Skagway (originally spelled Skaguay) is from the Tlingit name for the area, "Skagua" or "Shgagwèi" meaning "a windy place with white caps on the water."

Beginning in 1897, Skagway and the nearby ghost town of Dyea was the starting place for gold-rush stampeders who headed to the Yukon primarily by way of the Chilkoot Trail.

With a colorful history and little rain, Skagway is considered one of the most interesting and welcoming towns to visit during any trip on the Inside Passage.