Nature Tour to Dyea
Nature Tour to Dyea
Leave the large crowds of Skagway behind and join in on a small group tour, no more than 14 guests, to explore Klondike National Historic Park in nearby Dyea. A place where nature and history merge to create a ghost town, Dyea is a short, nine-mile drive from Skagway, but the two towns are entire worlds apart. In 1898, Dyea boasted over 8,000 residents and had a Main Street lined with dozens of hotels, restaurants and saloons. Little of the town remains today as the Alaskan nature has taken over and now gives Dyea its defining character.
Meet your expert, local guide and board your comfortable transportation for a scenic drive along Taiya Inlet's rocky seacoast. This panoramic route does not allow for large tour buses and will give you an up-close and intimate look at true Alaskan wilderness. Keep our eyes open for bald eagles and harbor seals that frequent this rich tidal estuary as you cross the Taiya River Bridge and make your way to explore Dyea's rich meadows and forests.
The pace is unhurried and allows for plenty of time to enjoy the wonders of nature all around you. As you drive through the park, your naturalist guide will describe and point out the best places to stop for scenery and nature. All vehicles are equipped with a powerful spotting scope and binoculars to assist with wildlife viewing, make sure you have your camera ready to take advantage of the numerous photo opportunities.
This is a "guide's choice" tour, so the exact itinerary is dependent on weather, wildlife, and group interest on any given day to provide you with the best possible experience. Every month brings something different to Dyea. In May, June and July, the wildflowers are at their peak, with an impressive display of chocolate lilies, fireweed and wild irises. Beginning in late July, the Taiya River fills with migrating salmon, and the chance of seeing bald eagles and the occasional brown bear increases. In September, the cottonwood trees turn yellow and the native bushes are covered in berries and Amanita mushrooms add a splash of red to the green forest understory.
Stop at the former town site for a half mile walk along a flat and well-maintained trail that once was Dyea's "Broadway". Your knowledgeable guide will help you discover signs of this town's fascinating history which is still evident under the layers of moss, ferns and mushrooms. Another possibility is a short stroll through the thick spruce forest to visit the Slide Cemetery. Dozens of miners were buried here after the Palm Sunday avalanche of 1898. The quiet here is palpable; only occasionally broken by the lilting call of a songbird in the trees. The faded, wooden grave markers are a poignant reminder of the hazards faced by the Klondike argonauts.
Return to your ship with more than just photos, this short day out will provide you with a great appreciation of the impermanence of man and the profound and lasting power of Alaskan nature. Book today for an experience like no other while in Skagway.