Haines Alaska

Jul 01, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

We awoke to a partly sunny day among the first “civilization” we had seen since we left Sitka three days ago. The small town of Haines sits at the scenic mouth of the Chilkat River and the head of Lynn Canal, surrounded by many snow-capped 4500-foot peaks. The home of the Klukwan clan of the Tlingit people for hundreds of years, it is now the most northern reach of the Inside Passage and the Alaskan Marine Highway System. From here, native people accessed interior trade routes and today’s travelers exit the state ferries with their campers and RVs intent on exploring Alaska independently.

We all did our own share of independent travel today, choosing among a list of excursions that would make any adventure seeker happy. Some, including this author, chose to visit the ancestral home and cultural center of the Klukwan people, followed up by a Chilkat River float and lunch. Others opted for a fly-fishing tour with a local guide, while the active-minded hopped on a bike to explore town and its outer reaches. Many guests took advantage of an aerial perspective of the surrounding peaks, valleys, and glaciers and hopped on an afternoon flightseeing trip and came back wide-eyed and awed by the vast beauty of Southeast Alaska.

A crab and barbecue brisket dinner was followed by a rousing round of Alaskan Wildlife Jeopardy. Guests had a chance to compete with their fellow travelers and test their knowledge, or learn from others, about animals that make Alaska their home.

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About the Author

John Pachuta


John has been interested in travelling, what can be learned from it and sharing it with others, since his days as a youth growing up in rural Ohio. A graduate of Marietta College, his first SCUBA diving course in 1980 introduced him to the underwater world, and he’s been passionate about exploring it ever since. This yearning has taken him to spectacular dive sites the world over, with extensive underwater time logged in Hawaii, the Bahamas, Thailand, Greece and Mexico.

About the Photographer

James Hyde


James is your typical free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsy type. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he is most comfortable in slightly cold and damp weather. James joined the Lindblad team in July 2016 as a dive buddy and has been in love with expedition travel since. On his own he has traveled to Europe, Asia, and Australia, but with Lindblad he hopes to continue his adventures across the globe, searching out the beauties of the natural world. An avid scuba diver James can’t help being excited about whales, sharks, and pinnipeds, but he will also happily bend your ear about underwater slugs and invertebrates. It’s best just to humor him about these things.

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