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 bears. Visit the information centre 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 1880s by Jack Dalton.

Haines Visitor Information Center is the best place to start exploring this artful, adventure filled town. Tlingit culture, adventure, wildlife viewing and an award winning distillery can be found in Haines. 122 2nd Avenue. 907-766-2234



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 officer’s houses had the latest in conveniences with indoor flush toilets and bathtubs.


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