Location: From Skagway in Alaska to Whitehorse in Yukon in Canada
Attraction type: Exotic rail journey
Significance: A journey through mountains, tunnels, glaciers, and across waterfalls and bridges
Best Time to visit: May to September
How to reach: Reach Skagway buy cruise ship or ferry; alternatively by Canadian South Klondike Highway, or by commuter flights from Juneau
Nearest Airport: Skagway Airport
White Pass and Yukon Route is one of the most enthralling and fabulous rail journey routes. This narrow gauge railway connecting Skagway Port in Alaska to Whitehorse, the capital of Canada Yukon territory, was built in 1898 when the historic Klondike Gold Rush had taken place. The breathtaking journey through mountains, tunnels, glaciers and across gorges and waterfalls would leave you flabbergasted. This Yukon and White Pass railroad is included as an International Historic Civil Engineering landmark and falls in the same category as the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Panama Canal. WP & YR was set up as an independent rail route for linking Whitehorse to Skagway port for transportation of freight, equipments and passengers. Operated by British Yukon Railway Company, British Columbia Yukon Railway Company, and Pacific and Arctic Railway and Navigation Company, the WP &Y Route is a subsidiary of Tri-White Corporation. This 325 miles route was constructed using 450 tons of explosives and tens of thousands of men. With cliff-hanging turns, numerous bridges, and a couple of tunnels, this rail route is supposedly the world’s most scenic railway.
White Pass and Yukon Rail journey
For convenience and variety, a number of trips are arranged by WP & YR railway. The White Pass Summit Excursion is a 3-hour round trip 40-mile journey beginning and ending at Skagway. Operated between May and September, there are three round trips daily, in the morning, afternoon, and evening, each for three hours. For this fully narrated trip reservation is mandatory. Infants under the age of 3 years can travel free, while children between 3 and 12 years of age are required to pay half the adult fare.
‘Yukon Adventure’ is another popular trip on WP & Y route. This one-way 6-hour journey of approximately 68 km begins from Skagway and ends in Carcross via Bennett. Reservation is a must on this journey, and passports are required. Another attractive tour is the ‘Fraser Meadows Steam Excursion’, which also is a roundtrip of 52 miles from Skagway. Operating between May and September, there is only one trip a day for this 4-hour sojourn. The ‘Trail Head Hikers Service’ is particularly beneficial to visitors who plan to trek Denver Glacier or Laughton Glacier.