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Overview

Located along a deep fjord in northern Southeast Alaska, the town of Haines (pop. 1,400) offers a quiet contrast to Skagway, its touristy neighbor. Haines straddles a narrow peninsula, fronting on Chilkoot Inlet and flanked by the wide Chilkat River and sharp peaks of the Chilkat Range. Historic Fort Seward — built in the early 1900s — is a focal point, with its white Victorian buildings, lush parade grounds, and master totem carvers at Alaska Indian Arts. The town is also home to a couple of museums, including the unique Hammer Museum with more than 1,500 hammers of all shapes and sizes. The Haines Highway — one of the only roads out of ...

Located along a deep fjord in northern Southeast Alaska, the town of Haines (pop. 1,400) offers a quiet contrast to Skagway, its touristy neighbor. Haines straddles a narrow peninsula, fronting on Chilkoot Inlet and flanked by the wide Chilkat River and sharp peaks of the Chilkat Range. Historic Fort Seward — built in the early 1900s — is a focal point, with its white Victorian buildings, lush parade grounds, and master totem carvers at Alaska Indian Arts. The town is also home to a couple of museums, including the unique Hammer Museum with more than 1,500 hammers of all shapes and sizes. The Haines Highway — one of the only roads out of Southeast Alaska — leads north from town along the river, passing the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, where eagles are common in summer. The road climbs steadily over Chilkat Pass into Canada, connecting with the Alaska Highway at Haines Junction in the Yukon. Hiking trails sprawl out from Haines along the shore and up nearby peaks, providing dramatic vistas on a clear day. River rafting, sea kayaking, mountain biking, camping, and bear viewing are all popular, and back in town are several distinctive eateries (try Fireweed Restaurant) and historic lodging places (most notably Hotel Halsingland). The state ferry connects Haines with Juneau and Skagway.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Four hours northwest of Juneau. It is in the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle, near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June through August for most activities and winter months for best eagle-viewing