days of 98 Show
This is the Inside Passage’s best and longest-running melodrama. The evening show begins with 'mock gambling,' moves on to Robert Service poetry and then climaxes with an entertaining show covering the town's gold-rush days and focusing on Soapy Smith and his slippery gang.
White Pass and Yukon Railroad Depot
Originally built for the stampeders headed for the Klondike gold fields, the White Pass & Yukon Railroad
is today the most spectacular tour from Skagway. Passengers flock to its depot to book one of a number of tours on the historic narrow-gauge railway. The most popular destination is to the historic 1903 Lake Bennett Railroad Depot for lunch that includes crossing Glacier Gorge and Dead Horse Gulch and Bridal Veil Falls before making the steep 2,885-foot climb to White Pass, only 20 miles from Skagway.