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Haines, Alaska, Photo Album

An Explorer's Guide to Haines, Alaska

Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it.

Haines, Alaska
Clicking on the aerial view of Haines to the left will open an interactive map at Google Maps, in a new window.

Haines, Alaska
Haines has one of the most spectacular settings of any community in Alaska. This photo was shot during a 5-day holiday in Haines over the Easter weekend - our RV can be seen between 2 others in an RV park on the shore. The view is from a huge parking lot on Lutak Road where many of the "classic" views of Haines are shot from.

Haines, Alaska
Fort William H. Seward as seen at 06:00 on April 5th. This location is a wonderful place to watch the day begin, with the sun slowly lighting up more and more of the mountains.

Haines, Alaska
Fort William H. Seward as seen at 06:31 on April 5th.

Haines, Alaska
This aerial photo of downtown Haines was shot in March 2007 as I was flying to Juneau for the 4-day Southeast Conference, in support of regional economic development.

A look at historic Fort William H. Seward from the air - Haines, Alaska
A look at historic Fort William H. Seward from the air in June 2012 as my wife and I flew home from Anchorage at the end of an Alaska cruise and land tour with friends from Ontario.

Cruise ship at Haines, Alaska
Holland America's Zaandam is seen docked at Haines as we sailed past on the Celebrity Millennium during an Alaska cruise in 2012. Historic Fort William H. Seward is to the right of the ship.

The cruise ship 'Spirit of '98' in Haines, Alaska, in 2003
When this photo was shot in 2003, Cruise West was visiting Haines with their 192-foot Spirit of '98. Originally built in 1984, she was rebuilt by Cruise West to carry 96 passengers in the style of the best of the coastal steamers used during the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. Cruise West ceased operations in 2010, but the Spirit of '98 is still sailing, now on the Columbia and Snake Rivers for Un-Cruise Adventures as the S.S. Legacy.

Haines, Alaska
Low tide in mid October.

Haines, Alaska
The Small Boat Harbor is located in the centre of the downtown waterfront. It can handle boats up to 100 feet long, and always gets great reviews from boaters.

The Small Boat Harbor at Haines, Alaska
The Small Boat Harbor in early February.

Surf scoters at Haines, Alaska
Getting up from our picnic table overlooking the harbor, we disturbed a large flock of surf scoters (Melanita perspicillata) that had been sailing back and forth past us for the past couple of hours. They returned within a few minutes to what is apparently a good feeding area.

Haines, Alaska
Downtown Haines is compact and fun to walk on a nice day, though the main road up from the harbor is very steep.

The Bamboo Room & Pioneer Bar in Haines, Alaska
The Bamboo Room & Pioneer Bar, located downtown, is most famous for their halibut and chips as well as the general atmosphere.

A winter dawn in downtown Haines, Alaska
A winter dawn in downtown Haines.

Captain's Choice Motel in Haines, Alaska
The pre-dawn view in early February from the Captain's Choice Motel.

Evening light on the mountains at Haines, Alaska
Beautiful light on the peaks and snowfields across the inlet from Haines at 7:00 pm in early April.

Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center at Haines, Alaska
The Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center does an excellent job of showcasing and interpreting the art and culture of the area. The museum suggests that you allow about an hour for a visit.

Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center at Haines, Alaska
The museum houses over 4,000 artifacts, from the Chilkat blankets seen in this photo, to the Eldred Rock lighthouse lens. In the research area there are 12,000 cataloged photographs and slides of images from the 19th century until today; over 2,000 books about the area; and countless documents including mining company ledgers, journals, pamphlets, letters, ship's logs, maps and research papers.

Fort William H. Seward at Haines, Alaska
Fort William H. Seward was built in 1902 on a 4,000-acre tract of land by men of the 3rd Infantry under the command of Captain Wilds P. Richardson. Named for the man who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia, it consisted of about 90 buildings when the first post commander, Colonel Thomas C. Woodbury, arrived in November 1904 with 400 enlisted men and 15 officers. The post closed at the end of World War II, and was sold 2 years later to a group who named their new community Port Chilkoot. It was declared a Historic Landmark in 1972.

Halsingland Hotel in Haines, Alaska
This is the lobby of the Halsingland Hotel, once the home of the commanding officer at Fort William H. Seward, and the adjoining bachelor officer's quarters. My charter motorcoach can be seen outside - I was driving a group of snowmobilers from Alberta who were enjoying a few days of incredible spring snow at the Haines Summit back in 2006.

Fort William H. Seward, Haines, Alaska
Replicas of Chilkat Indian longhouses have been built on the parade grounds at Fort William H. Seward. For several years starting in the 1990s, a salmon bake operated in them during the summer.

Alaska Indian Arts center in Haines, Alaska
When I brought a tour group to Alaska Indian Arts in February 2015, Lee Heinmiller, a director at the center and the driving force behind it, gave us an excellent talk about the centre and a wide range of associated subjects.

Haines, Alaska
Back at Alaska Indian Arts in February 2017, Lee Heinmiller gave my tour group another tour. Lee is a fascinating guy, and it sometimes sounds like his head is going to explode because of all the information stored in it.

Haines, Alaska
One of the artists at Alaska Indian Arts working on a piece.

Dalton City at Haines, Alaska
This is Dalton City at the Southeast Alaska Fairgrounds, seen at dawn in February. The frontier town was built for the filming of Disney's "White Fang" in 1990. While most of the buildings are usable for shops, the Dalton Transfers Stage Line building to the far right is only 2 feet deep.

Lutak Inlet - Haines, Alaska
This shot taken from a scheduled flight between Haines and Skagway in June 2012 shows Lutak Inlet with the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal on the left, and Chilkoot Lake in the distance.

Chilkoot Lake, Haines, Alaska
Chilkoot Lake, 10 miles from Haines and 5 miles from the ferry terminal, is a popular spot year round, and the Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site provides both a boat launch and a 32-site campground. The lake, about 3.6 miles (5.8 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, empties into Lutak Inlet via the Chilkoot River.

Fishing at Chilkoot Lake, Haines, Alaska
Chilkoot Lake offers good fishing for Dolly Varden and sockeye salmon in April and May following the ice breakup. This photo was shot on April 4th.

Haines, Alaska
The Chilkoot River from Chilkoot Lake to Lutak Inlet is only 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long, but the road that runs along it draws a large number of people for fishing, bear viewing, and accessing the lake. In the distance, the Chilkoot Haven lodge sits above the river.

Haines, Alaska
A 16-foot-tall totem pole representing the Folletti family stands along the Chilkoot River below the Chilkoot Haven lodge. The Totem Trot Fun Run/Walk page explains: "From the base up, the pole depicts a frog (grandmother's clan), a raven with a halibut in its beak (Sue Folletti's father, a commercial halibut fisherman) and an eagle head in its wing (representing her mother), an eagle (Sue Folletti), three faces representing David, Mary, and Daniel Folletti, and at the top a figure of Fred Folletti flanked by Coho salmon (Fred was adopted into the Coho Raven clan by Lillian Hammond), and a Chilkat blanket. The pole originally stood in downtown Haines before being moved to the lodge."

Haines, Alaska
The Chilkoot River is one of the best places for bear viewing in Alaska. The best times to see brown bears (Ursus arctos) here are in April and early May due to eulachon ("hooligan") runs in the river, and various times from mid-June until mid-October due to 4 salmon runs. This photo (and 100 or so more) were shot on May 4th while giving a tour company manager a look at the region.

Bear warning sign along the Chilkoot River
The number of people who come to the Chilkoot River to fish or watch bears has caused many problems, and several bears have been killed. A series of meetings were held between 2011 and 2013 to find solutions to issues ranging from parking to bear encounters. Signs explain how to behave around the bears, and include the story of one sow who lost all 3 of her cubs one year when they were shot as potential threats. The programs to make bear viewing and fishing safer continues - you can see the reports on a special Chilkoot River Fishing Access and Bear Viewing Area page.

Tanani Bay on Chilkoot Inlet at Haines, Alaska
Tanani Bay on Chilkoot Inlet is a particularly scenic part of the drive along Lutak Road. A rest area at Tanani Point at the north end (the far end in this photo), offers parking, outhouses, and access to a fine-gravel beach.

April dawn along Lutak Road at Haines, Alaska
A stunning dawn while driving towards Haines on Lutak Road at 06:20 in early April.

Haines, Alaska
The Lutak Road approach to downtown Haines from the ferry terminal in early February.

Totem poles at Haines, Alaska
Totem poles at the main viewing area on Lutak Road at the edge of downtown Haines.

Haines, Alaska
One of the oldest cannery sites in Southeast Alaska is at Letnikof Cove, Mile 5.5 on Mud Bay Road, south of Haines. The very photogenic cannery is now operated by the Haines Packing Company, who process all 5 species of Alaska salmon, as well as crab, halibut, and shrimp. Visitors are welcome to explore the docks, watch boats unloading the days' catch, and see the processing line through large windows.

Seduction Point Trail at Haines, Alaska
The Haines area offers superb hiking on 4 trails. The Seduction Point Trail, seen in this photo, starts at the campground in Chilkat State Park, on the Chilkat Peninsula that extends into Lynn Canal south of Haines. The trail runs through a thick forest for about a mile, then runs along or on the beach. Seduction Point is 7 miles, but most people use the trail for much shorter walks.

Seduction Point Trail at Haines, Alaska
Once you reach the shore of Chilkat Inlet, the views along the Seduction Point Trail are superb.

Rocks along the Seduction Point Trail at Haines, Alaska
Not only the broad views are interesting on the Seduction Point Trail - looking closer reveals some fascinating plants and rocks.

Haines, Alaska
The Seduction Point Trail offers excellent views of the Davidson Glacier, which is about 4 miles long. A popular destination for cruise ship passengers on an excursion called the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari, the Davidson Glacier retreated 800 meters (half a mile) between 1984 and 2014.

Mud Bay Road at Haines, Alaska
Driving back to Haines on Mud Bay Road.

Mud Bay Road at Haines, Alaska
Driving back to Haines on Mud Bay Road.

Haines, Alaska
North of Haines along the Haines Highway, the 48,000-acre Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve was created in 1982, and draws photographers and nature enthusiasts from around the world. In the winter, 5 miles of the Chilkat River remains unfrozen due to warm water flowing from an "alluvial fan reservoir", and bald eagles gather in huge numbers, peaking in November. That incredible event is celebrated by the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival.

Trumpeter swans near Haines, Alaska, in February
Many birds remain in Haines through the winter, or come to Haines from the much colder interior. These Trumpeter swans were seen on the Chilkat River beside the Haines Highway in early February.