You will access the trailhead via a brief 6 mile train ride aboard the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railway, disembarking at the roadless, wilderness whistle stop known as Denver. Before leaving the trailhead, a short safety briefing and gear-up will prepare you for your forest adventure.
Leaving the trailhead, your experienced, knowledgeable and professional guides will lead you through the glacially carved valley full of dense, temperate, rainforest filled with old growth Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce trees. The trail traces the raging East Fork of the Skagway River, meeting it intermittently and providing excellent photo opportunities. Be alert for wildlife, and keep your camera close, as the remote valley is home to bears, moose, mountain goats and other wildlife.
From the depths of the river valley, gaze at the magnificent craggy peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains, rising promptly to 7000 feet above sea level, making this valley deeper than the Grand Canyon. Your thoroughly narrated hike will introduce you to the flora, fauna and history that makes the region unique. Hiking through the pristine old growth of the Tongass National Forest will leave you awed by the 1000 year old trees, and photo stops by the river will be a highlight of this perfect mix of exercise and natural beauty.
With no more than 6 guests per guide, you will receive extraordinary customer service. Guides carry rain gear, extra warm clothes, and other items such as sun block and bug repellent so you don’t have to! A small lumbar pack with snacks and water is also provided. Access to the roadless trailhead via a short ride on the historic White Pass Railroad enhances the experience.
Note: Guests should be in good physical condition, able to walk over uneven and sometimes challenging terrain including rocks and tree roots, and hike in all weather conditions. The hike typically covers 4-5 miles.
Packer Expeditions holds a Special Use Permit to operate hiking tours on land within the Tongass National Forest, and thanks the hard working men and women of the United States Forest Service for facilitating this opportunity.
|Suggested clothing attire||Dress in layers as temperature’s range between 50-75 degrees. Hiking boots or shoes with ankle support are recommended, but walking or athletic shoes are acceptable.|
|Duration||4.5 hours, including 3 hours of hiking time.|
|Equipment||Lumbar packs, trekking poles, rain gear, and hats and gloves are provided. Guides carry extra warm clothing, sun block and bug repellent.|
|Food and Refreshments||Water, candy bars, nuts during the hike. Assortment of beverages served after hike on return trip to town.|
Approximate Tour Time Tables
- 7:15 Meet guide(s) on the dock.
- 7:30 Depart dock and walk to White Pass Depot, 5-10 minutes depending on the dock.
- 7:40 Train safety briefing, waivers signed.
- 8:00 Brief train ride to trailhead at Denver Station, mile 5.8.
- 8:20 Gear distribution, trail safety briefing and orientation.
- 8:35 Roundtrip Wilderness hike along Skagway River and below the Sawtooth peaks.
- 11:25 Arrive back at trailhead, return gear.
- 11:35 Board train for ride back to Skagway with drinks.
- 12:00 Arrive at White Pass depot in Skagway
- 12:00 Meet guide(s) on the dock.
- 12:10 Depart dock and walk to White Pass Depot, 5-10 minutes depending on the dock.
- 12:20 Train safety briefing, waivers signed.
- 12:30 Brief train ride to trailhead at Denver Station, mile 5.8.
- 12:50 Gear distribution, trail safety briefing and orientation.
- 1:05 Roundtrip Wilderness hike along Skagway River and below the Sawtooth peaks.
- 3:55 Arrive back at trailhead, return gear.
- 4:05 Board train for ride back to Skagway with drinks.
- 4:30 Arrive at White Pass depot in Skagway.
How Can I Book this Excursion?
Because space on our tours is extremely limited, we encourage you to book with your cruise line if it offers this excursion. If you are not coming on a cruise ship, your cruise line does not offer this excursion, you are having difficulty booking with your cruise line, or you simply would like more information, please send an email to guide.manager@packerexpeditions or call 907-983-3005.
We can assist you more efficiently and effectively if your inquiry includes the following information:
- The exact date(s) you will be in Skagway
- The number of people in your party
- The name of your ship (this will tell us your port times)
- The tour(s) that most interest you
The following cruise lines offer the Sawtooth Mountain Nature Hike(possibly by a slightly different name):
The following cruise lines DO NOT offer the Sawtooth Mountain Nature Hike, but it may be possible for you to book it with us, providing there is space available and your port times allow:
- Holland America
- Silver Seas
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