This little seaside mountain town has enough character and spirit to share for the entire state! Haines is home to several events throughout summer including the Alcan 200 International Snow machine Road Rally, the Great Alaska Craft Beer and Homebrew Festival, Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay, Southeast Alaska State Fair, Labor Day Weekend Mardi Gras Party, and the Bald Eagle Festival to name a few. Always a super friendly environment with plenty to explore, see, and do. (For dates and details click here.)
For today’s adventure we came within the same weekend as the Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay. Bikers from all over the world gather for this event and the town totally comes alive in preparation for all the bicyclists practicing for the ride. As luck would have it, the event was cancelled this year (2017) due to a four inch snow accumulation in the pass near Haines Junction! Unbelievable to have snow this late in June! However, knowing Haines, they still celebrated anyway.
A Quick History
Haines has always been labeled as “Alaska’s Best Kept Secret” so it’s no surprise that the Tlingit’s mother village, Klukwon is only 22 miles north. Haines is also one of the few communities in Southeast Alaska that has road access to the Alcan, which follows along the old historic trail through the Chilkat Mountain Range to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. During the Gold Rush, at the turn of the century, Haines was a supply stop for the Klondike. In 1904 Fort Seward became the first permanent US Army Installation. The little white buildings are what make Haines recognizable from the shoreline, so cute and charming. Today, the buildings are used for bed and breakfasts, a hotel, art studios, and more. I love this part of Haines. In fact, I hid one of two $25 Resolute Gift Cards there, muwahahaa.
From Juneau, there are several flights leaving daily on Alaska Seaplanes. Fairs generally run $125 (at time of writing). There is also ferry service from Juneau on the Alaska Marine Highway and depending on which ferry you hop on, it can take as little as two hours on the Fairweather, or up to four hours on the other slow boats. For today's day trip, we took the quick 30 minute flight up, and the 5pm ferry back which landed us back at the Auke Bay Terminal at 7:15pm.
What to Wear
Always weather dependent! Summer in Alaska can be a hit or miss. It can be 55 degrees and raining, or 78 degrees and hot as heck! So always pack and dress in layers. Since we were only going for the day, it was easy to dress based on looking out the window! It was about 60 degrees and overcast with spotty sun and a chilly northerly.
- A fun top to wear under a sweater or chunky layer
- Cozy sweater
- Outerwear like a light windproof or light rain resistant shell
- Sneakers, or Sandals
How to Play
Haines is legendary for accommodating people coming in from all over the region to play! That's why there is no shortage of fun activities! Here are just a few things to do when whether events happening or not!
- Rent a motorbike or bicycle from Tour de Scooter! Good rates, and gives you freedom to cruise the city streets!
- Explore Fort Seward
- Stroll through downtown, and walk the water’s edge
- Go for a tasting at Port Chilkoot Distillery
- Then top it off with a sampling from Haines Brewing Company
- Hike Mount Ripinski, Battery Point, Mount Riley Trail, these are best done if you have a weekend to spare in Haines. Otherwise this will be your day! Check out the hiking details here.
- Get coffee and all your snacks from Mountain Market, a little hippy paradise with the best goods!
What is your favorite thing to do in Haines? What do you love to wear when going to play in Haines?!
"Haines Chamber of Commerce Promoting Economic Growth in Haines, Alaska." About Haines | Haines Chamber of Commerce. Haines Chamber of Commerce, n.d. Web. 18 June 2017.
"Haines Chamber of Commerce Promoting Economic Growth in Haines, Alaska." Annual Events | Haines Chamber of Commerce. Haines Chamber of Commerce, n.d. Web. 18 June 2017.
"Haines Hiking Trails." Alaska.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2017.