Skagway belongs to Alaska and we had to cross the border to get there. That means we had to go through US Immigration for the first time. Once we crossed over to US territory in Stewart while visiting Hyder, but there was no US Immigration office. This time we had to stop the vehicle and fill up the immigration forms and present our passports. Our finger prints and photos were taken. My last visit to USA was in 2005. I was given a 90 day visa and when I returned, at the exit point, this visa form should have been collected by the American immigration officer. It has not happened and the form was still attached to the passport. The lady Immigration officer explained that this means I have not left USA and illegally stayed in USA and if I had any proof that I had left USA in 2005. She was kind enough to admit that later entries in the passport prove I have left USA and visited other countries. She issued new US multiple entry visas to the three of us, but advised that we should request the Canadian Immigration to remove the new visas from the passports when we last leave USA.
In Skagway, we spent some time looking around and visiting souvenir shops. We saw the starting point of the scenic railway. There were two cruise liners in the port. They were quite big. We found a small outdoor restaurant which serves Alaskan Salmon and Alaskan crab. Mala and Malisha ordered Alaskan crab. I am not a lover of crab meat. I ordered Alaskan Halibut and chips.
Malisha and Mala sharing the plate of crab
Skagway is a very beautiful small town in Alaska on the path of the Alaskan Marine Highway. Unlike Juneau, Skagway is accessible from both land and sea. In summer the streets of this small town gets overcrowded with tourists. Most tourists join sea cruises and come via the Alaskan Marine Highway. There are two other routes to visit Skagway. One is the scenic train tour from Whitehorse to Skagway. The other is the South Klondike highway which falls on to Alaska Highway closer to Whitehorse. We decided to stay one extra day in Whitehorse and do a day tour to Skagway along South Klondike highway. From Whitehorse to Skagway the total distance is only 180 km and we knew we could do it under two hours.
Monument in Skagway park
After making the trip to Skagway, we can say that no tour to Alaska is complete without visiting Skagway. Tourists will find the town attractive and flock into the souvenir shops. To me, it is not the town of Skagway, but the scenic road to Skagway that is more attractive. Some of the scenes on either side of the road are breathtaking. In summer, the rocky mountains on either side of the road are laced with long white snow patches due to snow filled crevices. We can only imagine what they would look like in winter. Some of the lakes by the side of the road are filled with rocky islands. They remind me of the paintings of Salvador Dali.
Malisha and Bove island scenery
On our way back we briefly stopped at a couple of places. One is the Carcross desert. This is supposed to be the world’s smallest desert showing all the attributes of a true desert. The next is a hanging bridge over the Yukon river. We just stopped, but did not go across the hanging bridge to the other side. On our way to Skagway we stopped near Bove Island sign and took a couple of photos.
We came back to Whitehorse and had dinner in the town centre at a local Mexican restaurant. It was a small cosy restaurant bursting with Mexican decoration and colour. The food we ate was nice and filling. Mala had simple nachos with salsa and guacamole, Malisha had a burrito with beans and salad and I also had something very similar. After a very filling meal, we made our way back to the hotel to have a good nights rest.