South Klondike Highway
Caribou Crossing Trading Post - Check out the homey wildlife museum with full-size dioramas of Yukon wildlife - fluffy white mountain goats, polar bear, bison, Dall sheep, wolf, snowshoe hare, lynx, and caribou. Also, pan for gold or play a round of mini-golf.
Carcross Desert - Stop to let the kids run around "the world's smallest desert;" it's one square mile of sand dunes. How did the dunes get here? The "desert" was once the sandy bottom of a lake formed by glaciers.
Carcoss - The name of the town of Carcross is a shortened form of "caribou crossing," referring to herds of caribou that migrated through the area. Kids will want to stop into the delightful old-fashioned Matthew Watson General Store for an ice cream - 24 different flavors.
White Pass - On the highway there are several pullouts, so take time to stop and look at the landscape around White Pass. Even in summer, there's snow on the mountains and temperatures of 45 degrees. Kids can easily imagine the hardships the prospectors endured to carry a ton of supplies through the mountains.
Skagway (Alaska) -
During the Klondike Gold Rush, starting in 1897 prospectors landed by steamship at Skagway or Dyea. "Stampeders" were required transport a year's worth of supplies over the mountain passes. At Bennett Lake, they built boats and floated down the Yukon River to Dawson City.
Visitor Center & Klondike National Historical Museum (2nd and Broadway) - For an introduction to the Klondike gold rush, start with the half hour movie. Check out the full size diorama of a prospector with a year's worth of supplies (e.g. 150 lbs bacon, 400 lbs. flour, 125 lbs. beans, shovels, picks, gold pans, granite buckets, large tent), the wooden dog sled, and scale model of the mountain passes. The Visitor Center is open May to September.
Moore Homestead - Before the Klondike Gold Rush, Captain William Moore and his son Ben homesteaded here, and built a wharf and sawmill. Look into into the wooden log cabin they built in 1887.
Ben Moore, married a Tlingit woman and had three children; the family lived in the large blue wooden house, which you can visit today. Each room of the house is chock full of Victorian furniture and decorations, as well as Tlingit artifacts such as furs and slippers. A visit to the homestead is free.
Mollie Walsh Park (6th Ave., east of Broadway) - A block north from the Moore Homestead is a small park with picnic tables, restrooms, and a playground with swings and climbing structures.
Gold Rush Cemetery and Reid Falls - The Gold Rush Cemetery was our favorite spot in Skagway. Both Soapy Smith (Jefferson R. Smith) and Frank Reid are buried here, as well as other people, most of whom died in 1898 and 1899. Smith, the Skagway con man and crime boss, was killed in a shootout by Frank Reid, the town surveyor.
After you've inspected all the names on the wooden tombstones, take a short walk through the woods to Reid Falls, a lovely waterfall cascading down into a rocky creek.
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