Dyea, Alaska

Skagway, Alaska Chilkoot Trail Alaska
The Dyea waterfront during the Klondike Gold Rush.
The Dyea waterfront during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Dyea is located in Alaska
Location within the state of Alaska
Coordinates: 59°30′16″N 135°21′36″W / 59.50444°N 135.36000°W / 59.50444; -135.36000Coordinates: 59°30′16″N 135°21′36″W / 59.50444°N 135.36000°W / 59.50444; -135.36000
CountryUnited States

Dyea (/dˈ/ dye-EE) is a former town in the U.S. state of Alaska. A few people live on individual small homesteads in the valley; however, it is largely abandoned. It is located at the convergence of the Taiya River and Taiya Inlet on the south side of the Chilkoot Pass within the limits of the Municipality of Skagway Borough, Alaska. During the Klondike Gold Rush prospectors disembarked at its port and used the Chilkoot Trail, a Tlingit trade route over the Coast Mountains, to begin their journey to the gold fields around Dawson City, Yukon, about 800 km (500 mi) away. Confidence man and crime boss Soapy Smith, famous for his underworld control of the neighboring town of Skagway in 1897–98 is believed to have had control of Dyea as well.[1]

The port at Dyea had shallow water, while neighboring Skagway had deep water. Dyea was abandoned when the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad chose the White Pass Trail (instead of the alternative Chilkoot Trail), which began at Skagway, for its route.

Chilkoot Trail and Dyea Site is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Dyea is now within the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. All that remains are a number of foundations surrounded by scraps of lumber and metal, 3 cemeteries, including one where almost every person buried died on the same date in an avalanche on the gold rush trail, and the ruins of the wharf.[2] Visitors can usually spot brown bears, black bears, and eagles. Brown bears tend to use the Dyea inlets to feed during salmon spawning season (July–August).

Taiya River estuary and site of Dyea at the beginning of the Chilkoot Trail (October 2005).
This one wall and section of fence is all that remains of the buildings of old Dyea today.


Dyea appeared one time on the U.S. Census in 1900 as an unincorporated village. It has since been annexed into the city of Skagway.


  1. ^ Smith, Jeff (2009). Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel. Klondike Research. pp. 450–51. ISBN 0-9819743-0-9.
  2. ^ nps.gov[full citation needed]
  3. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.