TRANSPORTATION (Historic Information)

Personal comfort requirements on ships to Alaska compare favorably with the best coast line steamers elsewhere.

Those who contemplate a summer tour should make note of the following:

To see the sun shining at midnight, the departure from Vancouver or Seattle should be made about June 15th.

Do not burden yourself with heavy clothing. By way of comparison it might be noted that the summer temperature of Skagway, Atlin, Dawson, and Fairbanks runs on an average from about 60 to 75 degrees, while that of cities like Chicago, New York, and St. Louis runs from 70 to 95 degrees.

It is well to be provided with a medium weight overcoat or wrap, walking shoes or rubbers for any intended tramps ashore, and medium weight underwear, such as usually worn in the late spring. Cold weather in Alaska or Yukon is never encountered during the summer. You merely escape the sultry heat of more southern points. The average rainfall at Dawson for the months of June, July, August, and September, covering a period of 14 years, is less than 1 1/2 inches per month. This is about half or less than the rainfall during the same months in Chicago, New York, Boston, etc. The rainfall at Fairbanks and Atlin is approximately the same as at Dawson.

Chiefs House, Deserted Indian Village, Cape Fox, Alaska

By all means take a camera with you. There are many interesting things worth "snapping" besides the scenery, and with a little care in exposure and focusing the result will be a most interesting pictorial record of your trip.

All transportation to and from Alaska is by water.

Steamships between Seattle, Wash., and all southeastern and southwestern Alaska points, and between Vancouver, Victoria, and Prince Rupert and Southeastern Alaska points are operated at all times of the year. North of the Alaska Peninsula and on the rivers of interior Alaska navigation is closed in winter.

The following steamship companies operate between Seattle, Wash., and Alaska ports:

Alaska Steamship Co. to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Thane, Treadwell, Douglas, Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Cordova, Valdez, Seward, Anchorage, St. Michael, Nome. This company also operates steamers from Seward to the following ports on the Alaska Peninsula: Port Graham, Seldovia, Homer, Kodink, Uyak, Karluk, Cold Bay, Chignik, Unga, Sand Point, Coal Harbor, Belkofsky, Scotch Cap, Cape Sarichef, Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, and Nushagok.

Border Line Transportation Co. to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Treadwell, Douglas, Juneau, Thane, Hoonah, Sitka, and ports on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island.

Pacific Steamship Co. to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Thane, Treadwell, Douglas, Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Yakutat, Katalla, Cordova, Valdez, Seward, Seldovia, Port Graham, Anchorage, and Kodiak and during tourist seasons to Sitka.

The Canadian Pacific Ry. (British Columbia Coast Service) operates two steamers between Vancouver and Skagway to Alert Bay, B. C, Prince Rupert, B. C, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau and Skagway. During the tourist season from about June 10th to the end of August these steamers, Princess Alice and Princess Louise, call at Taku Glacier en route to Skagway. At Prince Rupert connection is made with the trains of the Grand Trunk Pacific R. R.

Ships touching at Skagway connect at that port with the White Pass & Yukon Route, by rail to White Pass, B. C, 20 miles; Log Cabin, B. C, 32 miles; Bennett, B. C, 41 miles; Carcross. Y. T., 67 miles; Whitehorse, Y. T., 110 miles.

Connection is made at McRae, Y. T., with branch line trains for Carr Glyn, Y. T., 5 miles, and Pueblo, Y. T., 11 miles.

The White Pass & Yukon Route during the season of navigation operates a fleet of river steamers carrying freight and passengers between Carcross, Y. T., and Atlin, B. C, and between Whitehorse and Dawson, Y. T., 460 miles.

Parlor observation cars are run on all regular trains, and during the summer season observation cars are added.

The American-Yukon Navigation Co. operates steamers on the Yukon River, on an irregular schedule, between Dawson and St. Michael. Service begins about June 5th and ends about October 1st.

Ships calling at Cordova connect there with the Copper River & Northwestern Ry. for Eyak, 8 miles, Miles Glacier, 49 miles, Chitina, 131 miles, Strelna, 146 miles, Shushana junction, 191 miles, and Kennecott, 197 miles.

Ships making Seward or Anchorage connect with the U. S. Government Alaska R. R. for Fairbanks, 508 miles. Stations en route are Roosevelt, 23 miles, Hunter, 40 miles, Kern, 71 miles, Anchorage, 114 miles, Matanuska, 151 miles, Houston, 175 miles, Talkeetna, 227 miles, Deadhorse, 249 miles, Gold Creek, 264 miles, Chulitna, 275 miles. Branch from Matanuska to Eska, 21 miles, and Chickaloon, 38 miles.

Steamers touching at Nome and St. Michael connect with the American-Yukon Navigation Company steamboats, operating from St. Michael up the Yukon River and its tributaries, as far as Dawson, affording passenger, mail, express and freight service between Dawson and St. Michael and intermediate points as well as all points reached by steamers on the Koyukuk, Iditarod, and Innoko rivers in Alaska. The last sailing from Seattle for up the river is not later than August 10th. The Yukon closes in the early fall.


The usual free allowance of 150 pounds of baggage on whole tickets and 75 pounds on half tickets is accorded by the steamships plying to and from Alaska.

Passengers entering Alaska from Canada are required to pass the customary United States Immigration inspection.

A similar requirement is made by the Canadian Government when passing from Alaska into Canada.

In either direction, the immigration authorities of both countries are very courteous, and do their work with a minimum of annoyance or inconvenience to tourists.

Passengers holding through tickets via Canadian Pacific R. R. and making Alaska side trip will be granted free storage of baggage at steamship companies' wharves, at point of embarkation for not more than 30 days, after which regular charges will accrue.

Bonded baggage requirements vary, depending on the rail and ship lines traveled by the passenger.

Baggage checked from Vancouver or Victoria to Skagway will be inspected by United States Customs officers at Ketchikan or may be forwarded in bond.

Southbound, Canadian Customs baggage inspection is made at Prince Rupert, and United States Customs inspection at Vancouver (if passenger is traveling east via Canadian Pacific) or at Seattle.

Baggage can be checked through from Puget Sound and British Columbia ports to Atlin or Dawson via White Pass & Yukon Route, without inspection of customs officers at Skagway, provided passengers hold through tickets; and after it is once checked at starting point, passengers are not annoyed by inspection or re-checking until arrival at destination, where all baggage from the United States is subject to inspection.

Baggage originating at British Columbia points may be sealed and sent through Alaska in bond without inspection. The same privilege is accorded in the opposite direction.


Ketchikan to Prince of Wales Island, Hyder, and other local points.

Wrangell to Prince of Wales Island and other near-by localities.

Petersburg to the south end of Baranof Island.

Juneau, westerly to Sitka, and northerly to Skagway.

Valdez and Cordova to points on Prince William Sound.

The principal river service on the Yukon, Koyukuk, Innoko, and Iditarod rivers is handled by the White Pass & Yukon Route and its connections.

Fairbanks has a local fleet of about five steamers operating to near-by points on the Tanana River.

On the Iditarod River there is a local service of about six boats between Dishna and Iditarod.

On the Innoko River there is a local service of about three boats operating in the upper and shallow portions of the river.

The Kuskokwim River service is furnished by two steamers operated by the Alaska Rivers Navigation Company and the Kuskokwim Commercial Company.

A launch is scheduled to make monthly trips between Seward and Alaska Peninsula points via Kodiak.

Tramp transportation is furnished by small steamers and power boats to practically all new fields on tributaries of the Yukon. Fairbanks, Tanana, Ruby, and Iditarod are the principal headquarters. Two steamers are operated on the Stikine River between Wrangell, Alaska, and Telegraph Creek, B. C. Power launches operate on irregular schedules between Wrangell and various points on the river.

The Knik-Susitna Transportation Co. has been operating in past years at the head of Cook Inlet, Knik, Turnagain Arm and on the Susitna River, which is a tributary of Cook Inlet.

"The men of my age who are in this great audience will not be old before they see one of the greatest and most populous states of the entire Union in Alaska.

"I predict that Alaska within the next century will support as large a population as does the entire Scandinavian peninsula.

"I predict that you will see Alaska with her enormous resources of minerals, her fisheries and her possibilities that almost exceed belief, produce as hardy and vigorous a race as any part of America."


Dogs with Packsaddles

Back to Table of Contents