SKAGWAY, AK

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TERMINAL AND DEPARTURE INFO
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Ticket Counter

The Wings of Alaska ticket counter is located just inside the Skagway Air Terminal.

Security Screening

Currently, all Wings of Alaska flights departing from Skagway do not require TSA screening. Passengers can arrive 30 minutes prior to departure for check-in.

Parking and Ground Transportation

All parking is currently free for Wings passengers at the airport in Skagway.  We can help assist with transport to downtown and work locations please contact our station managers.

 EVENTS AND FESTIVALS

Find out more about festivals and events in Skagway.

 ABOUT

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Population: 880

Skagway is a place of many names, much history and little rain. The town lies at the head of the magnificent Lynn Canal and, at one time or another, has been called Skaguay, Shkagway and Gateway to the Golden Interior.

It is also known as the Home of the North Wind, and residents tell visitors that it blows so much here you’ll never breathe the same air twice. It lies 108 road miles south of Whitehorse, just west of the Canadian border at British Columbia.

 OTHER COMMUNITY INFORMATION

Tourism

The tourist Industry flourishes in Skagway, as a port-of-call for cruise ships and a transfer site for interior bus tours. In 1999, 430,000 cruise ship passengers and over 150,000 independent travelers visited Skagway. Cruise ships dock 320 times, injecting $60 million into the local economy.

Shipping

Trans-shipment of lead/zinc ore, fuel and freight occurs via the Port and Klondike Highway to and from Canada.

Historic Trails

Prepared hikers can climb the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail, the historic route of the gold seekers over 3,739-foot Chilkoot Pass to Lake Bennett. Relics are still visible along the trail.

Climate

Skagway experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Average summer temperatures range from 45F to 67F; winter temperatures average 18F to 37F. Within the shadow of the mountains, Skagway receives less rain than is typical of Southeast Alaska, averaging 26 inches of precipitation per year, and 39 inches of snow.

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Interesting facts

  • Early History: “Skagua” was the Tlingit name, which means “the place where the north wind blows.” The first non-Native settler was Buddy Moore in 1887, who is credited with the discovery of the White Pass route into Interior Canada.
  • In July 1897, gold was discovered in the Klondike, and the first boatload of prospectors landed. By October 1897, according to a Northwest Mounted Police Report, Skagway “had grown from a concourse of tents to a fair sized town with well-laid-out streets and numerous frame buildings, stores, saloons, gambling houses, dance houses and a population of about 20,000.” Five thousand people alone landed in February 1898, according to Custom Office records.
  • Two trails were used by the gold seekers to reach the headwaters of the Yukon River. The 33-mile-long Chilkoot Trail began at nearby Dyea; and the 40-mile White Pass Trail began at Skagway and paralleled the present- day route of the White Pass & Yukon Railway. Thousands of men carried supplies up the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail, or took the 40-mile White Pass trail to Lake Bennett, where they built boats to float down the Yukon River to Dawson City and the gold fields, 500 miles distant. In 1898 a 14-mile, steam operated tramway was constructed, which eased the burdens of those able to pay.
  • Skagway became the first incorporated city in Alaska in 1900; their population was 3,117 at that time, the second largest settlement in Alaska. Tales of fortune seekers, lawlessness, and Soapy Smith are legendary. Once the gold rush ended in 1900, Skagway might have become a ghost town if not for the White Pass and Yukon Railroad construction in 1898.
  • The railroad was the first in Alaska, and provided freight, fuel and transportation to Whitehorse and served the Anvil Gold Mines in the Yukon. It employed many locals until 1982, when the mine closed. Construction of the Klondike Highway in 1979 gave Skagway a link to the Alaskan Highway and State Ferry connection to Southeast.

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