See nature's beauty in both Skagway and Haines! Wildlife and nature viewing, Chilkoot State Park, Dyea forest and so much more on this full-day adventure! Your small group will get to sights that the large buses cannot.
You'll meet your guide at your Skagway cruise terminal and be taken to the dock to board the fast ferry boat for the first part of your exciting day. Enjoy the thrilling cruise through the steep-walled fjords connecting Skagway to Haines. Dozens of waterfalls cascade hundreds of feet down the slopes on either side. The boat ride is just the beginning of the WOW's you will see. Your expert naturalist guide will meet you in Haines for the drive to Chilkoot Lake State Park.
Your ride through the park will take you past the beautiful turquoise Chilkoot Lake with the best salmon fishing in Southwest Alaska. The lake is surrounded by towering mountains and awe-inspiring glaciers. The park is teeming with sockeye, coho, hooligan, brown bears, moose, harbor seals, and many other species of wildlife. From May to July the colorful wildflowers are at their peak and eaglets have just hatched. From August to October, you are likely to see brown bears along with the river feeding on the migrating salmon. Here you can also see much of the culture of the Tlingit people, the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Your expert guide will take you to the best photo spots to capture the incredible scenery and wildlife while explaining the area's complex ecosystem. Your camera will get a workout with all the incredible photo opportunities! Make sure your batteries are charged and you have plenty of storage space ready!
After your visit to Haines, you'll be taken back to Skagway on the fast ferry. From here it's a short drive along the tidal estuary valley of Taiya Inlet. See the shocking contrast of the booming tourist town of Skagway to Dyea's forest and meadows. You'll drive for nine miles along Taiya Inlet's rocky coast. Keep your eyes open, you might be able to see bald eagles and harbor seals.
As you drive through the park, your naturalist guide knows the best places to stop for scenery and nature. No matter the time of the year you travel, every month brings something different to Dyea. From May to July the wildflowers are at their peak. In late July, the Taiya river fills with migrating salmon and if you are lucky, you might be able to spot brown bears. In September, cottonwood trees turn yellow, and bushes are covered with berries.
You'll stop at Dyea, a thriving Gold Rush town in 1898 and used as gateways to the Klondike and the rush for gold. But the railway chose Skagway as the jumping-off point with its deeper harbor and Dyea was abandoned. Nature overtook the town covering it in moss, ferns, and mushrooms. You'll take a half-mile walk along the main street and your guide will give you the history and anecdotes of the once-bustling town. The town is now protected as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park.
Next, you'll be driven and take a short walk through the spruce forest to the Slide Cemetery. Here the harsh reality of the rush for gold is clearly evident. Dozens of miners were killed by an avalanche on Palm Sunday 1898 and buried here. They paid no heed to the warnings as they continued in search of gold. The wooden grave markers still remain.
At the end of your amazing excursion, you'll be returned to your Skagway cruise terminal.
See nature's beauty in both Skagway and Haines! Wildlife and nature viewing, Chilkoot State Park, Dyea Nature and so much more on this full-day adventure!