SKAGWAY (a native name said to mean "home of the north wind"), a city in S.E.
135° 20' W., at the mouth of the river Skagway, on an indentation of Taiya Inlet, a branch of Chilkoot Inlet, leading out of Lynn Canal.
Though settled somewhat earlier, Skagway first became important during the rush in 1896 for the Klondike gold-fields, for which it is the most convenient entrance by the trail over White Pass, the lower of the two passes to the headwaters of the Yukon.
They are the highest points that one meets in travelling from Skagway along the course of the Yukon to Bering Sea.
Prior to the opening (in August woo) of the railway between Skagway and White Horse, Canada (110 m.), by way of the White Pass, all transportation to the interior was effected by men and pack-animals (and for a time by a system of telpherage) over these passes and the Chilkat or Dalton trail; the building of the railway reduced carriage rates to less than a tenth of their former value, and the Chilkat and Chilkoot Passes were no longer used.
Alaskan mails leave the states daily, many post-offices are maintained, mail is regularly delivered beyond the Arctic circle, all the more important towns have telegraphic communication with the states,' there is one railway in the interior through Canadian territory from Skagway, and other railways are planned.
Sitka, Juneau (the capital) and Douglas, both centres of a rich mining district, Skagway, shipping point for freight for the Klondike country (see these titles), and St Michael, the ocean port for freighting up the Yukon, are the only towns apparently assured of a prosperous future.