Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park

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  In the early days of the gold rush adventurers traveled hundreds of miles by ship from Seattle, disembarked at either Skagway or Dyea and then packed 1,000 pounds of supplies over the Chilkoot Trail or White Pass. Both trails were grueling and only one third of the people who started the journey made it to the Dawson gold fields.

  The NPS visitor center has a small museum with wonderful pictures and a short movie that is well worth seeing. The Mascot Saloon and the Moore house and cabin also have historical displays. Ask for a walking tour map at the visitor center and take a mile long loop past the most historic buildings.

  Skagway is a typical tourist town and busy with cruise ships docking daily but the history is very interesting.The exteriors of many of the buildings on Skagway’s main street have been restored to their original colors and it never had a major fire so most are original to the early 1900s.

  All of the national park buildings are accessible. The seating for the movie has several spots for wheelchairs. The curb cuts, sidewalks and wooden boardwalks along the first part of the walking tour route are all in fairly good condition. The sidewalks in the second part are pretty rough so wheeling along the street is the easiest route-very little traffic.

  RVs are not permitted to park on Broadway in the main business section but there’s plenty of on-the-street parking on the side streets. Gold Rush
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