Another popular attraction is the historically recreated gold rush town "Dalton City" for the movie "White Fang".
It is a small village and directly behind the buildings you will find horse stables and a grazing area.
The horses are beautiful and it is a nice area to explore around.
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.
An event celebrating the peak of the winter gathering of eagles. Educational Seminars & Tours and family special Events.
I didn't get to see this festival because it is during November when the most eagles are around but they it is not unusual to see eagles on a regular basis, they are a most impressive bird and I can only imagine seeing them during this time!!
There is also a nearby preserve were you can observe these amazing birds.
Another popular attraction is the historically recreated gold rush town "Dalton City" for the movie "White Fang". There are also native history performances by the Chilkat Indian Dancers at the Chilkat Center for the Arts.
During my visit it was the site of the Annual Great Alaska Craftbeer & Homebrew Festival. Other than that I would not have stumbled upon this treat either.
The buildings are great just behind Dalton City you will find some horses as well. Within the city there are several businesses, a restaurant and a micro-brewery.
I did get to see building and got a peak inside but didn't get to explore inside due to limited hours on Saturdays but I would recommend a visit to this centre.
Haines is famous for the number of bald eagles in the area and learning more about this bird would be a treat.
The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus Ieucocephalus) is found only on the North American continent.
Adult eagles generallyweigh between 9 and 12 pounds and have a wing span of7 feet. Females are slightly larger than males. Immature eagles are mottled brown and white. The distinct whitehead and tail of the mature bird is developed between 4and 6 years of age.
Eagles do not live in isolation! Because they are at the topof the food chain, they become anirreplaceable indicator for measuring the the health of our entire ecological system.After being listed as an endangered species in 1978 followinga dramatic drop in population that began at the turn of the century, the Bald Eagle's status was upgraded to Threatened
August 11, 1995. Although efforts to replenish
populations ofthe Bald Eagle have been successful, it continues to be protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Bald Eagle Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Source: American Bald Eagle Foundation.
Spent 4 hours riding through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve with River Adventures. A bus picks you up at the Fast Ferry Terminal and drives you up the valley. The Fast Ferry brings over cruise ship passengers from Skagway for the various tours offered in Haines.
The jet boat was good sized and well maintained. The country they take you though is beautiful. But what really impressed me was the skill of the boat's skipper. That is a shallow river and it meanders thru many narrow channels. Not once did we get stuck. Saw some eagles, cranes and moose.
Understand there is some controversy locally, as some don't like the impact such a vessel may have on the salmon and wildlife. I can't speak to the biology involved but I did feel they worked hard to minimize the stress to the ecosystem.
I didn't get to participate in the derby as its a multi-day event and I was busy exploring the community but it is certainly a good time to visit the community with lots of discussion around the derby.
I have to say I was amazed with the size of the King Salmon, the 2003 winner was Janice Studley who caught a 53.5 pound King Salmon!!
The Haines Sportsmen's Association organize the derby and there is an extensive prize list. If you are a avid fishermen it's a much activity for sure!!
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
Seirra Nevada Pale Ale
Orange Blossom Cream Ale
Drop Top Amber Ale
Alaskan Summer Pale
Birch Boy Summer Ale, Haines Brewing Company
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
Eldred Rock Amber, Haines Brewing Company
Lookout Stout, Haines Brewing Company
The Haines Highway is one of the most spectacular drives in North America, with high peaks, glaciers, rivers and lakes all along the way. This is a road trip at it's best. Be warned! There are no services past the 33 Mile Road house. If you need gas you must stop here. This very Alaskan place is a good stop for hamburgers, coffee, and homemade pie. Look for the log cabin at the north end of the Chilkat River Valley. It is the only place to stop after leaving Haines.
The Highway is approximately 160 miles long, connecting the Alaska Highway at Haines Junction with the seaport of Haines. It has a long history evolving from a native trade route, to gold rush route, and finally the completed highway in 1942. The highway provided strategic emergency access to the Alaska Highway should the White Pass Railroad become blocked.
It takes 3.5 hours to drive it's length, but a drive up to Chilkat Pass (A little over half way) will give you a great taste of the scenery that this road has to offer. It is an easy drive on a very good road. The area at the pass is a vast treeless plain. The snowcapped mountians and glaciers rise on both sides. The highest point on the road is well marked and well into British Columbia. (mile 59.1, km 102) This is a good turnaround point. If you got an early start, one of the best views of the magnificient St. Elias Mountains to west is a little further at mile (78.8, 134 km) This overlook of Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park gives the sweeping vistas of huge mountains that are sometimes blocked further south at the pass by low rising hummocks on the plateau. Unless you plan to spend the night in Haines Junction and visit Kluane Lake National Park, or do the circle route to Skagway with an overnight somewhere along the way, I wouldn't venture any further north in one day. It all depends on your ferry schedule or overnight plans in Haines. U.S. and Canadian Customs are open from 7am to 11pm (Alaska time).
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".
The natural beauty of the Haines area as a whole makes it one of the most attractive stops in the southeast. Try to work out two days of sightseeing for a good regional overview. A scheduled performance of the Chilkat Dancers would be a worthy addition. This is a summary of our travel plan.
Day One - Start the day with a morning walking tour of Ft. Seward. Drive out Mud Bay Road and turn right into Chilkat State Park. Go to the end of the road to the log cabin visitor's center and the boat ramp. Take a short hike on the beachfront. You will see Rainbow and Davidson glaciers, chilkat inlet, and Letnikoff Cove cannery on this route. When you leave the state park make a right and go to the end of the road for another great view of Mud Bay. Return to Haines for lunch. Hike the battery point trail. In the late evening drive out past the ferry terminal to the Chilkoot River and and Chilkoot Lake. In september you will see bears at dawn and dusk, salmon running upstream, and bald eagles are seen here most any time of the year.
Day Two - Make sure you have gas in your car. Heading north on the Haines Highway, make the Chilkat Bald Eagle Reserve your first stop. Stop at pullouts to view the eagles and other wildlife. Continue north at least until you get to the Chilkat Pass area which is well across the Canadian Border. (mile 59.1, km 102) The snow and glaciers set against the sparse shrub like vegatation could make think you have driven all the way to interior Alaska. The scenery in in the Alsek-Tashenshini Provincial Park is on par with any of our national parks. One of the best views of the park's magnificient St. Elias Mountains is a little further at mile (78.8, 134 km) Even as a day trip from Haines, the Haines Highway is a gorgeous drive. Stop for an excellent hamburger, coffee, or a homemade desert at the 33 Mile Road House on the return trip. With an evening departure on the ferry, you will still have time for a little shopping, drinking, and dining. Also check out the individual listings for must - see sites.
This mountain lake is surrounded by rocky peaks and is worth the drive for it's sheer beauty. The 32 site campground is set in the evergreens on the south end of the lake. Be very "bear aware" if you choose to camp here. With four salmon runs, the park offers great wildlife viewing of both the bears and bald eagles for most of the summer. Needless to say this is also a great place to fish for salmon. We saw six Alaska brown bears feeding on salmon at dusk on our last evening in Haines. They were preceded by the bald eagles until the bears and loud people scared them away. From what I have read, eagles are more common on the Chilkoot River during the summer than at the Bald Eagle Preserve on Haines Highway. The real show starts there in the late fall and early winter. Unfortunately that roll of film was damaged during the trip, and most of my bear photos were lost. This not a fish story.
This has got to be the most talked about attraction in Haines. Cruise passengers by the hundreds are transported from Skagway to do the float trip down this river. The eagles converge between miles 18 and 24 on the Haines Highway in the late fall and early winter when the rivers start to freeze. Five species of salmon spawn in these and other nearby streams and tributaries.
We spotted four or five eagles in the area. We were too early inn the year to get the full effect. The area itself is quite beautiful. The alluvial river plains provide a great backdrop for the snowcovered mountains beyond.
Chilkat State Park offers a log cabin visitor center, 32-site campground, picnic area, boat launch and trails. Located in the evergreens near the inlet, the campground appeared to be very nice. The boat launch provides access to the inlet and the run of king salmon in early June. The visitor centers offers incredible views of Chilkat Inlet and Rainbow and Davidson glaciers. The log cabin visitors center also has wildlife spotting scopes so you can spot the inlet wildlife, such as seals, porpoises, and whales. Visitors have even been able to spy on bears and mountain goats on the other side of the inlet.
There are three trails in the park. Check out the "Haines is for Hikers" brochure for details. The Seduction Point Trail is in the main part of the park and is a 6 mile coastal trail along the Chilkat Inlet.
We visited on September 15, 2003, the last day the park was open. They close for the season at their scheduled time reguardless of weather conditions. Unlike many national park campgrounds there is no off season "no facilties but free" camping. The gates are locked.
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!