Total Distance: 7 km
Return Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 166 m
The Lower Dewey Lake Loop offers a nice coastal forest hike just above Skagway. Most of the initial elevation gain is at the beginning until you reach the lake. There are some nice picnic areas, camping spots and firepits along the loop.
From downtown Skagway, go to 2nd Avenue and Spring Street, there is a large parking area near there. Head south and walk over towards the mountain side, over a bridge and across the railroad tracks. The trail starts climbing right away.
After crossing the railroad tracks, the wide trail climbs up into the coastal forest. Right away you will come to a fork where you can continue straight or turn right. Turn right and you'll eventually have to duck under a large metal water pipe. The trail is easy to follow but uphill for a while, switchbacking up in elevation with some great views over Skagway. Closer to the lake, the elevation gain levels out and there will be trail signs with directions to 'Lower (Dewey) Lake Loop' and 'Icy Lake/Upper Reid Falls'. Follow the signs for the Lower Dewey Lake Loop.
The loop will take you southwest along the lake to its southern extent, where you will cross a little boardwalk over the spillway. The trail along the other side of the lake is a little rougher, with rocks and routes. As you start nearing the northern end of the lake again, keep left to rejoin the main trail to get you back to the trailhead.