Haines, Alaska is a small town with big heart. So many things to do in this beautiful mountainous town it is a must stop on your journey to either British Columbia or Alaska. From spectacular hikes, wildlife viewing to relaxing in a quaint coffee shop and enjoy the scenery. This charming port town on the Chilkat Inlet is perfect for both land and sea based exploration. Haines is known as the ‘Adventure Capital of Alaska and it is easy to see why! Below are our top things to do while visiting this beautiful port town of Haines, Alaska.
Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site
Located only 8 miles south of Haines on Mud Bay Road this incredibly scene state park is a must see while visiting Haines. One of the best places to see grizzly bears eating salmon out of the river is right here in the park. Make sure to drive to the end of the road in the park that follows the river to the beautiful emerald green Chilkoot Lake where you can rent canoes, kayaks or even try your hand at fishing.
Nothing provides a thrill quite like seeing bears in their nature habitat. In Haines you can find black bears and grizzly bears. Bears can be found anywhere throughout the Chilkat Valley but there are specific areas that are better known for optimal bear viewing. The Chilkoot Lake and Chilkoot River offer some of the best bear viewing in Alaska. The bears can be found anywhere along the river but often are seen on the bridge pulling salmon right out of the river. To see all our photos from our bear viewing in Chilkoot Lake make sure to check them out here!
Take the Ferry to Skagway for a Day Trip
Take the fast ferry for pedestrian serve between Haines and Skagway during the summer season to visit the gold rush town of Skagway. There is plenty to do in Skagway including mining for gold, have a bite to eat or drink in an old brothel, exploring the historic buildings from the gold rush or taking the White Pass & Yukon Route up the mountain to name a few things.
Visit the Hammer Museum
Visit the first museum in the world that is entirely dedicated to hammers. The museum was opened in 2002 thaChilt features over 1,400 hammers and related tools that range from -re-historic hammers, to colonial days to current day. If you enjoy tools or just are interested to see what it is all about make sure to swing by the museum and try counting all of the hammers while you are in there!
Visit the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve
The Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagle and their critical habitat. Additionally it protects the natural salmon runs and allows for traditional uses. Bald Eagles are attracted to the area by the wide available of the spawned-out salmon and open waters in late fall and winter. The eagles can be seen along the Haines Highway in several different pull offs where you can stop and view them on the flats in their natural habitat.