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Passing another train heading down, at around mile 13.

Passing Another Train, Mile 13View All Sizes

JOURNAL : August 22, 2010

The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

Skagway > Alaska > United States

Series The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

A Classic, Scenic Train Ride

Breathe in that crisp mountain air while rushing through lush, misty forests along ice-met rivers, with majestic peaks in the distance.

Riding an old-timey train is a rare treat and even cures a drizzly overcast day.

The Train Station in Skagway, right down from the cruise ship terminal.

Train Station in SkagwayView All Sizes

A Must-See, Must-Ride

If visiting Skagway it's custom to ride the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. A brisk 75-minute ride up rugged terrain with tight turns and steep grade at times. The gorgeous Coast Mountains opposite the train make up a prominent spectacle.

The original locomotive that pulled cars over the White Pass back in 1898.

Original Steam Locomotive #52View All Sizes

Fitted with seemingly tattered, fragile-looking buttresses, bridges and trestles, the ride is surprisingly smooth for a rustic railroad blasted out of tough granite. Along the way the train ascends steep grades up to 3.9%, climbing nearly 3,000 feet in only 20 miles. Some of the turns are quite sharp — one of the capabilities of a narrow-gauge track.

One of many trestles along the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.

Classic Scene of Cars on TrestleView All Sizes

Train Entering Tunnel, Mile 16

Train Entering Tunnel, Mile 16View All Sizes

Trestles and Tunnels

The train passes through a couple of narrow tunnels along the way, allowing passengers to briefly breathe the same heavy smoke that generations of travellers dealt with in times past. This is all part of the authentic experience and only heightens the appreciation for the fresh mountain air upon exiting each tunnel.

The original Trail of 98

Trail of 98

The Trail of ‘98

Along the way the original Trail of ‘98 can be seen below on the opposite site of the river valley near White Pass Summit, just prior to the unmanned international border station.

The Alaska - British Columbia Border on White Pass Summit

The Alaska - British Columbia BorderView All Sizes

Casey Maintenance Car at Clifton

Casey Maintenance Car at CliftonView All Sizes

Summit Lake and the Coast Mountains just past White Pass Summit.

Summit Lake, Coast MountainsView All Sizes

White Pass & Yukon Route Map

The map below is included in the guide given to all passengers. Much of the gritty yet colorful history of the Klondike Gold Rush and the subsequent construction of the railroad is divulged within its pages. For more information visit the official White Pass & Yukon Route website.

Map of the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

Source : WP&YR Website

The station at Fraser, British Columbia.

Fraser, British ColumbiaView All Sizes

Steel Bridge, used from 1901 until 1969. The tallest cantilever bridge at the time.

Steel Bridge, used from 1901 until 1969View All Sizes

Fraser and Beyond

Passengers can opt to travel only up to White Pass Summit and return, or farther to Fraser (27.7 miles), Bennet (40.6 miles) and Carcross (67.5 miles). Fares beyond Fraser require a passport.

One of many trestles along the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.

One of Many TrestlesView All Sizes

The bicycle I rented to cruise down the Klondike Highway.

Klondike Highway

The Ride Back to Skagway

Much as I enjoyed the train ride, I wasn't heading back the same way. After disembarking at Fraser I met with a bicycling team for a bike ride down the Klondike Highway.

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The Denver Glacier Trailhead next to the tracks.

Denver Glacier TrailheadView All Sizes

Steel Bridge, used from 1901 until 1969. The tallest cantilever bridge at the time.

Old Steel Bridge and GulchView All Sizes

The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad from the Klondike Highway

WP&YR Railroad from Klondike HighwayView All Sizes

Windsong and I leisurely walked around the whole lake that morning, chatting with fishermen and taking photos.

Green Valley Lake

The majestic towering cliffs over Kalalau Beach, Kauai

Towering Cliffs

Fort in Marseilles, France, near the Harbor

Fort, Marseilles

U.S. Port of Entry on the Klondike Highway, Skagway

U.S. Port of Entry, Skagway

Fryman Canyon and Mulholland Drive just west of the 101/170 freeway

Fryman Canyon

Jiuzhaigou Valley Five Color Lake Mineral Deposits

Jiuzhaigou Valley

A beautiful Eucalyptus grove near Mineral Wells Trail. A stunning variety of tropical and desert plants thrived amongst the trees.

Eucalyptus Grove

Jen on the Steps of the Pavilion housing the Korean Bell of Friendship

Korean Bell of Friendship

The Patio of my Sister’s Casa in Sayulita

Casa de Summer

Random Adventures!

Leaving Yosemite via Big Oak Rd. One of the tunnels is in the background.

Leaving Yosemite

Jiuzhaigou Valley Shuzheng Village Shops

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Boats near Puerto Vallarta, before departing to Yelapa

Boca de Tomatlan

The Arno River in Florence, taken from the Ponte Vecchio

Arno River

two old brick houses in a concavity in the rock, near Sedona, Arizona : via Helicopter

Ancient Houses

The Piazza near the enrance of Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

The view from my camp site as the sun came up.

North Shore Campground

The Central Mall Rooftop at Night

Central Mall

Father and Son on the Yulong River

Yulong River

An aquarium which illustrates how trash is incorporated into the environment.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The sun setting through a bush near the Wildwood Canyon Trail

Wildwood Canyon Trail