At the end of the Haines Highway and near the junction of the Chilkat and Chilkoot Inlets, you will find Haines, a beautiful coastal Alaskan town with a rich history that is surrounded by millions of acres of wilderness. To reach Haines, you can drive the Alcan Highway south from Haines Junction, YT or take the Alaska Marine Highway and ferry along the Inside Passage from ports as close as Skagway, AK. to as far south as Bellingham, WA. Haines can also be reached by airplane, or as a cruise ship port. Remember to bring your passport when planning on crossing between Canada and the US.
The Haines area is well known to birders as having the largest concentrations of American Bald Eagles in the United States with several thousand eagles congregating along the Chilkat River in October and November for a late-season chum salmon run. The Chilkat River Valley is known as the “Valley of Eagles” and the State of Alaska established a 48,000-acre Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve along the river to protect this important congregation area and valuable habitat. The community is also home to the American Bald Eagle Foundation which works to promote the conservation of the Bald Eagle through education and conservation. The community celebrates the congregations of eagles with an annual Bald Eagle Festival held in November each year. The Bald Eagle Foundation headquarters is also a great stop for birders visiting Haines, who can tour the impressive interpretative center and explore the extensive aviary which has a wide diversity of live raptor species.