The quaint town of Dyea (pronounced Di-eee) was once a place of thousands of gold seekers ventured through to continue their journey on the Chilkoot Trail and now is a quiet town filled with natural beauty. Located at the foot of the Chilkoot Trail, Dyea was established centuries before the gold rush as a summer camp by the Tlingit Natives from more populated villages down the inlet near present-day Haines. The Tlingit built the trail over the mountain pass to allow for trade with Yukon and Alaska interior First Nation tribes.In July 1897 the first ships of gold seekers arrived and the city instantly grew to 10,000 amongst the thick spruce and hemlock forest at the edge of a long tidal flat, connected by two mile-long wharves to the ships in the inlet. Dyea’s boomtown status was short lived and almost completely disappeared how you will find it today – two major events played in this: the avalanche on the Chilkoot Trail in April 1898 and the construction of the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad out of Skagway.
Today as you drive along the winding road that takes you into Dyea you find the entrance to the Chilkoot Trail, the old town site, cemetery for all the avalanche victims and the beautiful tidal flats. Dyea now exists for independent travellers to explore and often will not find many others around. Spend some time watching the salmon swim up the river during the summer and watch out of bears who may be looking for their next snack of fresh fish. Watch the tides go in and out around what is left of the old remains of pilings from the ‘mile long dock’ that are still visible at the south end of the Dyea Flats.
Our drive into Dyea at sunset was incredibly peaceful and would highly recommend this short trip from Skagway, Alaska to anyone who enjoys the peace and quiet and natural beauty of Alaska.
Here are our photos from our sunset adventure in Dyea, Alaska!