Haines is a small port community (population about 2,000) in Southeastern Alaska. It is located on the shores of the Lynn Canal, the state's longest fjord, and surrounded by glacier-covered mountains of the Coast Range.
If you loved the TV show "Northern Exposure," you'll love the down-home feel of Haines. It's the kind of laid-back place you picture when you think about an Alaskan town. The first thing you'll notice when you arrive is how scenically beautiful Haines is.
Haines is blessed with surrounding natural areas and wildlife in what is known as the "Valley of the Eagles." The area is a magnet for bald eagles, drawn by the warm open water and abundant supply of salmon. More than 3,500 of the birds visit from October to February – during that time a dozen eagles may share a single tree limb.
There are three main ways to get to Haines, which makes Haines more accessible than most other southeast Alaskan communities of its size. First, you can drive to Haines from Haines Junction, Yukon, on the Alaska Highway. If this is your route, Haines is the very end of the Haines Highway, about 155 miles.
You can fly into Haines, but there are no commercial jet flights. More likely you will fly into Juneau on Alaska Airlines, and from there fly with Alaska Seaplanes in a single-engine propeller airplane. The Haines Airport is on the Haines Highway about 4 miles north-west of town.
The third, and probably most popular, way to Haines is by boat. The primary mode of inter-Alaskan transportation is by the Alaska Marine Highway. The Lynn Canal route of the ferry system (Juneau-Haines-Skagway) receives a large amount of ferry traffic, especially in the summer. The Haines state ferry terminal at 2112 Lutak Road is about 4 miles north of town.
Recently, Haines became a port-of-call to cruise ships, only about 20 calls per season, mainly from the Holland-America Line. The cruise ship docks at the Port Chilkoot Dock, at the foot of Portage St below Fort Seward. If you are on a cruise that visits Haines, you can rest assured that your ship will be the only ship in port and there won't be any large crowds to contend with in town.
Haines is small enough that you can easily walk around the town in an hour or two, but the trailheads, rivers, state parks, and golf course are outside of town.
During cruise ship dockings there is a free shuttle bus service which runs every 15 minutes. It starts at the Port Chilkoot Dock, and makes a loop to the Sheldon Museum, Visitor Center, Library, Eagle Foundation, Fort Seward Historic District, and then back to the Dock; at the top of the hour it also goes to the Southeast Alaska State Fairgrounds.
Tour companies offer a variety of day trips which are primarily marketed through cruise ship companies. Haines Shuttle is a shuttle/taxi service in Haines.
You can also rent cars, bicycles, and scooters.
- Haines Convention and Visitors Bureau, 122 Second Ave S (near Willard St), ☎ 907-766-2234; 800-458-3579, . Summer: M-F 8am-7pm, and weekends 9am-6pm. You can pick up the Haines Visitor's Guide, walking tour maps, e.g., for Fort Seward, and "Haines is for Hikers". edit
- Fort William H. Seward, House No. 1, Fort Seward Dr (above 2nd Ave S and Portage St). On the original Haines Mission grounds, Fort William H. Seward was Alaska's first US army fort, built during the gold rush era (1902). It is a nationally recognized historic site (declared National Historic Landmark in 1978). The Fort is also referred to as Port Chilkoot, a leftover from the Port Chilkoot Company, which was formed after World War II by a group of investors who purchased the Fort from the Federal Government. An increasing number of restaurants, lodges, and art galleries are utilizing the original buildings; e.g., the Fort's hospital is now the Alaska Indian Arts Center. Within the parade ground is Totem Village. Although not part of the original fort, it includes two tribal houses and totem poles and is the home of the Chilkat Storytellers Theater Show, an hour-long performance of Alaska Native dramatization. A walking-tour map of the Fort is available at the Visitors Bureau, or you can just read the historical panels that have been erected there. edit
- American Bald Eagle Foundation, 2nd Ave S and Haines Hwy, ☎ 907-766-3094, . The American Bald Eagle Foundation contains a Natural History Museum featuring dioramas and (opened in 2010) a Live Raptor Center featuring live bird presentations. $10 to $3. edit
- Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center, 11 Main Street (near Front St on original Haines Mission grounds), ☎ (907) 766-2366 , . Summer: M-F 10am-5pm, weekends 1-4pm.. The Sheldon Museum is a cultural and historical center for the Native Tlingit art and culture, Haines history (Mission, Eldred Rock Lighthouse lens, Army, local industries, people), and the work of local artists. Two stories. Gift shop. Admission: $5 adult, children less than 12 free. edit
- Kroschel Wildlife Center, 30 mile Haines Hwy; 1.8 mile Mosquito Lake Road (At approximately 30 miles northwest of Haines on the Haines Hwy, turn right onto Mosquito Lake Rd. Travel 1.8 miles down Mosquito Lake Rd; Center on the left.), ☎ (907)-767-5464, . Guided tours feature opportunities for up-close experiences and photographic opportunities with over 15 species of Alaskan Wildlife, including grizzly bear, wolf, moose, lynx, fox, reindeer, porcupine, snowy owl, and wolverine. Easy walking on over 600 yards of groomed trail. edit
- Alaska Bald Eagle Festival. Five day celebration in mid November of the peak of the gathering of eagles, mostly within the Eagle Council Grounds at 19 mile Haines Highway. edit
- Battery Point Trail, . This two-mile trail through the woods parallels shoreline to a pebble beach and a meadow at Kelgaya Point, then continues through woods and meadow to Battery Point. It is an out-and-back trail; two-mile round trip to Kelgaya or four-mile round trip to Battery. It is also one of the ways to access Mt. Riley. edit
- Mountain Flying Service (Glacier Bay Flightseeing), 132 2nd Ave S (3 doors down from the visitors center), ☎ (907) 766-3007, . Mountain Flying Service does charter flights and flightseeing mostly among Skagway, Haines, and Glacier Bay. They do glacier landings in winter, spring, and early summer, and also do remote beach landings in Glacier Bay. edit
- Southeast Alaska State Fair. Late July at the Southeast Alaska Fairgrounds. edit
- Howsers IGA Supermarket, Main St near 2nd Ave. Mon-Sat 8am-9pm; Sun 10am-7pm. Locally owned full service supermarket in downtown Haines. edit
- Cottage Arts, 46 Portage St. (Up the hill from the Cruise Ship dock, on Portage Street. Look for the white picket fence.), ☎ (907) 766-2031, . M-T 9am-6pm, W 8am-5pm, Th 10am-5pm, F-Sat 10am-4pm. Representing Haines-area and other Alaskan artists and artisans. Distinctive as well as fun gifts for everyone. edit
During summer there are a variety of restaurants open from sea food, wood fire cooked pizza, to Mexican. But in winter there can be times where no restaurants are open at all.
- Mosey's Cantina (Mosey's Cantina), 1 Soap Suds Alley (Go straight up the hill from the cruise dock.), ☎ (907) 766-2320, . Authentic Mexican food. They go south each winter and hand select their ingredients. edit
- 33 Mile Roadhouse, 33 Haines Highway (Go 33 miles outside of Haines, west on the Haines Highway.), ☎ (907) 767-5510, . 33 Mile is home to world famous burgers and world famous heliskiing. Great burgers and food and a great price. edit
- Mountain Market & Cafe, 151 3rd Avenue, ☎ 907-766-3340, . Mountain Market is a local natural and organic grocery store attached to a deli and cafe. Since 2002, Mountain Market has been roasting its own coffee under the name, Ripinsky Roasters. The attached Mountain Spirits liquor store features a selection of fine wines, beers, and spirits. edit
- Sarah J's Cafe, 2nd Ave. and Willard St., ☎ (907) 766-2928, . Sarah J's Cafè serves Kaladi Brothers Coffee, McNulty's Tea, baked goods, raw green smoothies, and great breakfast and lunch items. The cafe also offers a great selection of vegetarian options. edit
- Haines Brewing Co, 327 Main Street, ☎ 907 766-3828, . Mon-Sat NOON-7pm. Freshly poured growlers at Haines own micro brewery. edit
- Port Chilkoot Distillery, 34 Blacksmith Street (near Port Chilkoot Dock), ☎ 907-766-3434. Mon.- Sat. 2 to 8. Local micro-distillery that handcrafts small batches of spirits. Check out the tasting room, or watch a batch of spirits being made. edit
- Bear Creek Cabins and Hostel, Small Tract Rd (1 mile south of central Haines), ☎ +1 907 766-2259 ([email protected]), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Four small cabins (sleeps 4 each), one family/group cabin (sleeps 6), and two hostel cabins (sleeps 4 each, can be booked as a group cabin). Communal kitchen and bathroom facilities (the family cabin has a private bath). No lockout or curfew. Hostel bunk $20, small cabins $68, group cabin $120. edit
- Viking Cove Guest Homes (Viking Cove), 8 Mud Bay Rd, Haines, AK 99827, ☎ +1 800 572-8006, . An upscale lodging with wooden cabins located in the forest 8 miles from downtown Haines with access to the sheltered beach. Private kitchens and bathrooms, communal bonfire area, high speed Internet. (59.1474° N,135.3448° W) edit
The Haines Borough Public Library, 113 Third Ave S (near Willard), has several computer workstations available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. The library, completed in 2003, is open Mon-Thurs 10am to 9pm, Fri 10am to 6pm, and Sat-Sun 12:30pm to 4:30pm.
Take a fast ferry from the Small Boat Harbor or the Port Chilkoot Dock (check the point of departure) to Skagway or Juneau via the Lynn Canal.
- Alaska Fjordlines, 1-800-320-0146
- Haines-Skagway Fast Ferry, 1-907-766-2100