Haines

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.

Understand

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.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°F) 29 32 38 48 57 62 64 63 56 47 35 30
Nightly lows (°F) 18 21 27 34 42 49 52 51 45 38 26 22
Precipitation (in) 6.6 3.0 3.8 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.6 2.8 6.2 8.0 5.4 6.2

   Data from NOAA (1981-2010)

Get in

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, of 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 large commercial flights. More likely you will fly into Juneau on Alaska Airlines, and from there catch a smaller bush carrier or charter a flight. The Haines Airport is on the Haines Highway about 4 miles 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 Wharf, 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.

Get around

Haines is small enough that you can easily walk around the town in an hour or two.

During cruise ship dockings, there is a Shuttle Bus service that runs every 30 minutes. It starts at the Port Chilkoot Dock, and makes a loop to the Sheldon Museum, Visitor Center, Library, Dalton City, Eagle Foundation, Fort Seward Historic District, and then back to the Dock.

There are no taxis in Haines. Occasionally there is one when someone tries to start a taxi business, but they don't survive. You will need a car, a bike, a shuttle service, or make a friend quick.

See

Do

Buy

Eat

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.

Drink

Sleep

Connect

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.

Go next

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.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.