After considerable experience I have decided that the best route for a man to take to the gold regions is from Seattle, Washington, to Juneau, Alaska, and then to Dawson City, by the pass and waterways, and I will therefore describe this route more in detail than any of the others.
I am devoting a special chapter to the outfit for travellers, and will therefore deal in this chapter with the route only.
The traveller having paid his fare to Seattle should on arrival there have not less than $500. This is the minimum sum necessary to pay his fare from Seattle to Juneau, purchase his outfit and supplies for one year and pay his necessary expenses in the gold region for that length of time.
I think it deplorable that so many are starting at this time for the gold-fields. I do not recommend starting before March 15. I will return at that time to my claims on the Klondyke, if it were wise to go sooner, I should certainly go.
The reason March 15 is best is that the season is better then. If a man has only, say, $500 and wants to do his own packing over the Taiya Pass, it gives him time to do it by starting March 15, as he will then be in Juneau April 1st. I fear a great deal of hardship for those who started out so as to reach Juneau for winter travel.
Of course while I say $500 is sufficient to go to Dawson City, a man should take $1,000 or even more if possible as he will have many opportunities to invest the surplus.
While prices will undoubtedly advance at Dawson City owing to the large influx of people, I do not think the advance will be excessive. It has never been the policy of the two trading companies to take advantage of the miners.
The traveller having arrived in Juneau from Seattle, a journey of 725 miles by water, immediately purchases his complete outfit as described in another chapter. He then loses no time in leaving Juneau for Dyea, taking a small steamboat which runs regularly to this port via the Lynn Canal. Dyea has recently been made a customs port of entry and the head of navigation this side of the Taiya Pass. The distance between Juneau and Dyea is about one hundred miles.