I took this picture on the Klondike Highway. You can see this on a shore excursion or if you rent a jeep.
Traveling to Alaska is amazing. Skagway is undoubtedly the best of all Alaskan destinations because there are so many incredible shore excursions to choose from. Another thing that makes Skagway unique is the Klondike Highway, which connects the city with the North American road system. This means that you can either take a tour or rent a jeep and travel the highway on your own. Which is better? Let’s find out.
Some shore excursions go places the road does not
If you want to see something in Skagway that’s not accessible via the road system, then you should obviously take a shore excursion. For example, if you want to stand on a glacier, you should take a helicopter shore excursion because you can’t drive on a giant hunk of ice. Same if you want to see ocean wildlife because cars can’t swim. Seems obvious, but I thought I should mention it.
Advantages and disadvantages of taking a shore excursion
If you like turning off your brain while you’re on vacation, then a shore excursion may be your best bet. You can sit back in the seat and let the tour guide do the work. You don’t have to use a map, fill up the tank with gas, or figure out where the turnoff is located.
Shore excursions are also great if you like to learn about the history of the region or learn about the plants and animals. Tour guides love the talk. They flap their gums pretty much non-stop, so you will learn about the Klondike Gold Rush and when you see some mining ruins they will tell you why it’s there. If you see a plant they can tell you what it is. If they don’t know, that won’t stop them. And what difference does it make anyway?
One disadvantage of taking a shore excursion is that there will be other people on the tour. You won’t know these people. Most of the time, other people are great, but sometimes they’re not so great. It’s a risk you take whenever you take a shore excursion. They may stink or talk a lot, and sometimes they have bratty kids that make you want to jump out of the moving bus.
Another disadvantage is that you’re on a strict schedule. You may want to stop in a remote spot with a beautiful view to eat lunch. Too bad! Still, shore excursions often include a delicious lunch even if you can’t eat it while looking at a lake or something.
Advantages and disadvantage of renting a jeep
If you rent a jeep, you can go wherever you want and take as much time as you like. If you see a highway turnoff, you can take it and see where it goes. Maybe it leads to Crazy Yukon Pete’s Cabin. I sure hope you don’t end up there!
With a jeep, you can also take a fishing rod and do some fishing in the lake. You can bring your own lunch and have a picnic. If you see a moose, you can stop and watch it for as long as you like. When I see a moose, I stop my car, roll down the window and yell, “Hey moose!”
A few disadvantages of renting a jeep is that you have to drive. Maybe you’re a bad driver. Maybe you don’t like to drive. You are also responsible for yourself. If you’re late and miss your cruise ship departure time, too bad. You also have to put fuel in the jeep and hope you don’t get in an accident. If a moose decides to charge your car because you yelled at it, well, that’s on you. I got into a race with a moose one time. You can see the results below in this video I took of the encounter.
Anyway, we hope this informative blog helps you decide whether to take a shore excursion or rent a jeep. Remember, if you’re going to hike in the wilderness, take some moose spray for protection.