Haines Things to Do

  • Dezadeash Lake on Haines Road
    Dezadeash Lake on Haines Road
    by Jefie
  • Driving on Haines Road
    Driving on Haines Road
    by Jefie
  • Chilkat Pass landscape on Haines Road
    Chilkat Pass landscape on Haines Road
    by Jefie

Most Recent Things to Do in Haines

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    Kluane National Park and Reserve

    by Jefie Updated Jul 1, 2013

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    This national park covers about 22,000 square km, which makes it nearly half the size of Switzerland! Its main features are the St. Elias Mountains, which lie right next to the Icefields range. These include Mont Logan, Canada's highest peak at nearly 6,000 m. Kluane National Park (it's pronounced Kloo-AH-Nee) was established in 1972. It is home to a wide variety of wild animals, and it features an impressive number of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to quite adventurous climbs. We settled for a happy middle by going on the 15-km Auriol trail. It's a fairly easy loop with a 400 m incline that provides great views of the park. You don't really need special equipment other than water, sun screen, mosquito repellent and your camera, but you should remember that there are bears around (see my warning tip).

    For lunch, we stopped just a little further down the road at beautiful Kathleen Lake. Not only was the setting absolutely incredible, but there was a shelter (so we didn't have to fight with mosquitoes quite as much), picnic tables and dry toilets, which made it a very convenient spot for a picnic. Unless you're planning on going camping, access to the park's trails and other facilities is free of charge.

    Kathleen Lake at Kluane National Park Ready for a hike on the Auriol Trail! At the start of the Auriol trail Getting a closer look at the St. Elias Mountains Wild flowers at Kluane National Park
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    A quick walk around Haines Junction

    by Jefie Updated Jul 1, 2013

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    If you have a bit of time to spare in Haines Junction, I'd recommend going of a self-guided tour of the village using the leaflet produced by the Yukon Tourism Department (click on the link below to print your own copy). Haines Junction is not very big - less than a thousand people live there - but, as a lady proudly pointed out, it's been voted the Yukon's most beautiful village, mostly thanks to the St. Elias Mountain Range that provides a rather spectacular scenery in the background. The village only dates back to 1942, at which time it was being used as a construction camp for road workers. Some of the buildings that were built at that time (log cabins for the most part) can still be seen around the village today. We didn't have time to do the full walking tour, but my favourite point of interest was the Our Lady of the Way Catholic Church. The chuch dates back to 1955, when two missionaries decided to convert an army hangar into a place of worship. The result is pretty original and suprisingly charming!

    Our Lady of the Way Church in Haines Junction Inside St. Christopher's Anglican Church Inside Our Lady of the Way Catholic Church St. Christopher's Anglican Church, Haines Junction
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    Walking and shopping in Haines

    by Jefie Updated Jul 1, 2013

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    With a population of nearly 2,000, Haines, Alaska is slightly bigger than Haines Junction, but it remains a small town. There isn't that much to do, but there was enough to keep us busy for a morning while we waited for the ferry to depart for Skagway. The downtown core is full of souvenir shops that are fun to look at, but do be aware that prices are higher than they are in Skagway. You can also pick up a Fort Seward brochure and go on a self-guided walking tour of this historic area dating back to 1904. If you're into unusual museums, you might want to check out the Hammer Museum, which presents a collection of over 1,500 hammers (admission: $3). Also, in 1990, the Disney movie "White Fang", based on Jack London's novel and starring a young Ethan Hawke, was filmed in Haines. Part of the set can still be seen on the town's fairgrounds.

    Our friends hanging out at Fort Seward Haines's Visitor Information Centre on 2nd Avenue Hammer Museum in Haines, Alaska One of the town's souvenir shops Historic Fort Seward area in Haines, Alaska
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    Haines Road & the Chilkat Pass

    by Jefie Written Jun 29, 2013

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    Haines Road stretches over 244 km, between Haines Junction (Yukon) and Haines (Alaska). It roughly follows the old Dalton Trail, named after Jack Dalton. The latter developed this trading route in the 1890s, establishing a few trading posts along the way. When the Gold Rush began, he started charging a toll to stampeders who would use the trail that went all the way to Fort Selkirk, another trading post located on the Yukon River about halfway between Dawson and Whitehorse. Haines Road goes through the magnificient Chilkat Pass, at which point you find yourself in British Columbia. There are numerous lookout points all along the road and these are clearly marked by roadsigns with cameras on them. It's worth stopping by, or at the very least slowing down, when you reach one as they all offer fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. Sit back and enjoy the ride!

    Chilkat Pass landscape on Haines Road Dezadeash Lake on Haines Road Driving on Haines Road Getting closer to the Chilkat Pass Sunset over the St. Elias Mountains
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    Kroschel Films Wildlife Center

    by CdnJane Written Nov 4, 2012

    We changed our schedule to be there on one of the few days that the Princess cruise ships were in Haines or Skagway – they have a contract with the cruise line. It was definitely well worth changing our schedule for it, as we were told. What had appealed to me was the opportunity to see animals that we would be almost definitely unlikely to see as we did our driving tour – like the wolverine, but the tour was more than we had hoped for. It exceeded our expectations by a longshot. Unfortunately, Steve was off on a movie shoot in Europe, but we really didn’t feel shortchanged with the tour provided by Rocky and Mario. As other reviewers have mentioned, they do entertain, but they educate too. Learning is more fun if you enjoy it. Highlights? Each animal was a highlight in its own right. We laughed at the antics of the wolf who wanted to play with Mario, but we learned how important they are to keeping deer populations healthy, and balanced. Throughout the 2 hours (was it only 2 hours? We gained so much!) we learned about the knowledge and wisdom of the native people, and their respect for all of nature. It was amazing too, to learn how much respect and fear wildlife have for “hot wires”/”electric fences” – to keep away from them, and to learn that movie trick, that between a 1800lb grizzly bear and human actors is a little hotwire that the bear doesn’t want to encounter!!! My traveling companion was thrilled to kiss a moose! We were amazed to see Mario carrying a Canadian Lynx around as if it was a housecat! While we didn’t get to see it outside the pen, the wolverine was wonderful to see up close. He wanted to play so badly, but Mario admits to not having as much control with him as Steve does. We were also astounded to know that moose love bananas! The riper the better!
    To get to the Korschel Film Wildlife Center, it is about 45 minutes’ drive north of Haines, and do be on time. They have limited parking space. If you can't manage hills, you may have a problem, some of those hills were fairly steep... although Mario walked up and down backwards, talking as he went!

    Mario with Red Tailed Hawk Mario and Isis - yr old wolf Animal's Kitchen Pretty Kitty - Canadian Lynx 4 Yr old Grizzly Bear - giving me the eye!!!
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    Hammer Museum

    by CdnJane Written Nov 4, 2012

    To be honest, I didn't get inside, but the outside looked interesting. One of my friends searches out unique museums and places, and when I was researching Haines before the trip, the Hammer Museum jumped out as a place to see. Unfortunately, our timing wasn't good for its hours of operation.

    Hammer Museum, Haines Front Lawn of the Hammer Museum
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  • Glacier Bay Flightseeing

    by elitezorro Written Dec 26, 2011

    I went Flightseeing Glacier Bay, Chilkat and St. Elias Ranges with Mountain Flying Service. I got to do a glacier and beach landing, both were experiences like none other. They have a beautiful plane with windows that go from the floor to the ceiling. Paul the pilot has been flying the area longer than anyone else in the area and knows his stuff.

    Since flying with him I’ve sent many friends and relatives out and everyone has loved the trip.

    Mountain Flying Service with La Perouse Glacier
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  • Chilkoot Lake

    by RblWthACoz Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Chilkoot Lake is located not too far outside the city of Haines. If you want to have a virtually guaranteed sighting of bald eagles, then this is the place for you. Beyond the eagles, red salmon abound since it is the spawning season (you can only kayak in the summer months of course because the lake freezes during winter), goats can be seen traversing the surrounding mountains, and if you are lucky, then you might just see bear too.

    If you are a novice kayaker, or never have done it before, there is no need to fear. The lake is very calm and easy to traverse. If you go with a guide they will tell you all you need to know. And the most important thing to know is to stay away from the shores. Bears have been known to jump out of the woods quickly and unexpectedly, thus completely freaking out unsuspecting kayakers.

    Absolutely Alaskan Tours offers a kayaking excursion that includes Chilkoot Lake and many other destinations.

    It's Stuck in My Teeth
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    Great Alaska Microbrew Festival

    by Aurora907 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Also known as the Beerfest, this is a great way to spend time with several other beer connoisseurs. It usually takes place at the end of May, so make your travel reservations early! There are also some great campgrounds that are right by the water and you can often view moose (yes, swimming), eagles, whales, and funny locals!

    Nice weather...friendly people...beerfest!
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    The First Fort in Alaska

    by ringleader Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Fort Seward is in Haines, Alaska. Fort William H. Seward was named after the US Secretary of State who arranged Alaska's purchase in 1867.

    Because of an ongoing border dispute between Canada and the US, in 1902, the fort was built... the first army post in Alaska.

    When the fort was decomissioned in 1947, a group of war veterans bought it. Today it's buidings house numerous hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, etc.

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    Fort William H. Seward

    by jamiesno Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In 1879 S. Hall Young, a Presbyterian missionary and John Muir a naturalist came to the Valley of the Eagle offering the Chilkat people Christianity and an education. The city of Haines was set on a narrow strip of land between the Chilkat River and the Lynn Canal.

    In 1902 an act of Congress deeded 4400 acres of land adjacent to the city of Haines to the army for the construction of Alaska's first permanent army post. The construction began and on March 3, 1904 the Fort was named in honor of William H. Seward who was the secretary of state who negotiated the purchase of Alaska (Seward's Folly) and had visited the Chilkat Valley in 1869.

    Today these buildings are still standing tall and easy to find in Haines, they are worth a tour around and offer a bit of an elevated view of the community.

    Fort William H. Seward
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    Save Big Money on Tours: Toursaver Coupon Books

    by Colewade Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    I am not affiliated with this company in any way, but I know from my previous work on Expedia's travel boards that this is legitimate. Many people have saved a great deal of money with these books. You pay $99.95 for the coupon books and tours are two for one or free. (Many tours and attractions have stipulations of course.) Most people that I have talked to about the coupon books were able to actually book the tours at the advertised price. On the more popular tours, book at least 2-3 months ahead of time. This could be particularly beneficial if you plan to stay close to the coast in Alaska, and you do not plan to rent a car. Look at "The deals" section on their web site and decide whether it is worth the money for you. I opted not to buy the book on my last trip. See if your desired tour is listed. You may be suprised!

    This is the company line:
    The Great Alaskan TourSaver offers Alaska's top-flight attractions. Everything in the book is either totally free or two-for-one. Airlines, cruise boats, railroads, attractions, tours, adventure trips, hotels, car rental companies and cultural trips all on a 2-for-1 basis. Additionally, there are more than 20 totally free offers including jetboat rides, museum passes, tours…even a glacier cruise!

    Check them out!

    You could save big bucks!

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    Walking Tour of Ft. William H. Seward

    by Colewade Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This is an essential brochure from the Haines visitors center. They will mail it to you.

    Haines was a missionary settlement in 1901 when the US government established this World War I era milatary base. It was built in order to resolve the ongoing border dispute between the US and Canada. Most of the fort's building arrived by ship in peices and were asembled on foundation laboriously built using picks and shovels, aided by one man and a horse drawn scraper. The fort never saw military action, though service here was considered foreign duty.

    Ft. Seward has to be one of the most scenic military bases ever constructed in the United States. The amazing thing about it is that it largely intact and in good repair. The buildings were bought as government surplus in 1947 by a group of WW II veterans. This group of veterans also left their legacy on the fort through preservation, organiziing native culture events such as the Native Arts Center, potlatch salmon bakes and the chilkat dancers, and opening the Hotel Halsingland. They were also instrumental in lobbying the state for the development of the Alaska Marine Highway.

    The walking tour is a photgrapher's delight. There is something about these formal white buildings set against the backdop of glacier covered mountains and the Lynn Canal that is particularly appealing. Get the walking tour guide from the the visitor's center or your hotel. It is called "A Walking History Walking Tour of Ft. Wiilliam H. Seward".

    Fort Seward from Lutak Road
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    mushroom picking in Haines Alaska

    by wendigo Updated Mar 27, 2011

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    Summer is almost here and then fall, in the fall Haines has some of the best wild mushroom picking around! I have picked chantrelles, boletes, hedgehogs and many more varieties. In the spring the morels are profuse, There are a lot of bears here so bring protection of some sort, gun or bear spray. And be alert at all times. While picking I have caught some nice cutthroat trout, seen amazing wildlife and have enjoyed the area very much.

    chicken of the woods bolete bears tooth chantrelles
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    Annual Great Alaska Craftbeer & Homebrew Festival

    by jamiesno Updated Feb 24, 2010

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    During my visit to Haines, Alaska it was a complete surprise to stumble upon the 12th Annual Great Alaska Craftbeer & Homebrew Festival.

    For $20 USD you get a glass and opportunity to virtually try as many different beers as you desire from a variety of local breweries throughout Haines, the rest of Alaska and many other US States such as Oregon, California and others.

    There is a lot of variety ranging from Stouts, Indian Pale Ales, Lagers, Ambers, etcetera.

    There is live music and a great atmosphere as many of the students that visit for the summer are all in attendance. After the festival if you are still up to it all the left over beer is brought to a local beach for an after party. You will have to enquire more about that part while your there.

    So anyway here are the beers I tried!

    Cold Foot Pilsner - Silver Gulch Brewery

    Arragant Bastard

    Alaskan IPA

    Seirra Nevada Pale Ale

    Hefeweizen

    Orange Blossom Cream Ale

    Alaskan Pale

    Kodiak Brown

    Drop Top Amber Ale

    Valdez Lager

    Alaskan Summer Pale

    Birch Boy Summer Ale, Haines Brewing Company

    Blonde Ale

    Fairbanks Lager

    Pick Axe Porter

    Alaskan Break Up Bock from Haines Brewing Company

    ESB or Extra Special Bitter

    Prince William Porter

    Arch Angel Amber from Great Bear Brewery

    Stone Smoked Porter

    Copper Creek Amber Ale

    Kirin

    Eldred Rock Amber, Haines Brewing Company

    Lookout Stout, Haines Brewing Company

    Annual Great Alaska Craftbeer & Homebrew Festival
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    • Beer Tasting

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