30 °F / -0 °C
Lynn Canal is a inland waterway in southeast Alaska, running 140 km (90 ml) from Chilkat River south to Stephens Passage and Chatham Strait.
- Over 610 m (2000 ft) in depth, Lynn Canal is North America's deepest fjord (outside Greenland) as well as one of world's longest and deepest. Its northern part braids into Chilkoot, Chilkat and Taiya Inlets.
- The canal was explored by Joseph Whidbey (1757-1833) in 1794 and named by George Vancouver (1757-1798) to honour his birthplace, King's Lynn (Norfolk, England).
- Penetrating into Alaska's interior, Lynn Canal links Skagway and Haines with Juneau and the rest of Inside Passage, thus making it a major route for cruise ships, ferries and cargo ships.
- During Klondike Gold Rush, Lynn Canal was a major route to Deya and Skagway and the Klondike gold fields. The worst in Pacific Northwest's history maritime disaster occurred here in October 1918, when SS Princess Sophia (coastal passenger liner) southbound from Skagway grounded on Vanderbilt Reef and sank, killing all its 343 passengers and crew.
- Following the gold rush and the opening of White Pass and Yukon Route, rail freight from Yukon was transported along the railway to Port Skagway, then shipped via Lynn Canal. However, during the 1970s-1980s rail freight traffic decreased with the mining activity and now very little cargo is shipped via Lynn Canal.
- Transportation in the canal is currently ensured by Alaska Marine Highway ferries. A few other passenger ferries and water taxis are available, but AMHS boats are the most frequently used.