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Dyea Road, Alaska

Northern Highways - Alaska, the Yukon & northern British Columbia

The Dyea Highway is a paved 2-lane road that begins at Mile 2.4 of the South Klondike Highway north of Skagway. It runs 1.4 miles to a viewpoint over Skagway and Taiya Inlet and then at Mile 1.8 narrows and becomes gravel for 4.4 miles. It is then paved for another 2.2 miles to the West Creek Bridge where maintenance ends and 4-wheel drive roads offer further exploring.

A guide to the services and attractions in the area.

The history of the vanished town and current sights in the area.

South Klondike Highway
A mile-by-mile guide to the highway that runs from Skagway to the Alaska Highway near Whitehorse, Yukon.

The Dyea Road, Mile by Mile

Click on photos to greatly enlarge them

Mile 0: The Dyea Road junction with the South Klondike Highway at Mile 2.4 from the State ferry dock.

Mile 0.1: The gated road on the right leads 100 yards or so up to Skagway's Pioneer Cemetery, which was in use from 1908 until 1974.

Mile 0.6: The current Skagway Cemetery, opened in 1971, is below the road on the left. To the right of it is a storage yard used by the fire department.

Mile 1.4: Scenic viewpoint overlooking Skagway and Taiya Inlet, the northernmost extension of Lynn Canal.

Mile 1.7: A steep, rough road on the left leads down to the Skagway River and the hiking trail to Yakutania Point.

Mile 1.8: Pavement ends. While the gravel road beyond (narrow and winding in many places) is well maintained, it can be rough after a spell of wet weather, and flying rocks do increase the chances of vehicle damage.

Mile 1.9: AB Mountain - Skyline Trail. The name of the mountain comes from the fact that in the Spring, patches of snow clearly spell "AB" - a well-known combination of letters because of the historic Arctic Brotherhood fraternity that was formed during the Gold Rush. The trail climbs far above treeline, offering superb views to very experienced hikers.

Nahku Bay, Alaska Mile 3.3: The road curves around the end of Nahku Bay (a.k.a. Long Bay) and crosses over Matthews Creek. The view to the right is from a pullout as the road climbs along the west side of Nahku Bay.

Mile 4.3: The road now follows the main arm of Taiya Inlet.

Mile 4.7: At high tide it will seem incredible, but at very low tides the beach extends out this far from the mouth of the Taiya River. During the Gold Rush, wharves were built out to deep water near this point.

Mile 4.9: Road narrows to one lane with passing pullouts.

Mile 5.1: Interpretive signs about Native culture and Dyea as a transportation corridor.

Mile 6.7: Interpretive signs about the natural history of the Taiya estuary.

Mile 6.9: Chilkoot Trail campground and ranger station

Mile 7.0: Chilkoot Trail Outpost, a deluxe bed-and-breakfast cabin complex.

Chilkoot Trail sign, Alaska Mile 7.3: Chilkoot Trail trailhead on the right, outhouses and interpretive sign on the left. Taiya River Bridge - black bears are often seen along the river in this area in particular.

Historic Dyea Cemetery, Alaska Mile 7.4: Turn left to go to the Dyea townsite and the Slide Cemetery (seen to the right). See our Dyea pages for lots more information about what there is to see and do down that road.

West Creek Bridge, Dyea, Alaska Mile 8.4: A one-lane bridge crosses West Creek. To access the West Glacier 4x4/Jeep road, cross the bridge and turn left. A couple of hundred feet further, keep straight - to the left is private property. The road climbs gradually and offers several opportunities to turn around - it eventually leads to excellent glacier views and some decent hiking where the road gets too rough for any vehicle.

It was exceptionally mild in Alaska in January 2015, and when I drove the Dyea Road on January 14th it was very muddy. This 17-minute video shows the drive back from the Taiya River bridge to the South Klondike Highway, and a mile or so up the South Klondike. I was driving an AWD Cadillac CTS4. You can see the photojournal from that day at The ExploreNorth Blog.