Hop aboard the vintage passenger coaches of the White Pass and Yukon Route train and enjoy one of the most spectacular trains rides you will ever take.  From breathtaking panoramas of mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, trestles, tunnels and so much more!  This narrow gauge railway that runs from Skagway, Alaska to Carcross, Yukon Territory is designated as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and it is easy to see why.

Here is our experience riding the White Pass and Yukon Route Train!

History of the White Pass and Yukon Route

The White Pass and Yukon Route was built in 1898-1900 during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush to open up a transportation network in the north.  The railway was considered an impossible task but was successfully built in only 26 months and opened on July 29, 1900.  The White Pass and Yukon Route became a fully integrated transportation company, provided essential infrastructure servicing the freight and passenger requirements of Alaska and the Yukon’s population and mining industry. The White Pass and Yukon Route suspended their operations in 1982 when the mining industry in the Yukon collapsed due to low mineral prices, but was reopened in 1988 as a seasonal tourism operation.  It is easy to see why the White Pass and Yukon Route is Alaska’s most popular shore excursion that carries over 400,000 passengers each season (May-September).  The White Pass and Yukon Route offers lots of combinations of tours from day trips, hiker services, one way train trips and train and motorcoach trips to see which one suites you the best you can visiting the White Pass and Yukon Route website. 

White Pass Summit Excursion

The White Pass summit excursion takes you on this fourty mile round trip excursion that climbs from Skagway to the Summit of the White Pass Mountain at 2,865 feet.  The tour is narrated by a guide that can be heard throughout the train and is very helpful pointing out when and where you should be taking photos!  Passing by several waterfalls including Bridal Veil Falls and other areas of interest include Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch .  This three hour train ride will keep you interested the entire way passing through glaciers, gorges, waterfalls, tunnels, trestles and historic sites.  You see throughout your journey the original Klondike Trail of ’98 that thousands of men attempted to climb to try and find gold in the Yukon.

What To Expect on the White Pass Summit Excursion

Choose either side of the train when you walk into the vintage car as both sides of the train offers breathtaking views.  Some people declare that if they don’t sit on the left side of the train they will miss out on all the grand views but sitting on the right side offers views of the waterfalls, the upcoming bends and much more.  Regardless of what side you choose to sit from you get to switch sides on the way back down so don’t miss watching the view from either side on this round trip!

Make sure to have your camera handy and don’t be afraid to go outside to the front or back of each of the cars to capture all the picturesque landscapes and historic landmarks on the journey to the summit and back.

Make sure to bring some food on the train as you will be on there for three to three and a half hours and they do not offer any food for sale.  There is free bottled water on the train for everyone to drink!

Here are some photos from our White Pass and Yukon Route White Pass Summit Excursion!

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