Skagway is located at the northern end of the Inside
Passage on the Lynn Canal in the Southeastern Alaska Panhandle.
We are in a narrow valley between mountain ranges. The major
portion of Skagway is just 4 1/2 blocks wide and 23 blocks long.
Our little town
is a Gold Rush Town founded in 1897, and has survived a variety
of economic booms and busts. For more than 80 years, we have
been home to the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad, a narrow
gauge railroad that did extend 110 miles from the tidewaters of
Skagway to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The railroad
ceased year round operations in 1982, and like the town, is now
primarily a summer tourist destination.
present economy of the town is dependent on the visitor
industry, we are always looking for ways to diversify.
The fall, winter
and spring months are quiet for Skagway. The population of
approximately 1,000 spends the winter attending meetings,
cross-country skiing, bowling in the Elks' two lane bowling
alley, watching TV and participating in a variety of other
The only school
was built in 1984, housing K-12. Students compete with other
regional schools in track, basketball, volleyball, wrestling,
and band to name a few of the activities.
Churches are well
represented in our community and include Catholic, Presbyterian,
Assembly of God, Bahai, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
organizations are varied, including American Legion, Elks,
Eagles, Masons and related auxiliaries.
Our clinic is
staffed with three nurse practioners. The closest hospital is
over 100 miles away in either Juneau to the south or Whitehorse
to the north.
Skagway has one
grocery store, one bank, one hardware store, one gas station,
two year round restaurants and several variety shops.
Everyone wonders about our Alaskan climate. Skagway has a cool,
temperate marine environment with our temperature being 10
degrees cooler than Seattle in both the summer and winter. Our
rain/snowfall is approximately 33.09" per year. Yes, that is
total precipitation. The name Skagway means "Home of the
North Wind" in Tlingit (Indian), and it is appropriate. We have
a wind that can be fierce at times, significantly lowering the
temperatures with the wind-chill factor. But our air is pure
and the water is wonderful to taste, mountains are green in the
summer, snow covered in the winter, and once in a while you will
catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights dancing across the sky.
is much like that of the state of Alaska. After several years
of being blessed with money from the sale of oil on the North
Slope, the fall of world oil prices and depleting supply has
forced the state and its communities to cut back their services
and search for new sources of income.
needs specific skills and Skagway is no different. However, it
is more difficult for a person to come to Skagway and find
opportunity waiting for them. The year round jobs are very
limited. But Alaska, Skagway included, is always open to
newcomers. That person just needs to be prepared for their
travel north, knowing this land continues to be only for the
There is no land
for homesteading. Very little land is even available to
purchase. As with most of the state, the majority of
surrounding land is owned by the municipality, state or federal
government. There is no real estate agency in Skagway as very
little property is available, most is sold 'by owner'.
is plentiful. There is no employment service available. The
gift shops all do their own hiring. Housing is very, very
limited, and usually spoken for by February of each year. The
summer population jumps to about 3,000, almost triple that of
the winter months. We expect over 1,000,000 visitors during the
summer months, most by cruise ship. However, more and more are
The Klondike Gold
Rush National Historic Park incorporates their offices with a
portion of our downtown business district. Their historic
restoration activities combined with the efforts of local
property owners add much to the attractive qualities of our
town. A number of restored homes are located in our residential
neighborhoods as well.
We hope this
information has been helpful. Thank you for contacting our
organization and we do hope you will come and visit our fair
city. Again, if we can be of further assistance do not hesitate
to write, call, fax or
e-mail, we will try our
best to answer your questions.