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Inside Passage Travel Guide

  • Photo: Peter Guttman/


Haines encompasses an area that has been occupied by Tlingit peoples for centuries on the collar of the Chilkat Peninsula, a narrow strip of land that divides the Chilkat and Chilkoot inlets. Missionary S. Hall Young and famed naturalist John Muir were intent on establishing a Presbyterian mission in the area, and, with the blessing of local chiefs, they chose the site that later became

Haines. It's hard to imagine a more beautiful setting—a heavily wooded peninsula with magnificent views of Portage Cove and the snowy Coast Range. Unlike most other towns in Southeast Alaska, Haines can be reached by the 152-mile Haines Highway, which connects at Haines Junction with the Alaska Highway. It's also accessible by the state ferry (907/465–3941 or 800/642–0066) and by scheduled plane service from Juneau. The Haines ferry terminal is 4½ miles northwest of downtown, and the airport is 4 miles west.

Haines is an interesting community: its history contains equal parts enterprising gold-rush boomtown and regimented military outpost. The former is evidenced by Jack Dalton, who in the 1890s maintained a toll route from the settlement of Haines into the Yukon, charging $1 for foot passengers and $2.50 per horse. His Dalton Trail later provided access for miners during the 1897 gold rush to the Klondike.

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