Hop aboard one of the vintage passenger cars of the White Pass and Yukon Railway and take one of the most scenic rail trips in the world.

The White Pass and Yukon Railway is a designated International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. It shares this significant recognition with the Statue of Liberty, Panama Canal and the Eiffel Tower.

There are several excursions available. The most popular one is the White Pass Summit Excursion.

Looking for more adventures while in Alaska? Check out our Alaska Cruise Guide , discover top things to do in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan.

Video – Travel the rails on the White Pass and Yukon Railway

Don’t miss riding the rails of the White Pass and Yukon Railway in Skagway, Alaska. The scenery is spectacular.

Meet Bryan Saul Conductor White Pass Railway the most scenic railway in the world Skagway Alaska copy

Meet Bryan Saul, a conductor on the White Pass Railway, one of the most scenic railways in the world in Skagway, Alaska. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

White Pass Summit Excursion most scenic rail trips in the world

The White Pass Summit excursion is a 40-mile round trip rail experience that takes 2.5-2.75 hours. The journey takes you from Skagway, Alaska to the White Pass in the Yukon.

The train winds its way up to the 2,888 foot White Pass summit. It chugs, bends, squeaks and creaks as it journeys over incredibly high wooden trestles.

The route continues past Bridal Veil Falls, Dead Horse Gulch and Inspiration Point.

You will see the most spectacular scenery of glacier-capped mountains, waterfalls, tunnels, steep narrow valleys, rivers, lakes and historic landmarks.

The ever-changing landscape varies depending on the season, moving from spring through fall.

What’s the best way to experience White Pass & Yukon Route Railway?

The best way to experience this scenic area would be to take the train one way, and then the bus back to Skagway, or do the route in reverse.

This option is not offered for 2022 season. The service may return 2023.

The Carcross and Fraser train service crosses the International border into Yukon, Canada and details are still being worked on.

If you are a hiker, and have the time, there is a full day round trip service offered.

E enjoys the scenery along the way on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Route. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

E enjoys the scenery along the way on the the rail route. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery towards the White Pass Summit. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the Skagway train excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the Skagway train excursion. This is the road to the Yukon border and Whitehorse as viewed from the train. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the Skagway train excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the Skagway train excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

E is thrilled to be out one of the viewing platforms on the White Pass and Yukon Railway. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

E is thrilled to be out on one of the viewing platforms on the Skagway train excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the Skagway train excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Journey through spectacular mountain scenery on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Inside the vintage rail car on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Inside the vintage rail car on the White Pass and Yukon Rail Excursion. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Skagway train excursion historic landmarks

A highlight of the trip is seeing the narrow, world-famous Klondike Trail of ’98. Thousands of eager prospectors walked this historic path, hoping to fulfill their dreams striking it rich with a big gold find.

Can you imagine making your way along this narrow trail with a full pack?

The historic North West Mounted Police cabin near the Yukon border along the scenic White Pass Rail route. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

The historic North West Mounted Police cabin near the Yukon border along the scenic White Pass Rail route. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Historic Trail of 98 marker as viewed from the White Pass Rail Route. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Historic Klondike Trail of ’98 marker as viewed from the White Pass Rail Route. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

How do you make reservations on the White Pass train?

If you arrive in Skagway by cruise ship, book a shore excursion with your cruise line. The train will pick you up right at the dock.

If you are traveling with children make sure you are charged the correct amount for your tickets. Children under 3 are free and ages 3-12 are half price.

Reservations for the famous White Pass and Yukon Rail can also be booked online, or in Skagway directly from the train station.

This popular rail trip books up fast and can be sold out.

Find out more about White Pass and Yukon Railway Excursions here.

The White Pass and Yukon railway It is one of the most scenic rail routes in North America. Discover the breathtaking scenery of Alaska wilderness. Explore top things to do in Skagway. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

When you book an excursion directly with your cruise ship, the White Pass and Yukon train picks you up right at the dock. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr@

Melanie and E enjoyed their journey on the White Pass and Yukon Railway. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Melanie and E enjoyed their journey on the White Pass and Yukon Railway. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Fast Facts about the historic White Pass and Yukon Rail Route

  • Construction of the railroad began May 28, 1898.
  • It took 450 tons of explosives to blast a path through mountain rock.
  • The first 20 miles of the route from Skagway, Alaska climbs nearly 3,000 feet from sea level.
  • During construction, up to 2,000 men worked on the project. About thirty-five men lost their lives during the project.
  • The train ran on steam until 1954.
  • After the gold rush, the train mostly carried a variety of ores until the crash of the metals market in 1982, when mines closed.
  • In 1988, the railway reopened as a tourist attraction.
  • Read more about the history of the White Pass and Yukon Railway.

Find out more about cruising in Eastern Canada and New England.

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