A trip out the famous Haines Highway and snowshoe stops along the way. The scenic highway begins in Haines Alaska and runs 150 miles to Haines Junction Yukon, connecting to the Alaska Highway.
The famous Dalton Trail that was used during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 runs along the Chilkat River from Pyramid Harbor west of Haines and eventually runs alongside the highway and the Klehini River before crossing into Canada at 40 mile. The old cabin where Jack Dalton charged a fee to gold seekers using the trail is still standing at Dalton Cache Border Crossing. To find more information on this famous trail, visit the Sheldon Museum while in town.
0 Mile– Haines Alaska
2 Mile– Snowshoe here! Valley of the Eagles Golf course is a large flat that borders the Chilkat River and is accessible from the road.
24 Mile– The highway follows the Chilkat River to 24 mile and then crosses over it at Wells Bridge where the two go their separate ways. A mile west of the bridge is the confluence of the Chilkat, Klehini, and Tsirku Rivers. This area has dangerously turbulent waters and has been
described as having a washing machine type effect. The Klehini is the largest tributary to the Chilkat and flows 36 miles south out of its headwaters in British Columbia. The Tsirku is the second largest tributary to the Chilkat and is glacier fed from the Tsirku Glacier on the Alaska, British Columbia border.
25 Mile– Snowshoe here! Parking is easily accessible and puts you within a few steps of an endless day of snowshoeing. Step out of you vehicle, strap on the snowshoes and go. After a short trek through the willows to the west, the Klehini River flat opens up into a frozen, treeless landscape that stretches for miles, with the Chilkat Mountain Range in the background. Watch for moose!
26 Mile- Snowshoe here! Turn left onto Porcupine Road and cross over the Klehini River on Porcupine Bridge. The bridge became famous almost overnight due to a reality show that began mining for gold near the old town site of Porcupine.
Porcupine Road is not maintained, there are no accommodations, it is extremely remote and the area abounds in wildlife. I recommend that you be in top physical condition and well-informed about this area before attempting it. While snowshoeing the area, be sure to have the essentials of survival and plenty of winter gear including: adequate clothing, plenty of extra food, extra water, a portable shovel to assist you in digging a snow cave, or a tent, and a warm sleeping bag should an emergency arise. Remember to let someone know what trail you are going to be on and what time you are expected back.
27 Mile– A pullout along the road overlooking the beautiful Klehini River Valley. In the summer the salmon migrate up the river looking to spawn and can be seen splashing up through the shallows. In the early morning and evenings bears can be seen here fishing for the salmon.
33 Mile– Stop by the 33 Mile Roadhouse Restaurant for a great meal, gas and propane, and cabin rentals. Many locals drive the 33 miles out-of-town to eat the great food and enjoy the scenic drive.
40 Mile– You are at the Dalton Cache U.S. Border and Pleasant Camp Canadian border crossing. Make sure you have your passport handy.
Before planning your trip up the highway towards Rainy Hollow and the summit, check weather reports for impending weather. The highway begins an immediate ascent into Rainy Hollow after leaving the border, moving towards higher elevations and eventually above timber-line. The weather can quickly become treacherous with heavy snows and white out conditions; however, find yourself there on a sunny day with blue skies and a white landscape for as far as the eye can see, and you will know you are in the middle of one of the most scenic mountain passes on earth.
There are no gas stations or stores of any kind on the Haines Highway. It is recommended that you have a full tank of gas if you are traveling to Haines Junction. Accommodations are available there.
Keep in mind whenever you are snowshoeing in any of these areas that wildlife is everywhere. The valley is home to many different species which include: moose, lynx, wolves, wolverines, eagles, foxes, coyotes, and bears which should be hibernating this time of year. Remember to respect the wildlife and keep a safe distance.
Sheldon Museum: for the history of Haines Alaska and the Porcupine Mining District. www.sheldonmuseum.org
33 Mile Roadhouse Restaurant: for a great meal, gas & propane, and cabin rentals. www.33mileroadhouse.com or on Facebook. Call 907-767-5510
Alaska Back Country Outfitter Store: for quality outdoor clothing, snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals. www.alaskabackcountryoutfitter.com or call 907-766-2876
Valley of the Eagles Golf: for information call 907-766-2401 or 907-314-0760 or visit the website at www.hainesgolf.com
Haines Visitor Center: for more information call 907-766-2234 or 800-458-3579 or www.haines.ak.us