Eagle Preserve Float & Klukwan Native Culture Tour

Eagle Preserve Float & Klukwan Native Culture Tour

Experience the remarkable history of the Tlingit people from their Knowledge Camp in the village of Klukwan. Next travel from the Tlingit mother village the way they did - by river. Revel in the beauty that surrounds you in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve as you float down the Chilkat River on this unique tour.

Tour Photos

  • Rafting on the Chilkat River and through the Bald Eagle Preserve Rafting on the Chilkat River and through the Bald Eagle Preserve
  • Drumming and dance at the Tlingit village of Klukwan Drumming and dance at the Tlingit village of Klukwan
  • Bald eagles are often spotted in abundance on the river Bald eagles are often spotted in abundance on the river
  • Knowledgeable guides share their love of the river Knowledgeable guides share their love of the river

Tour Notes

Port: Haines
Duration: 5 Hours
Activity Level: Easy
Min. Age: 7 years
Min. Weight: None Max. Weight: 350 lbs.
Food: Picnic style lunch included
Provided Equipment: Life vests, rubber boots, ponchos
Recommended clothing: Layers for warmth, rain gear
Wheelchair access: No
Medical Restrictions: No expectant mothers past 20 weeks. Guests must be in good health and must be able to walk over loose gravel and dry river delta to board the rafts.
Liability Waiver Required

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Tour Description

Watch for Eagles and Wildlife and experience the native culture of the Tlingit people on this spectacular combination of a river float trip and cultural experience. Leaving the dock, we’ll explore the historic Fort Seward Dock in the picturesque fishing village of Haines on our way up the Highway and into the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. There, you meet your naturalist guides and board heavy-duty 18 foot rafts to float quietly through the heart of the Preserve. The eagle preserve boasts the largest congregation of Bald Eagles in the world. Eagles, bears and wolves all frequent the preserve to feed on the plentiful salmon making their way upstream to their spawning beds. Often moose are spotted crossing the river or feeding in the ponds of the valley.

After the scenic float down the river, we’ll come to the native village of Klukwan the mother village of the Tlingit nation. Located at the confluence of three rivers, this historic village has seen a multitude of generations. For hundreds of years the Tlingits have lived off the bounty of this special place. And still today you will see them fishing and smoking their catch at the river's edge. We’ll unload the rafts and have the opportunity to learn and experience the fascinating cultural history of the Tlingit people. Guests will enjoy a native cultural performance and orientation which includes a visit to a Tlingit long house and a visit to the Adze shed to see totem and canoe carving. You’ll experience the salmon smoke and salmon drying houses.

This is an adventure of a lifetime so bring your family and friends rafting through the world famous Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve!

Note: We are able accommodate dietary restrictions with a minimum of 48 hours advanced notice, including gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, allergies, etc.

(~15 minutes) - Your friendly tour 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 drive up the highway.
(~35 minutes) - From here we’ll depart for a breathtaking drive up the Haines Scenic Byway through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to the native village of Klukwan.
(~40 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 tour guide will educate you about the native Tlingit culture through storytelling and interpretation of the native artifacts.
(~30 minutes) - When our time at the Heritage Center wraps up, your guide will walk you through the Traditional Knowledge Camp. Here you’ll see the traditional adze carving shed, a salmon drying smokehouse. Your visit to the Traditional Knowledge Camp culminates at the hand-crafted plank-style clan house for traditional storytelling and drumming.
(~25 minutes) - After your time in the clan house we will head to the river where you’ll swap out your shoes for rubber river boots. Your raft guides will provide you with a thorough safety briefing and you’ll don a PFD before boarding our stable 18’ rubber rafts for the float down the river.
(~90 minutes) - You’ll spend the next 90 minutes quietly exploring the scenic Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve by raft.
(~30 minutes) - Upon arrival at our river take-out you’ll be treated to a picnic-style lunch with lemonade, hot cocoa and tea.
(~35 minutes) - A short drive back down the Haines Scenic Byway will bring you back to the quiet town of Haines.
Where will I meet my tour 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 tour 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 lunch options to accommodate most dietary restrictions with advanced notice at no additional charge.

Booking Options

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

Guest Comments

My wife and I enjoyed and experienced the Chikat river of today via a delightful 8-person-raft trip. We saw bald eagles perched along the river as we floated by. The scenery was magnificent. Our group consisted of 16-people, so we were split into two (2) rafts. We were the 2nd raft and it was fun to watch the raft in front of us make its way down the river. The other raft also helped to show a sense of scale when photographing surrounding mountains. Once we arrived at the Klukwan village, it was like stepping back into time. I could feel how it might have been to live in pre-historic times along the bank of the river -- just sunshine, water, trees, wind, a few simple tools, and lodgings. Excellent marriage of present and past!
- Greg

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