Haines On Your Own

Haines On Your Own

Haines, Alaska is a one-of-a-kind destination rich with history, amazing scenery, and wonderful culture. Only a small percentage of guests who visit Alaska's Inside Passage get to experience this authentic town. Escape the crowds and explore this peaceful town at your own pace!

Town Photos

  • Fast Ferry from Skagway to Haines Fast Ferry from Skagway to Haines
  • Explore the unique small town of Haines on your own Explore the unique small town of Haines on your own
  • Journey just 16 miles along the Lynn Canal to Haines Journey just 16 miles along the Lynn Canal to Haines
  • Fort Seward offers unique perspective on AK history & scenic backdrops Fort Seward offers unique perspective on AK history & scenic backdrops
  • Ferry pulling back into Skagway after exploring Haines Ferry pulling back into Skagway after exploring Haines

Travel Notes

Port: Skagway
Duration: 6.5 Hours
Activity Level: Easy
Modes of Travel: Fast Ferry, Bus, walking
Min. Age: none
Min. Weight: None Max. Weight: None
Food: Restaurants available in town
Provided Equipment: None
Recommended clothing: Dress in layers for warmth, bring rain gear.
Wheelchair access: No
Medical Restrictions: Participants need to be able to walk 1-2 miles minimum.

Town Description

To visit Haines from Skagway you will board a high-speed catamaran for a scenic 45-minute narrated cruise down North America’s longest and deepest fjord. Along the way, you’ll witness spectacular views of waterfalls and ice-sculpted peaks. The ferry naturalist will tell you about the history of the area, point out the sights, as well as help you search for marine wildlife.

Upon arrival in Haines you will have the next 4 hours to explore this scenic town at your leisure. It is a small town with many attractions and shops within a 1/2 mile walk from the pier. You can grab a flyer at the end of the pier for a self-guided tour of Fort William H. Seward, or head straight to the Bald Eagle Foundation to see live raptors close-up. Hungry? Grab a tasty bite at any one of the fabulous restaurants in town. Thirsty? Stop by the brewery or distillery for a locally crafted spirit. Enjoy arts, crafts, and/or shopping? There are many local artisan shops and galleries in town. The choice is up to you!

After 4 hours of exploring this town, you will return to the ferry for your ride back to Skagway. The return ferry trip will provide you with the opportunity to relax, enjoy the ride, and reminisce on your time in this unique Alaskan town.

NOTES: This is not a guided tour. It is the participants’ responsibility to be at the ferry 15 minutes prior to departure time or risk missing their ferry. They are also responsible for checking attractions’ hours and dates of operation. No refunds will be given in the event of missed departures or attraction closures.

Here are some examples of Haines' attractions:
American Bald Eagle Foundation
A natural history museum and live raptor center with an impressive diorama representing the wildlife of the Chilkat Valley. See a live raptor presentation and stop in the gift shop, which specializes in art and natural history items. (Entrance fee: $15/adult)
The Hammer Museum
This is the first museum dedicated to the history of the hammer! With over 2,000 hammers on display you will surely learn something new about mankind’s first tool. (Entrance fee: $5/adult)
Haines Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center
As the largest museum in Haines, the Sheldon Museum showcases the unique history and culture of Haines and the Chilkat Valley. You can learn more about native Tlingit art and culture, or see the work of local artists in this fabulous museum. (Entrance fee: $5/adult)
Fort William H. Seward
Built in 1902, Fort Seward overlooks the beautiful Chilkoot Inlet. Take a free self-guided walking tour around the fort or enjoy one of the many artisan shops located around the historic Parade Grounds. (Free)
Haines Brewing Company or Port Chilkoot Distillery
Local companies that craft the finest spirits and ales in small batches. Try Port Chilkoot Distillery’s award winning 50 Fathoms Gin, or a crowd favorite Seasonal Ale from Haines Brewing Company.
Tlingit Totem Poles
There are several totem poles throughout Haines that have been carved by local native artisans. From the Public Library’s “Ax’ Shtudultoowo Daaka Hidi” (Where They Go To Learn By Themselves) to the Friendship Pole at Haines School, they each have their own unique story. (Free)
Art and Shopping
Whether in Fort Seward or along Main Street, there are numerous art shops and galleries that showcase some of the finest local artists. From traditional native Northwest Coast art to hand-knit crafts, you will surely find something unique in Haines.
Dining & Restaurants
After walking around Haines you are bound to get hungry! There are several unique restaurants within a short walk of the pier, from frontier elegant to down-home friendly. Local chefs take pride in presenting regional delicacies such as fresh caught salmon and halibut.
Who will assist me?
This is a self-guided tour. You will be checked in by the ferry purser when you prepare to board the Haines-Skagway Fast Ferry both Skagway and Haines, but otherwise will be on our own to explore the town of Haines.
What is there to do in Haines?
Click on the Attractions tab above to get a brief sample of places to visit while in Haines. You can also do some internet searches to find additional options - Haines is called the "Adventure Capital of Alaska" for a reason!
What is the weather like?
Southeast Alaska is a coastal temperate rain forest - it rains often. During the summer, average low temperature can be in the 40's (F), and highs can average in the low 60's (F). Please check forecasts prior to departing so you can properly prepare yourself for the weather.

Booking Options

Use the following link to access the HSFF booking portal. There you will be able to see all available departure times.