Skagway has a variety of tours to choose from, and picking the right one can be a daunting task. Think of this list like the Superlatives from high school. We’re not just giving you a Top 5 list, we’re giving you the best shore excursion for your group. Take a look at the tours below, and you’ll have a much better idea of how you should spend your time off the ship in Skagway.
Best Tour for All Ages
Grizzly Falls Ziplining is a favorite for family reunions because it’s able to accommodate almost everyone (barring those with a severe fear of heights!). The Grizzly Falls Ziplining course has seen people from 6 to 96 (not kidding!), and the guides are highly trained in safety and bad jokes.
You’ll go down 9 different ziplines (plus 1 or 2 training lines if you’re a scaredy cat). The fastest of the Grizzly Falls Ziplining stations has a top speed near 40 miles per hour and the longest is over 2 football fields in length.
The harnesses and guide-operated braking system on the Grizzly Falls Ziplining course mean you can get crazy! If you’re up for it, the guides will teach you tricks like hanging upside-down and front flips, all while soaring above the Alaskan rainforest.
The age limit for Grizzly Falls Ziplining is 6, and the weight limit is 50 to 265 lbs, but exceptions may be made for both. The guides’ biggest concern is safety, and they try their hardest to never turn anyone away unless it would be unsafe for that person to participate.
The 6-hour long tour takes you out of Skagway, through the White Pass and British Columbia, and into the Yukon. Your guide will stop at several of the most scenic spots for plenty of photo opportunities. Be on the lookout for wildlife like bears and mountain goats!
Get your picture taken in front of the “Welcome to Alaska” and “Welcome to the Yukon” signs for a great memory of your trip. The guides are very knowledgeable on the history and local flora and fauna of the area, so take advantage! Even if you’ve been to Skagway before, we guarantee that you’ll learn something new on this tour.
Lunch from the fantastic Caribou Crossing is included, along with entrance to the great wildlife display and Mountie museum. For a little extra, you can even experience the thrill of being pulled by Alaskan huskies, some of whom competed in the Iditarod!
This tour is fairly sedentary, so if you’re looking to get outside and play, this probably isn’t the one for you. But if you want the best photo stops, this is it. There is no age or weight limit.
Best Glacier Experience
Your trip starts off on a customized boat that will take you down the Lynn Canal past Haines. The Glacier Point Wilderness Safari excursion takes about an hour, and you land right on the beach in your own version of the invasion of Normandy. Once you’ve donned all the gear needed for the day, you’ll make your way to the Davidson Glacier in 12-person canoes.
While walking on the glacier isn’t guaranteed, Glacier Point Wilderness Safari excursion guides do their best to get you up close and personal. If you do get the chance to walk on it, you’ll have plenty of time for pictures and for staring in awe at the giant mass of ice. If conditions don’t allow you to walk on it, the guides will often fish chunks of the glacier out of the lake for you to look at and handle.
During the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari excursion, there is a lot of time spent on boats, and the nature of the tour is fairly educational, so we recommend staying away from the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari excursion if you have children 12 or younger, though there is no technical age limit. The weight limit for the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari excursion is 50 to 350 lbs.
Many people come to Skagway and hop right on the train. The downfall of the standard train trips is that they simply summit the White Pass and turn around, so you miss some of the most beautiful points that lie just beyond that.
This tour takes you up into the Yukon to Emerald Lake and Carcross, with a very educated guide leading the way. WP&YR is known to provide some of the most in-depth education to its guides, so that they can pass their knowledge on to you.
Both the train and bus portions of this trip are fully narrated, but you’ll have more chances to ask questions on your bus ride, where the group is much smaller. On the train, one person narrates for the entire line of cars, so it can be difficult to reach them!
This small-group tour departs Skagway just once a day. And space is limited, so if you’re a history buff, it’s best to book early! There are no weight or age restrictions on this tour.
The 2 hour Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens gives you time to wander around the gardens followed by an awesome demonstration from one of the master glassblowers. After the demonstration, you have to opportunity to create your own glasswork! You can choose from tons of different colors and designs, leading to a one-of-a-kind ornament or globe. You can even add gold leaf if you want.
This isn’t like those “make your own pottery” places, where you end up with a wonky version of a bowl. The master glassblowers are there to help and guide you every step of the way, so you’ll definitely end up with a souvenir you can be proud of.
While there is no minimum age to this tour, you are around molten glass, hot ovens, and glass pieces so we recommend it for ages 6 and up. The only slight downfall of this tour is that you need to get to Jewell Gardens on your own. But this is easily accomplished using the Smart Bus which stops in town and costs $2 per ride or $5 for all day.
Hopefully this list helps you narrow down your Skagway tour options. But if you have any questions, or are wondering what else Skagway has to offer, shoot us an email. We’d be happy to help.