Author: Daniel Fox

FISH THIS! Finding a Fisherman’s Paradise in Skagway

For first time visitors, Skagway might seem but a narrow valley, hemmed in by mountains, snow, and ice. Yet, there are a great many hidden things that lie just beyond what is readily seen. There are narrow coves where families of otters drift lazily on the surf at the first light of day.

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Name Those Peaks and Other Geography Lessons

What’s in a name? As the following glossary suggest, plenty. The place names that dot the landscape are living reminders of who has been before us, along with some of their attitudes, legends and whimsy. You’ll soon find that the people who gave Skagway its names were a lively, humorous and patriotic bunch.

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Dyea – Historic Boomtown Now a Place of Beauty

By Jeff Brady Skagway bustles today in the summer like the boomtown it was in 1897-1898, but a few miles away, and a couple of valleys over to the northwest, lies a place that local residents and visitors cherish for its quiet beauty. This place is Dyea (pronounced Di-eee) and for a short time it was just as big and booming as old Skagway. Dyea’s history as a settlement actually is much older than its rival gold rush city.  At the foot of the Chilkoot Trail, Dyea was established several centuries ago as a summer camp by the Tlingit from more populated villages down the inlet near present-day Haines. These Chilkoots built the trail over the mountains to facilitate trade with Yukon and Alaska interior First Nations tribes. Dyea and Taiya are really the same word (Deiyaa) in the Tlingit language, meaning “to pack.” The Tlingit’s camp on the Taiya saw its first visitors from afar after the United States purchased Alaska in 1867. The U.S. Navy had exerted control in the area and convinced the Tlingit to allow others over the Chilkoot Pass. George Holt was the first documented white man to cross it in 1874, and Alaska Natives began a commercial packing operation a few years later. Westerners John J. Healy and Edgar Wilson established a trading post on the site in 1884, while other coastal and...

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Golden Circle Adventure Racing

The area known as the Golden Circle (Skagway-Whitehorse-Dawson-Haines) is becoming a popular destination for the adventure racer. These are the big ones:

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Dispatches from the Chilkoot Trail

The above description by our gold rush colleague more than a century ago paints the image that he saw as he approached the Scales, looking up to the summit of the Chilkoot Pass.

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