Post written by Laura
The Norwegian Jewel docked in Skagway, Alaska at around breakfast time and as I had a trekking excursion booked for 12:30 I had a few hours in the morning to have a look around the town.
Skagway has a small population of around 900 and deals with thousands of cruise passengers as they visit each day during the summer. Skagway’s narrow gauge railway takes tourists on the White Pass and Yukon railway from Skagway to Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon. Yukon is a mountainous and remote territory of North West Canada.
Unfortunately on the previous day there had been a landslide which had blocked the railway meaning those cruise passengers who had booked a trip were not able to go.
Despite the influx of cruise passengers the streets of Skagway were quiet and its gold rush past gave Skagway a real ‘Wild West’ feel. Most of the shops are geared towards tourists and if you are up for a bit of fun you could visit the Red Onion Saloon where you can have a tour of its brothel museum! The staff are dressed in period saloon costume and you can also try Skagway Spruce Tip beer.
I walked around the main streets of Skagway for about 4 or 5 miles before returning to the ship in time for my adventure trek.
At 12:30 I met Parker and Kiki, the two trek leaders and another 12 or so fellow passengers who had also booked the adventure hike. Parker drove us in a mini bus through Skagway for about 15 minutes until we reached the start of the hike.
For the first 10 minutes of the hike we had to wear hard hats as this section involved walking under a zipline! Once past the zipline danger zone we removed our hard hats and proceeded up some wooden steps and into the forest. Parker led the way stopping from time to time to explain the flora and fauna.
The trail was steep however well maintained with steps at the beginning and quite a few ropes to assist us. We stopped at a couple of view points on the way up and ended with the spectacular panoramic vista as above and as in the feature photo for this post!
As it was such a beautiful clear day and as the group fitness was generally of a good level, we were led to the higher of the usual viewpoints.
Parker gave us some instructions for using the ropes to descend the mountain which was helpful… there is a little technique involved which mainly requires you to look where your feet are going!
We descended down a different route and before long we were back at the starting point and the mini bus. This excursion took about 3 hours in total.
Of the four hiking excursions I did while on the cruise, this was my favourite! This hike did provide quite an adventure with the scrambling and the ropes and was probably the most physically challenging 🙂