Photo Essay: Sturgill's Landing

First posted in October, 2006

Yesterday we went to Sturgill's Landing, site of
a former wood/logging camp south of Skagway
on the shores of the Lynn Canal.

The trailhead is right next to Skagway's Historic District.
You begin by leaving the town and crossing Pullen Creek.

And then you cross the rails of the
White Pass & Yukon Route.

After crossing a lovely little leaf-covered bridge,
you begin to climb the side of the mountain.

Lots of switchbacks and a steep trail
provide views of town.

Eventually, the trail crests for a bit in the
woods along Lower Dewey Lake.

Lower Dewey Lake is fantastic, and it's hard
to make progress on the hike because there's
so much scenery to distract you.

Lovely reflections and decaying trees...

...old stumps washed up on the shore...

...and just general prettiness - particularly when
the calm day allows for beautiful reflections.

But eventually the trail leaves the lake,
follows the ridgeline, then drops down
into an amazingly rich piece of forest.

Filled with lichen and moss...

...and lovely little mushrooms.

"Skagway" is actually an anglicized version of the Tlingit name
Skaguay, which is loosely translated as place where the north
wind blows
. Though the day was calm, Skagway often gets
extremely high winds, as evidenced by this stretch of forest.

One tree in particular really caught my eye.

Near Sturgill's Landing, the trail takes a convoluted run through
rocky draws and across tricky talus slopes. I find it rather odd
that most rate this trail as "moderate," though I have seen at
least one source that ranks it as "moderate to strenuous."
While most of it's easy, the trail definitely has some more
difficult bits I wouldn't recommend to just anyone.

But even as you negotiate the scree there is beauty,
such as this currant showing its autumnal color...

...and intermittent views of the Lynn Canal.

After three and a half miles, we arrived.
It took about two hours, due to some tricky
ground and lots of dawdling for photos.

Looks like a lovely place to camp, with great views.
But it'd be a whole lot easier to arrive by boat!

Actually, a boat went past while we were there
(you can see it in the distance in this photograph).
We considered flagging it down just to avoid the
rock scramble back uphill, but that would have
been rather pathetic, wouldn't it? *wink*