Municipality of Skagway
1st Class Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (skag' way)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
Geography and Climate
- Skagway is located 90 miles northeast of Juneau at the northernmost end of Lynn Canal, at the head of Taiya Inlet. It lies 108 road miles south of Whitehorse and is just west of the Canadian border with British Columbia.
- Skagway experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Average summer temperatures range from 45 to 67 °F; winter temperatures average 18 to 37 °F. Within the shadow of the mountains, Skagway receives less rain than is typical of Southeast Alaska, averaging 26 inches of precipitation per year and 39 inches of snow.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Skagway was originally known by the Tlingits as Skagua, meaning "windy place"; it was used by the Chilkoots and Chilkats for hunting and fishing. In 1896, gold was discovered 600 miles away in the Yukon; Skagway acted as the starting-off point for prospectors. In 1897 a post office, a church, and a newspaper were founded in Skagway, and its population rose to 10,000. In 1900, Skagway became the first incorporated city in Alaska, beating Juneau by a day. The Bank of Alaska opened in Skagway in 1916. The first tourism boom began in the mid-1920s. During WWII, Skagway stationed as many as 3,000 troops, who worked to construct the Alcan Highway. There was a major flood of the Skagway River in 1967 that breached area dikes. The Klondike Highway to Dawson City opened in 1979. In 1994, the city dock collapsed and sent a tidal wave across the bay; the dock was rebuilt within the year. The city was dissolved in 2007 and became the first first-class borough in Alaska that same year.
- Skagway is predominantly a tourist community, with historical Tlingit influences. Downtown buildings have been colorfully restored to reflect the history of the gold rush through the Chilkoot Pass.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Skagway Village
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Health Clinic, Refuse Collection, Incinerator, Police, Volunteer Fire, Harbor/Dock, Library, Museum, Schools, Zoning, Recreation Center
- The Municipality of Skagway is accessible by road via the Klondike Highway, which provides a connection through British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, Canada, to the lower 48 states or north to Interior Alaska. Skagway is accessed by air, road, and water services. The state owns a paved runway and Skagway receives regular state ferry and barge services. A breakwater, ferry terminal, small boat harbor, boat launch and boat haul-out are available, as well as three deep-draft docks for cruise and cargo ship berthing, cargo loading and storage. Freight arrives by barge, ferry and truck.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection