In 1898 Skagway’s rival city, Dyea (die-ee) was the trailhead for Chilkoot Trail, the shortest route to Lake Bennett, where stampeders began their float to Dawson City. After the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad was completed in 1900, Dyea quickly died. Today it's a few old crumbling cabins, the pilings of Dyea Wharf, and Slide Cemetery, where 47 men and women were buried after perishing in an avalanche on the Chilkoot Trail in April 1898.

To explore the ghost town, pick up the Dyea Townsite Self-Guided Walking Tour brochure from the NPS center. The guide will lead you along a mile loop from the town-site parking area past what few ruins remain. Or join a ranger-led walk, which meets at the parking area at 3pm Monday to Thursday.

Dyea is a 9-mile drive along winding Dyea Rd, whose numerous hairpin turns are not for timid RVers. But it’s a very attractive drive, especially at Skagway Overlook, a turnoff with a viewing platform 2.5 miles from Skagway. The overlook offers an excellent view of Skagway, its waterfront and the peaks above the town. Just before crossing the bridge over the Taiya River, you pass the Dyea Campground.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Skagway attractions

1. Jewell Gardens

3.23 MILES

If the crowds are overwhelming you, cross the Skagway River to Jewell Gardens. Located where Henry Clark started the first commercial vegetable farm in…

2. Gold Rush Cemetery & Reid Falls

3.39 MILES

Visitors who become infatuated with 'Soapy' Smith and Frank Reid can walk out to this wooded cemetery, a 1.5-mile stroll northeast on State St, where…

3. Wells Fargo Bank


This bank dates back to 1916 (although it looks newer) when a group of East Coast businessmen founded the National Bank of Alaska, and built this bank a…

4. Junior Ranger Activity Center

3.95 MILES

At the Pantheon Saloon, built in 1903, kids are the customers. The historic bar is now home to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park’s Junior…

5. Skagway Museum

3.96 MILES

Skagway Museum is not only one of the finest in a town filled with museums, but it's one of the finest in the Southeast. It occupies the entire 1st floor…

6. Moore Homestead Museum

3.97 MILES

The founder of Skagway was not a gold-hungry Klondike stampeder but the savvy Captain William Moore, who arrived in the area on a hunch in 1887 and built…

7. Arctic Brotherhood Hall

3.98 MILES

The most outlandish building of the seven-block historical corridor along Broadway St, and possibly the most photographed building in Alaska, is this…

8. Mascot Saloon Museum

3.98 MILES

The only saloon in Alaska that doesn’t serve booze – but it did during the gold rush, and plenty of it. Built in 1898 the Mascot was one of Skagway's 80…