We were in Skagway during July and it was our last Alaskan stop before continuing on to the Yukon. We had tickets on our first day in town, to ride along on one of the shorter day trips on the train.
Unfortunately, the White Pass Railway had a fluke derailment (not serious, thank goodness!) but because of safety checks and a shut-down, we weren't in town long enough to actually experience riding the rail.
We were impressed though by the way the company handled the tourists that were disappointed by their lack of a ride while in town. They ended up busing all of the people on nearly the same route on a land-based tour. We were driving to Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, so we didn't opt to ride the bus along the route we'd drive anyway. (We actually highway hopped between the many buses all the way!)
It was a testament to the service and hospitality of the company to see how they dealt with the entire ordeal. So, if you're in the neighborhood, we'd recommend it while in Skagway. We hope to get back to the area and fully experience the ride.
We took a bus tour up to the Yukon Suspension Bridge from Skagway, and then we got on the train in Frasier to take the White Pass Railway back to Skagway.
We were on the first tour of the morning - which was perfect for us. Still, my three year old, train-loving boy enjoyed the bus ride and the bridge, but was so worn out by the train ride that he fell asleep on the ride back down the mountain.
July is a nice time of year to take this tour as there are wildflowers in every direction. The landscape is very rugged and mountainous - so quite beautiful.
I do think that my three year old boy could've handled the entire 90 minute ride if he had been awake. There were a couple of tunnels (that were very dark.) But, there isn't a whole lot of variety in the landscape from Fraser to Skagway, and I didn't see any wildlife.
My train-loving husband really enjoyed the trip - of course.
There are so many things to do while in SE Alaska, but this is one for the must-do list. The train ride is relaxing and breathtaking. It would be very comfortable and interesting for the entire family. If you have older children only, consider riding the train up into Canada and biking back down to Skagway, but make sure to bring VERY warm clothing if you go before July.
I took this tour with a group of adults, but there were plenty of children with families along for the ride. I hesitate to suggest this for kids with short attention spans. There is not alot going on during this tour except for the beautiful scenic and historical views of Alaskas White Pass. Although most of Alaska is historical in some way and not much of a kids playground. I enjoyed the views and got alot of great pictures. If your child loves trains I bet they would enjoy this ride and just have fun being on a train. There is just one small bathroom stall in these old cars so don't expect an easy diaper change, it'd have to be on the seats, which can be cold in the later season. Dress the kids WARM and in layers. Heating is limited. If your child likes history or trains, bridges, tunnels or all, they may be able to enjoy this tour for what it is.