Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Skagway Unit), Alaska

The discovery of gold in Canada’s Yukon brought thousands of gold hungry “stampeders” to Skagway and Dyea, Alaska. Skagway, at the head of the White Pass Trail, was the place where thousands of goldseekers poured ashore and went up the trail into Canada. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park features 15 restored buildings within the Skagway Historic District and administers the Chilkoot Trail and White Pass Trail units. Included in the park is a portion of the Dyea Townsite at the foot of the Chilkoot Trail. The park’s visitor center is in Skagway. The southernmost post of the park that commemorates the stampeders’ route is in Seattle at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Skagway, Alaska is located 80 miles by air north of Juneau at the northern end of Alaska’s Inside Passage. Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, is 110 miles by road north of Skagway. TRANSPORTATION: To Park: Access to Skagway is by small airplane, Alaska Marine Highway ferry vessels, cruise ships, train/bus (summer only), and vehicle on the Klondike Highway. In Park: Local tour and taxi operators offer transportation within the Skagway Historic District and to the Chilkoot trailhead in Dyea; bicycle; rental and personal vehicle.

Baranof Castle State Historic Site, Alaska

Baranof Castle State Historic Site commemorates the ceremony held here on October 18, 1867 that transfered Alaska from Russia to the United States for the sum of $7.2 million. From the early 1800s, Castle Hill was the home of the Russian governors and served as the colonial capitol of Russian-America. After the Russians left, the building was utilized by the U.S. military for a time and then abandoned. The “Castle” burned to the ground in 1894. Recent archaeological investigations and data analysis continue to contribute to our understanding of this era in Alaskan heritage. Although no structures remain, today’s visitors may access the site. Castle Hill is both a State Historic Site and a National Historic Landmark. It is surrounded by a stone enclosure with interpretive plaques and artfully placed Russian cannons. With its superb view of Sitka Sound, it is obvious why the Tlingit and subsequently the Russians chose to occupy this location.

Location Information and Directions

Links: Baranof Castle State Historic Site