What to do around Juneau or Haines

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Nick

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I recently scored a permit to raft the Tatshenshini & Alsek Rivers in Canada and Alaska in July 2019. Scheduling looks to be working out in such a way that I'll have 3-4 days available to do some other things in the Juneau to Haines area before we hit the river for 12 days. I'm looking for ideas and suggestions on cool stuff to do in that area, both in the expensive/guided category as well as regular hiking, etc. One of the top things I'd like to do is get out on a smaller boat for some up-close whale watching and halibut fishing. I've been to Juneau once before on a cruise and on that trip we went to the Mendenhall Glacier and then we took a float plane to Taku Lodge for dinner. Both were awesome, especially the Taku. Thanks in advance!
 

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slc_dan

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I've spent a little time in Juneau before salmon/halibut fishing for a week. Don't get stuck in Juneau is all I can really say, tourist trap of all tourist traps.
 
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Congrats on the permit!

Since you've already been to Juneau, go to Haines Junction, YT and spend your time hiking around that country (Kluane NP&R), head to Kluane Lake itself and explore that country, and/or head over to Whitehorse for a night.

There's some hikes out of Juneau if you spend a day or so there, but if bears aren't your thing, you may want to limit your hiking there.

If you can, go through both Haines and Skagway on your route to/from the put-in. Both drives are ridiculously awesome. Unless you're flying to Haines Jct from Juneau, of course.
 

Nick

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I've spent a little time in Juneau before salmon/halibut fishing for a week. Don't get stuck in Juneau is all I can really say, tourist trap of all tourist traps.
We could definitely just head straight to Haines or someplace else and explore out of there. We need to be in Haines the day before we launch anyway.
 

Nick

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Congrats on the permit!

Since you've already been to Juneau, go to Haines Junction, YT and spend your time hiking around that country (Kluane NP&R), head to Kluane Lake itself and explore that country, and/or head over to Whitehorse for a night.

There's some hikes out of Juneau if you spend a day or so there, but if bears aren't your thing, you may want to limit your hiking there.

If you can, go through both Haines and Skagway on your route to/from the put-in. Both drives are ridiculously awesome. Unless you're flying to Haines Jct from Juneau, of course.
Thanks! For the river portion of the trip we're getting dropped off at Dalton Post and then we'll be getting picked up by bush plane at Dry Bay, so no driving back from the put-in.

So it's sounding like maybe we should just get to Juneau and go straight to Haines and then rent a car to go do some exploring for those few days before we launch. I imagine I could get my fishing/whale fix just as easily out of Haines. Looks like Kluane and Whitehorse are 4+ hours out of Haines which is doable but I'm wondering what worthwhile things might be closer. Any suggestions? I like bears.
 
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How are you traveling from Juneau to Dalton Post?

I was worried there might be some confusion. Haines Jct. is in the Yukon and is the nearest town to Dalton Post (~45 miles north). Haines is on the coast of AK and has a ferry terminal. It's a 3-hour drive between them.

Anyway, Haines is a typical coastal AK fishing town - good for a beer, local color, and some trinkets but keep on moving through. Haines Junction is a great jump-off point for a gazillion things, including the Alsek/Tatshenshini.

From Haines Junction, it is less than 2 hours to Whitehorse and about an hour to Kluane Lake.
 

Nick

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Planning on taking a ferry from Juneau to Haines and then hiring a shuttle to drop us and all of our boats, etc. at Dalton Post. Understood on Haines and Haines Junction. I'm down to head up that way to spend a few days before backtracking to Haines for our shuttle to the put-in. Driving back and forth isn't ideal, but Haines seems to be our best choice for meeting up and getting our rental gear. I've been googling a bit about Kluane NP and it looks amazing!
 

Kmatjhwy

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Nick, So you are gonna be around Haines and Juneau also some. Now in the last some years, have been quite abit in both of these towns. There is quite abit to do in each. In Haines have had some good weather and the scenery there is just magnificent. But in Juneau, when I have been there, most of the time it has been on the rainy side of things. And because of this I call it Rainy Juneau. Now just some pointers.

As for Haines ...

Now a neat thing to do is go up from Haines on a side trip, up to nearby Chilkoot Lake. There is a campground here and the scenery is really nice. When I have been in Haines, I would just rent a bike and in going up and back to Chilkoot Lake and the area was all by bicycle. Chilkoot Lake and the area is only like 10 miles up from Haines. This area around Chilkoot Lake can be a good place to spot some bears if the salmon are running. Good views down the inlet from around Chilkoot Lake with all the mountains nearby.

Another place near Haines that have done a bunch ... is hiking out on a trail to Kelgaya and Battery Points. Have done this a bunch. And in between these points in here is a nice secluded covewhich is just super awesome. In here at these points, good views over the water to all the surrounding country.

Also near Haines, there is a trail with outrageous views which climbs the mountain behind Haines. It is called the Mt. Ripinsky Trail. Great Trail and such an outrageous view from the top. And at the south end of the Peninsula near Haines is the Seduction Point Trail. In Haines they have hiking brochures around that describe these hikes. And they also have a great little Visitor Center right in town. I love Haines and have been here quite a bit. Also the road that goes up along the Chilkat into Canada is just awesome in the scenery. One can spend days in here and just love everyday. The people in Haines are really quite friendly also. The cruise ships don't stop in Haines much. It is more of a real Alaskan Town.

Also right near Haines is a place called the Portage Cove Campground that is a great litte camping spot overlooking the water. It is open to backpackers and bicyclists only. Have camped here often when in Haines. It is only $10 a night when camping here.

As for Juneau ...

Now have been here quite a bit. But because of the huge mountains behind Juneau, it can get quite rainy at times. If in Juneau and want to save money, there is a wonderful wonderful cheap hostel in town which is only $12 a night with one chore. It is fabulous. When here in Juneau, I always try to stay at the hostel. Now have been up to Mendenhall Glacier but when I have been up there, it becomes quite the zoo with all the people. So personally I do not go there much.

One place near Juneau where have been some is walking the trails and beaches near the Auke Village Park, and Campground Area up near Auke Bay, not far from the Alaska State Ferry place. On the road north of Juneau is a bunch of great areas ... near Eagle Creek Park - beach areas and trails in the forest up to some nearby glaciers. And trails that one can hike multi-day from the Mendenhall Area to the Eagle Creek Area. Further north is the whole Berners Bay Area. Right behind Juneau is a set of trails that go up into the nearby mountains ... wonderful set of trails. When on these here don't usually see all that many people. But of course much of my time when in the area, it is raining so can't do as much.

In downtown Juneau is a good hiking store which sells the Forest Service map which covers the whole Juneau Area. It is a great map. But the cruise ships stop in Juneau, so one can encounter some tourists here in the Juneau area. There is a good museum downtown also if you like this sort of thing and it is raining with preventing you in doing something. But again when you are in Juneau, hope it is Not Raining so you can enjoy it all.

This all sounds Great!! Wishing You the Best!
 
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#9
We currently live in Juneau and I've spent time in Haines for work and play. Juneau would be a good place to buy food and to gear up for your float (way more options than Haines). Juneau has an amazing trail network (https://adventureflow.us/trailguide/) , it is not hard to get away from the cruise ship passengers (most don't venture past the downtown shops), and it doesn't rain all of the time (but it might). The salt-water fishing and whale watching will be better in Juneau vs. Haines. Nice day trips from Juneau would be to Tracy Arm (https://www.adventureboundalaska.com/) or down to Pack Creek (https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233328) for bear viewing. Or there are numerous operators who can take you on a combo salt-water fishing/whale watching charter. If you have enough time, flying over to Gustavus from Juneau will put you into some great halibut fishing.

In Haines heading out to Chilkoot Lake would be a great idea. In July it is usually pretty good brown bear viewing on the road to the lake. You can also fish for sockeye salmon there.

Let me know how I can help out planning your trip. And if I'm in town I'd be up for a hike.
 

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