OverviewAB Mountain at 5,052 feet can easily be spotted in the Skagway skyline. The trailhead is located just 5 minutes outside of Skagway, Alaska. The mountain has an appearance of an A and a B beside one another though sometimes it is hard to spot the B during the snowy months. It is said that in order to join the Arctic Brotherhood one must first make the 10 mile roundtrip hike to the summit of AB Mountain.
The Arctic Brotherhood was a fraternal order established in 1899 to protect the rights of stampeders. It was formed in response to high crime levels with the intent to form a more friendly and helpful community. The Arctic Brotherhood Hall still stands in Skagway, Alaska today. It can be recognized by the thousands of pieces of driftwood attached to the building as well as by the letters A B being displayed at the top.
Skagway is a small town formed by the Gold Rush which has preserved its historical downtown over the past 100+ years. Its population is just over 800 but it is a neat town and rich with history.
The scenery around AB mountain is spectacular and hosts views of the Taiya Inlet and Taiya River as well as other well known mountains in the area such as Mount Hardy and Face Mountain (the rocks on the summit display an Indian lying dead with feathers upon his head and his hands crossed on his chest). Another nearby popular trail is the 33 mile Chilkoot trail which leads into Canada.
During the summer Skagway has longer days which will allow more time enjoy the hike and the wildlife. One could easily spot wildlife such as brown bear, black bear, bald eagle, seals, beavers, mountain goat (is in the nearby area), also humpback whales and orcas can be spotted if you were to go out of the harbor and into the inside passage.
*** Warning this trail can be easy to lose during poor weather conditions. Do not attempt when visibility is minimal. The trail climbs nearly 5,000 feet in 5 miles and is therefore considered to be strenuous and unsafe during poor weather conditions.
Getting ThereThe Skyline Trail trailhead can be found at 4.5 miles on Dyea Road or you can take a short hike from town.
From the town of Skagway you would take the Klondike Highway (Highway 99 this is the main street in downtown Skagway) Northeast for approximately two miles until you cross Dyea Road. You then make a left on Dyea Road and continue for one to two miles at which point you will see a trail going up the mountain side with a sign reading "To AB Mountain". Follow this trail five miles to the summit.
If you are coming from the United States, Mainland Alaska, or Canada, you will need to follow the Alaska Highway (Highway 1) towards White Horse and then head south on Highway 2 at Mt. Lorne or south on Highway 8. These routes are both on very remote roads and will take countless hours to travel. Therefore if you are traveling from one of these locations you may want to consder taking the ferry which is operated by the Alaska Marine Highway System. A link will be provided below.
Red TapePack in pack out.
Make sure all food is in bear proof containers. Black Bears and Brown Bears are both very common in this area.
No permits are required to hike this trail or access AB Mountain.
CampingDyea Campground is located 9 miles from Skagway in Dyea, Alaska. A link will be provided below. I personally would not recommend backcountry camping on this Mountain due to exposure at higher elevations and AB mountain like all other Mountains located in Alaska is subject to extreme weather and rapid weather changes. Remember every one thousand feet of elevation gained will usually experience decreased temperatures by approximately 3.5 degrees. This means that the temperature at the summit of AB Mountain will be approximately 17.5 degrees lower than the temperature for Skagway found below.
External LinksAccomodations In and Around Skagway and Dyea
The History of Skagway
Alaska Marine Highway System