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.
- Haines Convention and Visitors Bureau, 122 Second Ave S (near Willard St), ☎ +1 907-766-2234, toll-free: +1-800-458-3579. 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".
|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|
Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
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.
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.
- 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.
- American Bald Eagle Foundation, 2nd Ave S and Haines Hwy, ☎ +1 907-766-3094. 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.
- Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center, 11 Main St (near Front St on original Haines Mission grounds), ☎ +1 907 766-2366. 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.
- Kroschel Wildlife Center, 30 mile Haines Hwy; 1.8 mile Mosquito Lake Rd (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.), ☎ +1 907 767-5464. 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.
- 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.
- The Hammer Museum, 108 Main Street, ☎ +1 907-766-2374. Open May-September Monday - Friday 10 AM–5PM Saturday 10AM–2 PM through July. Adults $5 Twelve and under Free.
- Battery Point Trail. This short trail through the woods parallels shoreline to a pleasant beach, and provides access to Mt. Riley.
- Mountain Flying Service (Glacier Bay Flightseeing), 132 2nd Ave S (3 doors down from the visitors center), ☎ +1 907 766-3007. 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. It's incredible.
- Southeast Alaska State Fair. Late July at the Southeast Alaska Fairgrounds in Dalton City
- Howsers IGA Supermarket, Main St near 2nd Ave (In downtown Haines). Mon-Sat 8AM-9PM; Sun 10AM-7PM. Locally-owned full-service supermarket.
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.), ☎ +1 907 766-2320. Authentic Mexican food. They go south each winter and hand select their ingredients. The shrimp tacos are great.
- 33 Mile Roadhouse, 33 Haines Highway (Go 33 miles outside of Haines, west on the Haines Highway.), ☎ +1 907 767-5510. 33 Mile is home to world famous burgers and world famous heliskiing. Great burgers and food and a great price.
- Chilkat Restaurant & Bakery, 5th Ave (On 5th avenue and Dalton St), ☎ +1 907 766-3653. In the morning, this is a coffee and breakfast place that serves delicious raspberry twist donuts. In the evening, it serves Thai food.
- Mountain Market, 151 3rd Ave S (Corner of Haines Hwy and 3rd st). Everyone seems to be here, all the time. On Sunday morning, there are people waiting for it to open. Try the avocado florentine wrap.
- Haines Brewing Co, 108 White Fang Way, Dalton City (Southeast Alaska Fairgrounds), ☎ +1 907 766-3828. Mon-Sat 1-7PM. Freshly poured growlers at Haines' own micro brewery. You can take the Shuttle Bus there on cruise docking days.
- Bear Creek Cabins and Hostel, Small Tract Rd (1 mile south of central Haines), ☎ +1 907 766-2259, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 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.
- Halsingland Hotel, 13 Ft Seward Dr (In the Ft. Seward neighborhood.), toll-free: +1-800-542-6363. They offer transfers from the ferry terminal and the airport. The owner is very helpful with directions, etc. Nice rooms, but watch out for low water pressure. The location is within walking distance from everywhere in town, and they offer car rentals.
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.
- Alaska Fjordlines, +1-800-320-0146
- Chilkat Express, +1-855-766-4001
- Fast Ferry, +1-888-766-2103