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Kluane Hiking Guide



Exploring the Haines Highway, Alaska & Yukon Territory

(Alaska Route 7, BC Highway 4, Yukon Highway 3)

Haines, Alaska to Haines Junction, Yukon - 245 km, 152 miles

Photos and narration by Murray Lundberg


Northern Highways - Alaska, the Yukon & northern British Columbia

Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it

Haines Highway Links

Haines, Alaska Mile 0: Haines. See our Guide to Haines, Alaska for information on services and attractions.

Mile 3.5 / Km 5.6: Haines Airport (HNS) sits an an elevation of 15 feet, with a single paved runway 4,000 feet long.

Mile 4.3/ Km 6.9: Parking along the Chilkat River. The Takhinsha Mountains, part of the Chilkat Range, form a spectacular backdrop - Mt. Emmerich, the most prominent of the peaks, is 6,405 feet high (1,952 m).

Mile 6.9 / Km 11.1: Mt. Ripinski trailhead. This is an all-day hike with great views being the reward.

Quill Creek, Haines Highway Mile 8.3 / Km 13.4: heading north you now enter the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, consisting of 48,000 acres of valley-bottom along the Chilkat, Kleheni, and Tsirku Rivers. From early October until late February there are large concentrations of bald eagles here, but not in the summer. The section of the Haines Highway between Miles 18 and 24 are the main viewing area for eagle watchers and are considered critical habitat in the preserve.

Mile 19.3 / Km 31.1: Large parking area beside the Chilkat River, with outhouses and interpretive panels about bald eagles.

Mile 20.6 / Km 33.2: Parking area with interpretive panels.

Mile 21.5 / Km 34.6: Klukwan, a Tlingit Indian village, is accessed by the road to the left. Cultural tours of the village can be booked.

Mile 23.8 / Km 38.3: Chilkat River bridge. The highway now follows the Klehini River. This is a good area to see moose.

Mile 27.2 / Km 43.8: Mosquito Lake State Recreation Site is reached via the 2.7-mile road to the left. There are 5 campsites in the spruce/hemlock forest next to the lake, with a boat launch, dock and picnic shelter.

Mile 28.8 / Km 46.3: Muncaster Creek bridge.

Mile 31.0 / Km 49.9: heading north, you now leave the Bald Eagle Preserve.

Mile 31.6 / Km 50.9: Little Boulder Creek bridge.

Mile 33.1 / Km 53.3: 33 Mile Roadhouse - RV park, convenience store, gas.

Mile 33.8 / Km 54.4: Big Boulder Creek bridge.

Mile 35.6 / Km 57.3: View of Saksaia Glacier to the west.

Dalton Cache US Customs Station Mile 40.2 / Km 64.7: U.S. Customs, Dalton Cache Station. No need to stop northbound, the direction seen in this photo. For southbound traffic the post is open from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm Alaska time.

In this photo, my motorcoach was parked while my German tour group filled out their US entry paperwork.

Mile 40.6 / Km 65.3: Canada Customs, Pleasant Camp. All travelers entering Canada must stop - the post is open from 8:00 am until midnight Yukon time.

Northbound, you now enter the BC/Yukon time zone, which is one hour later than Alaska.

The highway from here north is marked by kilometer posts, which we will now use as the primary measurement. These do not measure from downtown Haines as the mileposts do, however, but from the Alaska State ferry terminal at Lutak Bay, 9 kilometers beyond.

Haines Road This photo shows the highway northbound at about Km 68.

Km 72.7: Granite Creek bridge.

Km 75.3: Fivemile Creek bridge.

Km 87.3: large pullout with historic Mile 48 post, and interpretive signs about the Haines Road. This is a good place to stop and enjoy the first views of the dramatic mountains known as The Three Guardsmen (6,300 feet high). A hiking trail leads from the pullout to the abandoned Copper Butte mine - see the BC Parks site for a trail description.

Km 87.5: Seltat Creek bridge.

Km 88.4: Southbound, a sign notes "Marinka's Hill".

Km 88.6: From a pullout on the west side of the highway, an abandoned pipeline road provides access to a vast hiking area where no trails are needed.

Km 89.5: Three Guardsmen Lake. The Chilkat Pass area that you are now in is very popular with birdwatchers, as over 82 species of birds have been recorded here, including gyrfalcons, snow buntings, 3 species of ptarmigan, red-throated loons, wandering tattlers and Smith's longspur.

Km 92.7: Stonehouse Creek culvert.

Haines, Alaska Km 93.2: Clear Creek culvert.

This photo shows The Three Guardsmen, looking south from the side of the highway at about Km 98 on April 16, 2006 at 7:05 pm.

Haines, Alaska Km 99.1: Haines Summit. At 3,493 feet (1,070 meters), it is the highest point on the highway. This photo shows the view to the west on July 16, 2009.

Snowmobilers along the Haines Highway To say that the Haines Summit is popular with snowmobilers is an understatement, as you can see in this photo shot on April 17, when hundreds of people were camped along the highway for the weekend.

Haines Highway Km 107: Chuck Creek. This photo was taken while driving north near Chuck Creek on April 16. From Chuck Creek a hiking trail leads to the Samuel Glacier - see the BC Parks site for a trail description.

Km 106.4: Nadahini River culvert.

Km 114.9: Mule Creek airstrip, elevation 2,900 feet (884 m). Through the 1960s, Canada had an extensive resource access program that built roads and airfields in extremely remote areas in the hope that they would spur resource development. The airfields, which were all built to allow aircraft right up to DC3s to use them, are now maintained by the highways departments - this airstrip is one of those. The gravel runway is 4,000 feet long (1,219 m).

Km 116.3: Mule Creek, Historic Mile 75 of the Haines Road.

Km 121.2: Goat Creek.

Km 124.4: Holum Creek.

Km 127.8: Twin Lakes.

Km 131.2: Viewpoint on the left with interpretive signs about Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Provincial Park.

Km 131.5: Mansfield Creek.

Km 133.6: Stanley Creek. Two scenic hiking trails start here - the Parton River trail leading to Shinny Lakes and the O’Conner Trail leads to an old mining airstrip. See the BC Parks site for a trail description.

Km 141.9: Blanchard River bridge - this is the put-in point for whitewater rafters running the Blanchard.

Km 142.1: Blanchard River highway maintenance camp.

Km 142.8: Welcome to Kluane Country and Welcome the the Yukon signs.

Km 143.1: Entering Kluane Game Sanctuary.

Km 143.2: BC/Yukon border, and a highway maintenance camp that was originally the Blanchard River pumping station on the US Army's pipeline from Haines to Fairbanks.

Million Dollar Falls, Haines Highway Km 158.7: Million Dollar Falls campground is accessed by the 1 km (0.6 mile) side road to the left. Operated by the Yukon government, it has 33 camp sites, picnic tables, outhouses, cooking shelters, water, hiking trails and a network of boardwalks, stairs and observation decks for viewing the falls.

Km 159.0: Takhanne River bridge and Million Dollar Falls trailhead, with a large parking area.

Quill Creek, Haines Highway Km 160: Large paved parking area with a viewing platform and outhouses.

This photo showing the Kluane Range mountains was shot northbound at Km 166 on June 23, 2005.

Haines, Alaska Km 164.1: The narrow, winding and sometimes very steep gravel road to the west goes to the abandoned village of Dalton Post. It isn't recommended for large vehicles, which is one of the things I used to enjoy when I took my charter bus down with rafters launching on the Tatshenshini River - the looks on the faces of both my passengers and the people in the vehicles I met were often pretty funny. This photo was shot on the way back to the Haines Road on June 23.

Km 167.5: Motheral Creek.

Km 169.1: Parking - watch for moose, Trumpeter swans and other waterfowl in the Klukshu wetlands below.

Km 170.9: Vand Creek.

Km 178.5: Klukshu Creek, parking. Grizzlies are sometimes seen in this area during salmon runs.

Klukshu village, Yukon Km 181.2: Klukshu, a seasonal Native fish camp.

Km 183.3: Gribbles Gulch.

Km 185.1: St. Elias Lake Trailhead. This easy trail wanders through open forest and alpine meadows to the lake and a campsite - 5 miles (8km) round trip. Kluane National Park borders the highway to the west from here to Haines Junction.

Km 191.2: Mush Lake Road is to the right of the abandoned Dezadeash Lodge, which is said to be haunted by a ghost. The popular lake is 14 miles down the rough gravel road - 4x4 vehicles recommended.

Dezadeash Lake, Yukon Km 193.9/: Parking area on Dezadeash Lake, 15 miles long. This photo shows the lake from the Rock Glacier Trail.

Km 195.7: Dezadeash Lake Yukon government campground has 20 camp sites, outhouses and a boat launch. No drinking water. The rather shallow lake offers good fishing for Northern pike, Lake trout and Arctic grayling.

Rock Glacier Trail - Kluane National Park, Yukon Km 200.7: Parking for the Rock Glacier Trail. The trail has several interpretive signs along its length (0.8 km one way), and is a fairly easy hike with a 300-foot elevation gain. The trail begins as a raised boardwalk through a marshy area, then enters a spruce/poplar forest. It then climbs onto the toe of the rock glacier, from where you get an expansive view of Dezadeash Lake. The trail as far as the top observation area is graded rock that provides good footing. It is possible to continue up the rock glacier but the hiking is more difficult due to both the grade and the loose rock.

A picnic lunch at Kathleen Lake, Yukon Km 218.4: Kathleen Lake Campground is 1 km down the road to the left. It has 39 camp sites, outhouses, picnic tables, hiking trails and a boat launch. You can fish for Lake trout, Arctic grayling, Kokanee and whitefish (a special National Parks fishing licence is required). This photo was shot on June 23.

Quill Creek, Haines Highway Driving north at Km 220.1 on June 23. Kathleen Lake Lodge can be seen on the right, and the Kathleen River bridge ahead. The Kathleen River has fishing for rainbow trout (catch and release only), Lake trout, Arctic grayling and Whitefish.

Km 224.8: Large paved parking with a view of Kathleen Lake and plaque honouring the UNESCO World Heritage Site status of Kluane National Park.

Quill Creek, Haines Highway Km 233.3: Quill Creek. This photo looking up the creek was taken on August 26.

Km 237.9: Auriol Trail parking.

Km 240.6: Large gravel parking area with outhouses and a view of Haines Junction and the Shakwak valley.

Quill Creek, Haines Highway This photo shows the view north from about Km 243 on June 23. The village of Haines Junction can be seen in the distance.

Km 245: Dezadeash River bridges and hiking trails.

Km 246: Haines Junction, Km 1635 on the Alaska Highway. See our Guide to Haines Junction, Yukon for information on services and attractions, and our Guide to the Alaska Highway to continue your adventure.




Haines Highway Links

Hiking along the Haines Highway
A detailed guide to all the best hiking trails and routes, with links to over 20 trail reports and maps.

A Guide to Haines, Alaska

Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve

Haines Highway, 1944
A large annotated map of the road as it was in 1944.

Kluane National Park

A Guide to Haines Junction, Yukon

Can a Road be Built From the Coast Into the Interior?
This article from 'The Alaskan' newspaper of November 21, 1891, looks at the possibility of building a road across the mountains from Haines.

Haines Road, September 1946
A newspaper article from September 17, 1946, talks about closures of the Haines Road and the affects on prices of goods in Alaska.