Klukwan Native Culture Experience

Learn about the fascinating Tlingit people in their mother village. This unique and educational activity takes you through the Chilkat people’s home in the heart of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve and see their most prized cultural treasures.

Tour Photos

  • Experience Traditional Tlingit song & drumming Experience Traditional Tlingit song & drumming
  • On our way to Klukwan, we drive through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve On our way to Klukwan, we drive through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve
  • State of the art Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center State of the art Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center
  • The Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center on the shore of the Chilkat River The Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center on the shore of the Chilkat River
     

Tour Notes

Port: Haines
Duration: 2 hrs 45 min
Activity Level: Easy
Modes of Travel: Bus, light walking
Min. Age: none
Min. Weight: None Max. Weight: None
Food: Smoked Salmon Snack
Provided Equipment: None
Recommended clothing: Dress in layers for warmth
Wheelchair access: No
Medical Restrictions: Guests need to be able to get on and off the bus.
Liability Waiver Required
Note: Due to cultural sensitivity there may be some restrictions on photos and video during the visit to Klukwan.

Tour Description

Experience the native culture of the Tlingit people on this unique visit to Klukwan, the mother village of the Tlingit Nation. After meeting up with your guide on the dock in Haines, we’ll load up on a bus, and explore historic Fort Seward in the picturesque village of Haines before starting on our 22 mile drive up the Chilkat Valley to the village of Klukwan.

After a 40 minute scenic drive up the Chilkat Valley and through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, we’ll come to Klukwan, the only remaining village of the Chilkat people. Located at the confluence of three rivers, this ancient, yet contemporary village, has seen a multitude of generations.

For hundreds of years the Tlingits have lived off the bounty of this special place; their close relationship to the land is further revealed throughout the exhibits in their Heritage Center. This, newly opened, state of the art, museum-quality center is situated in a stunningly beautiful natural environment on the northern banks of the Chilkat River. The Heritage Center exhibits provide access to art treasures that have previously not been available to the public. The Whale House collection, uniquely displayed in its place of origin, allows entrance to the Chilkat’s distinctive ethnic landscape. As guests tour this world class facility, they will gain appreciation for both the depth and complexity of Tlingit society.

There is much to see and enjoy during your visit to Klukwan, but one of the best things, visitors say, is the people. Before departing Klukwan for our return journey back towards Haines, guests will also have some time to visit the gift shop, where local native arts and crafts can be purchased, or use the on-site spotting scopes to locate mountain goats on the peaks behind the village or watch for eagles fishing for salmon in the Chilkat River.

(~10 minutes) - Your friendly guides will meet you near the Haines Cruise Ship Dock. Before departing you’ll be able to ask any questions that you might still have about your upcoming excursion use the restrooms before the short drive up the highway.
(~35 minutes) - From here we’ll depart for a breathtaking drive up the Haines Scenic Byway to the native village of Klukwan through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.
(~60 minutes) - Upon arriving at Klukwan you’ll meet your local guides who will lead you through the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center to view the Whale House Collection and other exhibits. Your guide will educate you about the native Tlingit culture through storytelling and interpretation of the native artifacts.
(~25 minutes) - When our time at the Heritage Center wraps up, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a riverside smoked salmon snack and free time to use the spotting scopes and visit the native craft gift shop.
(~35 minutes) - Your excursion comes to and end with a leisurely ride back through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to the small town of Haines.
Where will I meet my guide?
Our guide will meet you 15 minutes prior to the tour start time to make sure all necessary paperwork is completed. You will meet your guide on the Southeast corner of the main cruise ship dock in Portage Cove. CLICK HERE to see a map pointing to this location.
Who are my guides?
One of our professional naturalist guides will host the tour and narrate the drive from the port in Haines to the village of Klukwan. Once in Klukwan, local villagers with expert personal knowledge of their native culture will share their history and traditions with you.
Is there a bathroom?
Yes – restrooms are available on the dock prior to departing for your tour, on the ferry during your travel to Haines and on-site at Klukwan.
Do you cancel due to weather?
Our tours embrace Southeast Alaska’s unpredictable weather. Our tours run rain or shine. If in a rare instance weather does cause us to cancel the tour you will be refunded in full and provided with assistance with finding an alternative activity for the day.
What if I have a food allergy?
Just let us know when you are making your reservation. We have alternative snack options available to accommodate most dietary restrictions with advanced notice at no additional charge.

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*Price is per adult in USD, taxes not included.