White Pass

You’re probably more familiar with Chilkoot Pass because of the famous photograph of prospectors going up the mountain. About 20 miles south of Chilkoot is White Pass. Both were used by the prospectors. The route through White Pass was shorter, but much more difficult. It was also known as Dead Horse Trail because prospectors left so many there to die. Jack London wrote about it. They had to take supplies up in stages. They left dead pack animals all along the way. About 3000 died. If you take the tour up there, you can see why. Eventually they built a railroad. By the way, when the prospectors got to the pass they still had 600 miles to go to get to the gold fields.

We took a bus from Skagway up to the pass. We had to cross into Canada. The the top of the pass we took the scenic railway back down. It’s really spectacular. This first photo was from the bus. You can see the railroad tracks across the gorge.

They were working on a bridge.

This is approaching the top of the pass. When The prospectors got this far they could use sledges with sails to move along.

This is the top. You can see the train stop down there. That’s where we boarded for the trip back. The railroad continues into Canada. The trip back to Skagway took about two and a half hours. That’s because the train has to go so slowly. In many places there are sheer drops of several hundred feet.

This photo was taken at the same location, looking east, farther into Canada

Here is a video 0f the train ride back. Toward the end of the video you hear the whistle. There are two trains on the rail going in opposite directions. You can see the train coming up the pass.

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1 Response to White Pass

  1. Bob says:

    No real comment,
    Just beautiful pictures.
    Keep the coming.
    I hope to visit Alaska sometime in my life

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