Distance: 4-6 miles (6-10km) round trip from railroad stop
Elevation Gain: 900 ft. (270m)
The Denver Glacier trail is truly one of the greatest hikes in the area. If you decide to hike this trail, it is more about the journey than the destination. You aren't able to get very close to the glacier at all but you are able to get close enough to one of the old growth trees you can give it a great big hug. The glacier is beautiful but if you are looking for an up close and personal experience with a glacier, the Laughton Trail is for you. If you want to immerse yourself in the splendor of an old growth forest (one of the few remaining), the Denver Glacier hike is your best bet.
Directions (As listed on nps.gov website) : The trail begins from the flag stop at miles 5.8 on the WP&YR railroad. From the caboose cabin, the trail parallels the south bank of the Skagway River through spruce and hemlock forest. After about two miles the trail turns south up the outwash of the glacier. The route continues south, but slippery footing and thick brush make access difficult. Winter is a good time to explore the valley on snowshoes or skis because frozen rivers are easier to cross and the brush is buried in deep snow. Avoid the area in March and April when avalanche danger is high.
The Denver and Laughton Glacier trails are located out of town 5.8 and 14 miles up the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. The railroad offers flagstop service May-September; purchase tickets in advance (at depot on 2nd Ave., 1-800-343-7373, or www.wpyr.com). The U.S. Forest Service maintains cabins on both trails call 1-877-444-6777