We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

Which Skagway hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Leicester, United...
Level Contributor
56 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

I am sorry if this is a stupid question but is the White Pass Summit Rail and the Yukon Rail one and the same thing? My husband (age 50) and I are doing an Alaskan cruise in August and looking at the various options for excursions in Skagway and have seen the above phrases used for excursions and are not sure whether they are the same thing. If they are not could someone please explain the difference. We have also seen an excursion that involves a visit to a suspension bridge -does the train take you to here or is that further on? If so how would you get here and also do the rail journey? This is the first time we have been to Alaska and are looking to build some memories, any recommendations as to excursions also gratefully received. We are doing whale watching and the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau and a flight in Ketchikan (through an independent operator from the cruise line which is Princess Cruises).

Lake Tahoe...
Level Contributor
8,652 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

The suspension bridge is from the highway and the train is on the other side of the canyon. The railway, White Pass & Yukon Route, runs from Skagway over White Pass to Fraser, Bennett and Carcross. At one time you could ride all the way to Whitehorse, but not since 1982 when the line ceased operations for the next six years. Go to the WP&YR website to see the options.

Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
15,575 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

I would highly recommend that you do a combination rail trip to Carcross, although some days it only goes as far as Fraser, combined with an extended road trip to at least Emerald Lake though an independent like Dyea Dave or Chilkoot Charters. The ship booked trips load from the dock into crowded carriages then use 50 passenger coaches on a fixed schedule for the road leg, while Dave or Chilkoot will take you the few hundred yards to the station before picking you up again at either Fraser or Carcross with their small vans/buses and are very flexible for the road leg. The carriages boarded from the station are rarely crowded.

Edited: 14 July 2013, 04:11
Lake Tahoe...
Level Contributor
8,652 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

frommy - Checking the WP&YR website they offer that Bennett Experience (combo of rail and coach to Carcross) at $225. Princess wants $279 (discounted to $265). They offer one-way rail only at $160 leaving an option to book with independents such as Dyea Dave, who charges $79 plus rail costs. That's $239.

We will be on the Island Princess that docks in Skagway Friday August 6th and the trains to Carcross are done for the season. But, there is the Steam Excursion to Fraser Meadows (not listed in Princess shore excursions) and looks like we may do that one. Most likely there will be several on the ship doing that as several railfans on the ship heading to Alaska for the NRHS (National Railway Historical Society) annual convention. No, I'm not with them.

haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
Level Contributor
7,032 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

Thanks for sharing the prices, Fitzcreek John........that should be a helpful comparison for folks who are debating which to take.........

Leicester, United...
Level Contributor
56 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

Thanks all for your replies. We were intending checking out the independents rather than the ship tours as they have been recommended. I have included the information that Chilkoot tours have sent me regarding prices so they are available to others should they be interested. Any thoughts on which would be the best trip and whether it is best to go up via train or bus first or whether this does not really matter. Also is it best to sit on the left / right of train / bus on the up / down leg? Thanks again for the help. The ones that appeal most are the 7.5 hour one and the 8 hour one. Not bothered about the huskie camp really and the first one is only the straight forward trip of train / bus up and train / bus down

White Pass Summit Bus & Rail Excursion (lunch is not included with this excursion)

Duration: 3.5 Hours

Departure: 7:30AM & 12:00PM (Train first)

Departure: 8:30AM & 1:00PM (Bus first)

Cost: $123.00 Adult $73.00 Child (12 & Under)

Itinerary: Skagway/White Pass Summit/Fraser & return to Skagway

Yukon Bus & Rail Excursion (lunch included)

Duration: 7.5 Hours

Departure: 7:30AM (Depart Skagway by train)

Departure: 8:30AM (Depart Skagway by bus)

Cost: $176.00 Adult $116.00 Child (12 & Under)

Lunch Included: BBQ chicken, baked potato, coleslaw, dinner roll, cake doughnuts, coffee, tea, water

Admission to the Yukon Wildlife Museum and Husky Puppy Camp also included

Itinerary: Skagway/White Pass Summit/Fraser by train – 1 ¾ hours on train to Fraser, Fraser to Carcross & Emerald Lake and return to Skagway by bus

Yukon Bus & Rail Excursion With 15 Minute Dogsled Ride (lunch included)

Duration: 7.5 Hours

Departure: 7:30AM (Depart Skagway by train)

Departure: 8:30AM (Depart Skagway by bus)

Cost: $208.00 Adult $148.00 Child (12 & Under)

Lunch Included: BBQ chicken, baked potato, coleslaw, dinner roll, cake doughnuts, coffee, tea, water

Admission to the Yukon Wildlife Museum, Husky Puppy Camp and the 15-minute dogcart ride also included

Itinerary: Skagway/White Pass Summit/Fraser by train – 1 ¾ hours on train to Fraser, Fraser to Carcross & Emerald Lake and return to Skagway by bus

Bennett Scenic Journey (lunch included)

Duration: 8 Hours (May 29-August 30, 2013 Tues. thru Sat. only)

For the 2013 season the Carcross Rail & Bus Excursion operates as follows:

Northbound train on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Southbound train on Tuesdays and Fridays

Departure: 7:30AM for the Northbound train

Departure: 8:30AM for the Southbound train

Cost: $229.00 Adult $114.50 Child (12 & Under)

Lunch: Mulligan stew, homemade bread, coleslaw, apple pie. Lunch is at Lake Bennett Train Depot dining hall. Parks Canada Interpretive Displays and self-guided walking tour also included

Itinerary: 2 ¾ hours on train to White Pass Summit, Fraser & Lake Bennett – 1 ¼ hours for lunch and layover at Lake Bennett– 1 ½ hour by train to Carcross – Carcross to Emerald Lake and return to Skagway by bus

Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
15,575 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

Thanks also from me k2iks. I did not realise there was such a difference in prices.

Barbara, Dave will, or used to anyway, look at the weather at the top of the Pass and recommend train first if the top is clear, or road first if it is fogged over. For the WPYR sit on the left going up or the right coming down, although I spent most of our trip riding on the footplate at the end of the carriage taking photos. My hands got so cold doing that to the stage that I had problems finding the camera button, but it was worth it. :)

Edited: 15 July 2013, 10:25
Chicago, Illinois
2 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

Thanks for your detailed information--it will be really helpful in deciding on which one to do!

San Ramon...
Level Contributor
17 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

Do you absolutely want to ride the train? I took the train last year, but this year I rented a car from Avis, and drove all the way to Emerald Lake. In my opinion, driving a car myself is far more flexible. For example, when we first passed suspension bridge, there were 4 tour buses, and the place was packed, so we decided to visit it on our way back, and we had the whole bridge by ourselves. Also, the scenery in Yukon is just stunning, we could stop at anywhere and stay as long as we want. I'm not saying training ride is bad, but driving definitely let me see and explore more.

Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
15,575 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

NPLOver,

Hence the recommendation to combine the rail with an extended road trip with a local independent provider who will stop where you would like them to, combining the quite different scenery from the train with that from the road.

The Yukon suspension bridge is not even in the Yukon Territory, but in BC, and was constructed a few years ago by the cruise industry people to suck more money out of their passengers pockets. That very high fence alongside the road is to prevent people taking photos from the roadway of the bridge. Did they have a security guard out the front like they did on the day we drove passed?

Leicester, United...
Level Contributor
56 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: White Pass Summit Rail and Yukon Rail Skagway

Hi,

Yes had seen a few posts where people have hired a car and driven, so this is in the mix of possibilities. Maybe as our first time here would also be nice to experience the train and suppose his also gives a different perspective. From comments made would look to extend this with a trip further into the Yukon. Am hoping that a trip booked independently of the cruise line will minimise the feeling of being herded by cattle.

Thanks for the suggestion.