Early in November 1879, a canoe slipped into the mouth of the Chilkat Inlet carrying S. Hall Young, a Presbyterian missionary, and his naturalist friend, John Muir. Young told the Chilkats of his intention to build a new Christian town between two waterways, the Chilkat River and the Lynn Canal. Two years later, the first permanent missionaries came to Haines and the resulting town was named after Mrs. F.E.H. Haines, who was secretary of the Presbyterian National Women’s Missionary Board. She never visited the town that bears her name, although she was a supporter of the mission to Haines. By 1881 the mission was fully established. In the early 1900s, the government built a permanent Army post here known as Fort William H. Seward, which was later renamed Chilkoot Barracks. When the fort became a national historic site in 1972, the name was changed back to Fort Wm. H. Seward.
The Fort was to be a showcase reflecting the Army’s strength in Alaska. It covered over 4000 acres. The foundations of the buildings were cut from local granite by Italian stone masons that were brought in for that purpose. The officers houses had the latest in conveniences with indoor flush toilets and bathtubs. Haines is situated at the upper end of North America’s longest and deepest fjord. It is 14 miles south of Skagway and 80 miles north of Juneau.
The Chilkat Valley is home to abundant wildlife and Haines is home to one of the highest concentrations of Bald Eagles in North America. 260 other species of birds also pass through the Chilkat Valley each year. The Chilkoot River offers an amazing opportunity to view both brown and black bear. Visit the information center for a Wildlife Viewing Guide.
Haines can be reached via the 159-mile Haines Highway which branches from the Alaska Highway 100 miles north of Whitehorse at Haines Junction. The Haines highway was built in 1943 and is now one of
Alaska's best and most scenic highways. The town is served by the Alaska Marine Highway System, as well as scheduled air and bus transportation. Across the waters of the Chilkat
River is Pyramid Harbor and the start of the Dalton Trail — one of the routes to the gold fields of the Klondike. This trail was developed by the Chilkat Indians for the purpose of trading in the interior and was improved in the late 1880's by Jack Dalton.
Early in November 1879, a canoe slipped into the mouth of the Chilkat Inlet carrying S. Hall Young, an early Presbyterian missionary, and his naturalist
friend, John Muir. Young told the Chilkats of his intention to build a new Christian town between two waterways, the Chilkat River and the Lynn Canal. By 1881 the mission had been fully established. In the early 1900's, the government built a permanent Army post here known as Fort William H. Seward, which was later renamed Chilkoot Barracks. The post was abandoned in 1946 and sold as surplus property to a group of veterans who established it as Port Chilkoot. In 1970 the area became part of the City of Haines and when the fort became a national historic site in 1972, the name was changed back to Fort Wm. H. Seward.
Haines Convention & Visitor Information Center on 2nd Avenue between Main Street & the Highway. 907-766-2234,
Post Office on the Haines Highway
between 2nd & Mud Bay Road.
ATM at First National Bank 2nd &
Main Street and inside Howsers grocery store on Main Street.
Internet access at the library on
Emergency only 911; Haines police
766-2121; State Troopers 766-2552; Haines Medical Center 766-2521,
245 First Street, next door to the Visitor Center.
Tesoro on Main Street and Haines Highway. Gas, diesel,
oil. Free dump and water.
Captains Choice overlooking the harbor and within easy walking distance of gift shops, restaurants, and markets. Wi-fi available. Courtesy transfers & cars rental, laundromat, pet friendly and much more. 907-766-3111 toll free 1-800-478-2345.
Hotel Halsingland. A Victorian-era hotel that offers all the amenities of a modern hotel including free Wi-fi. Spectacular ocean and mountains views. They offer courtesy airport and ferry transfers. Restaurant & lounge. 907-766-2000
Oceanside RV Park offers the best views and rates in Haines. Full service on all waterfront sites. Laundry, showers, common room, freezer space, cable TV & Wi-Fi. Gift Shop Next to the Harbor on Front Street. 907-766-2437
Chilkoot Lake State Recreation
Site (10 miles north of Haines. Follow Lutak Road for 5 miles
past the ferry terminal) 32 campsites, well water, toilets, picnic
shelter, boat launch. Fee area. Good year-round Dolly Varden
fishing in Chilkoot Lake and River; silver and pink salmon, August
Portage Cove State Recreation Site 1
mile south of Haines on Beach Road 9 tent campsites, picnic
area, water, toilets and fishing. For bikers and backpackers only.
Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve on the Chilkat River, mile 18 to 24, on the Haines Highway. Bald Eagles are attracted to the area by the availability of spawned-out salmon and open waters in late fall and winter. 200 to 400 birds livSe here year-round, with up to 4,000 observed during the annual Fall Congregation, a world famous attraction. 907- 465-4563
Alaska Indian Arts Center offers a daily cultural history lecture with a brief history of Fort William H. Seward, Alaska Indian Arts and the development of totem pole carving in the area.