Murray's Guide to the South Klondike Highway
Narration and photos by Murray Lundberg
December 7, 2022: We are sorry to have to tell you that there will be no more updates to Murray's Guide. Murray has a brain injury as the result of a fall during a hike in August 2019, and both the drive and the writing are now beyond his abilities. The 2020 edition of Murray's Guide is, however, available as a free download at http://www.murraysguide.com/guide2001.pdf. The vast majority of the information in the guide doesn't change, and he hopes that it still helps you enjoy the drive more fully.
- we find 5-5½ hours to be a good amount of time to allow for the drive, to allow for plenty of stops including lunch.
- as this trip takes you into Canada, a passport is required.
- there are 3 car rental companies in Skagway, Avis, independent operator DIY Jeep Tours (formerly Alaska Green Jeep), and Affordable Car Rentals. All the offices are reasonable walks from any of the docks, though shuttle buses are available.
- there are 2 gas stations in Skagway (at 2nd Avenue and State Street, and 4th Avenue and Main Street). On February 26, 2019, it was $4.257 per gallon at 2nd/State. It's a bit higher in Carcross, but you won't need to fuel up there.
- if you're coming up in May, you may want to know when the ice leaves Emerald Lake
- there is 1 grocery store in Skagway and a convenience store at the gas station in Carcross.
- there are many restaurants in Skagway and 4 in the Carcross area. The 5 eateries that I give high marks to (and visit often) are The Station, Skagway Brewing Company, and Glacier Smoothies in Skagway; and Caribou Crossing Coffee and The Bistro in downtown Carcross.
- the speed limits on the highway are 40mph in Alaska (outside Skagway), and 90 kmh (55mph) in British Columbia and the Yukon.
- a GPS is of little use on this road due to poor satellite reception in many areas and the almost complete absence of geographical information about this area in GPS
databases. They will give you lat/long for most of the route and most units will give you your distance from the towns, but not much else.
- there is only cell phone coverage within a few miles of Skagway and Carcross.