Haines is located in the northern area of the Alaska Panhandle and is bound by the Chilkat Inlet and the Chilkoot Inlet. The summers are warm and rainy here. In the winter the snowfall is heavy and the temperatures are more mild. Haines is a popular cruise port, subsequently this brings in many visitors to the area.
The Tinglit people originally inhabited the Haines region. The Tinglit were nomadic and traveled along the northwest coasts enjoying the abundance of food. During the fur trade the Chilkats, one of the most powerful of the Tinglit tribes, amassed a great deal of wealth by controlling trade routes. (Tourism)
Nearing the later 1800’s illnesses depleted the indigenous peoples numbers as well as tragedies by landslides. By the late 1800’s the town started to build around a mission school of orthodox Russians. As time passed and the Klondike gold rush began, Haines became a travel passage through the mountains for those looking to prospect.
WWII came along and barracks replaced mining operations. Many of these historical sites still reside today. The war eventually finished and Haines gained land from consolidating with the nearby Port Chilkoot (Alaska Gov) The Haines Highway was then constructed in the 40’s and 50’s. This made Haines a pivotal point in transportation.
Once old forts and stately buildings, these sites serve as homes and official historic landmarks in Haines today. Tourism and industry keep this town moving. The area is popular for it’s outdoor recreation and provides easy access to some of Alaska’s natural reserves and protected habitats.
Recently, interest for winter recreation has been growing, while simultaneously providing great heli-skiing opportunities. Situated on shorelines, this city has notes of a fishing town and port that come with the brine laced air of the coast as well.
What to Do, Where to Go
Haines is situated in close proximity to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and creates a great base for those looking to explore the area. You can even have an expansive and immersive experience with bald eagles at the Chilkat Bald Eagle preserve nearby. Further, the city is spotted with a variety of local shops, restaurants, and museums to enjoy and explore. There is a little bit of everything in Haines.
The area is home to a wealth of rivers. These rivers are great for recreation as well as fishing and taking in sights of wildlife and their unique ecosystems. The Kroschel Films Wildlife Center nearby offers a controlled environment and loads of walking trails to have up close and personal interactions with animals native to Alaska. In addition to these items, state parks and recreation areas provide bountiful options for exploration.