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.