We recently got home from an Alaskan cruise and we went on some great excursions. My favorite excursion was the Skagway Alaska Yukon Territory Scenic Drive. Travel is one of my favorite things to do and Alaska was amazing.
Skagway Alaska Yukon Territory Scenic Drive
Skagway Alaska was our 3rd excursion off the ship and we had a really hard time deciding on which excursion to go on. There were SO many amazing options we took forever to narrow it down.
My husband and I are both big fans of the TV show Gold Rush. A lot of the show takes place in the Yukon territory. Now I knew we wouldn't actually go as far as their gold mining operations…but I thought it would be cool to have actually been in the Yukon!
So the final decision came down to going as far as we could in the time we had off the ship!
Why Not the White Pass Railroad?
I did a lot of research about Skagway Alaska before our trip. The White Pass Railroad excursion was one of the most mentioned excursions I saw during my research. We do love old trains, but I know from past experience that you can't see everything from the train.
One side is typically too close to the mountains to see that side at all. If you are on the wrong side of the train it can be hard to see the clear side.
I wanted to be able to see both sides really well. The other issue was that the train didn't go as far as we wanted to go.
I was set on going far enough to see Emerald Lake and that wasn't possible on the train.
Yukon Territory Scenic Drive
The Yukon Territory Scenic Drive we picked was offered by our cruise ship. It was a small bus tour and there were around 30 people or so on board.
We had a driver and the seats were super comfy…much better than a train seat in my opinion.
Our trip did include a nice lunch at the Spirit Lake Lodge…the pie was fantastic! We left at 9 am and got back into Skagway around 3pm. This gave us some time to shop before we had to be back on the ship.
Another nice thing about doing a mini bus tour instead of a train is that our driver was willing to stop along the way for pictures. He also drove backwards down the highway because someone spotted a baby bear by the road!!
The Driver Made the Trip Awesome
Our driver was out of this world good. Sadly…his name has slipped my mind. 😥 He knew SO MUCH about the Skagway and Yukon areas.
He could tell specific stories from 100 years ago and we never got bored listening to him.
Each lake, river and mountain we passed had an interested history and story to go with it. The stories were funny and very enlightening. I learned so much about the history of this part of world.
I think a good guide can make or break sightseeing trips. We were very lucky to get the guide we had!
So Many Photo Ops
Getting great photos on vacation is a must for me. Scrapbooking is my favorite hobby and travel books are especially fun to create.
There were quite a few stops on the trip so we could get beautiful pictures.
I was also able to get some pretty good pics from inside the bus!
If there was a place you wanted to stop the driver was open to doing it if possible!
I enjoyed being able to stop at some of the roadside signs! Those will make great layouts in my scrapbook.
Some of my prettiest trip photos were from this Skagway Alaska Yukon Territory Scenic Drive excursion!
Going all the way to Emerald Lake was so worth it. The name suggests it will be beautiful, but it doesn't do it justice.
Now I will admit that I live in Kansas and scenery here is pretty tame compared to many places around the world. 🙂 It doesn't take much to get me excited!
I do think that Emerald Lake would get almost anyone excited though!
This lake was absolutely breathtaking. The water was 2 amazing shades of green and blue. The whole area around Emerald Lake was alive with tall trees, wild flowers and natural beauty.
There is only one place to stay on the lake and that is Emerald Lake Lodge. We could see part of the lodge from where we were parked. At the time I wasn't sure if it was a private home or a small hotel of some kind.
When we got home I researched and found out about the lodge…and boy is it NICE! This would be a dream destination…but it isn't cheap, LOL.
Quick Stop in Carcross
It was somewhere near Carcross, but not in the town.
On our way back to Skagway we stopped in the tiny town of Carcross and stayed for a little while so people could look around and shop if they wanted to.
The town only has a few hundred people living there. There is a really tall Totem Pole in the town center. It was very majestic.
Some of the buildings are very old and there is even the Matthew Watson General Store that has been there over 100 years! It had some very unique items.
The other unusual thing about Carcross is the Carcross Desert. This has been called the smallest desert in the world and is only about 1 square mile.
It is a really unique site to suddenly see so much sand in the middle of the wild!
A Definite Must-Do Excursion
Overall the Skagway Alaska Yukon Territory Scenic Drive was totally worth the money it cost. I could have driven around that area for hours without getting bored!
If you are considering a Skagway excursion definitely try the Skagway Alaska Yukon Territory Scenic Drive! If you go…let me know what your favorite part was!!
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