State Parks near Haines
The small town of Haines lies at the north end of Alaska's southeast panhandle. Unlike most towns in Southeast Alaska, you can reach Haines by road as well as ferry. The Haines Highway begins in Canada at Haines Junction, along the Alaska Highway, and ends in Haines. Alaska State Parks has five state parks in the Haines area:
Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve - for more information.
Chilkat Islands State Marine Park - This undeveloped, 6,560-acre park is a group of islands just south of Chilkat State Park. It is 13 air miles south of Haines. Access is problematic due to high and unpredictable winds, making a regular anchorage difficult. Kayaks have the best bet since they can be brought on shore and have a shallow draft. A bay on the middle island of Shikosi is best. Beaches are rocky. Be sure to bring your boat above high tide mark when pulling it on shore.
Chilkat State Park is seven miles south of Haines on Mud Bay Road. This park offers a log cabin visitor center, 15-site campground, picnic area, boat launch and trails. The campground sits in a mixed forest of evergreens and deciduous trees at the edge of Chilkat Inlet. The boat launch provides access to the inlet and the run of king salmon in early June. The visitor centers offers incredible views of Chilkat Inlet, Rainbow, and Davidson glaciers. The center also has wildlife spotting scopes so you can spot the inlet wildlife, such as seals, porpoises, and whales. Visitors have even been able to spy on bears and mountain goats on the other side of the inlet.
There are three trails in the park. Seduction Pint Trail is an easy hike that follows the coast, winding back and forth between the woods and the beach. This trail is six miles long one way, and offers great scenery sights and wildlife viewing opportunities. Battery Point Trail is another easy trail along the beach. For those ready for a challenge, there is the Mount Riley Trail. This trail has quite a bit of vertical rise to it, but the reward is a sensational view of the entire area.
Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site is ten miles northeast of Haines, taking Lutak and Chilkoot River roads, or five miles past the ferry terminal. The park is at the south end of Chilkoot Lake, near the outlet of the lake to the Chilkoot River. Park Facilities include an 80-site campground, picnic shelter, and boat launch. The campground sits amid a beautiful stand of Sitka spruce.
The park and surrounding area offers some of the best salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska, with four salmon runs, starting in mid-June and ending in mid-October. Because of the salmon spawning in the river and at this end of the lake, this area is also a bear highway. Bears come down from the tundra to feast on the salmon. Please learn proper bear/human etiquette - this protects both you and the bears. See our "Bears and You" web page for more information on bear safety.
Mosquito Lake State Recreation Site is 27 miles northwest of Haines off the Haines Highway. This quiet campground of 5 sites is nestled next to Mosquito Lake, in a Sitka spruce and Western hemlock forest. There is a dock and boat launch to access the lake, and a picnic shelter. This park is appropriately named, so be sure to have plenty of insect repellent!
Portage Cove State Recreation Site sits on the water's edge near downtown Haines and offers a wonderful view of the Inlet and surrounding mountains. There are a handful of campsites, but only for bicycle or walk-in camping.
Sullivan Island State Marine Park is south of Chilkat Island SMP and 20 air miles south of Haines. This 2,720-acre park sits at the south end of Sullivan Island. Two bays on east side provide access, but no anchorages. In Lynn Canal, weather and winds are unpredictable, making anchoring very difficult. Kayaks have the best bet since they can be brought on shore and have a shallow draft. Be sure to bring your boat above high tide mark when pulling it on shore. Beaches are rocky.
Be careful of:
- Campers are asked to use camp stoves and build fires in the fire pits
or grills provided.
Water - Boaters remember that seas, inlets and lakes can be extremely hazardous due to tides and weather. Plan ahead and be prepared for an emergency or sudden change in weather conditions.
Hikers - Travel with at least one companion. Leave word with someone where you are going and when to expect you back. Wind, wetness, and exhaustion add up to hypothermia. Be prepared to combat exposure by carrying rain gear, extra food and clothes, even when you don't expect to need them.
- Bear frequent park areas and are attracted by food odors. Clean fish
in the river and keep food in your vehicle -
never in the tent. A clean campsite is a good precaution.
When hiking make noise to alert bears of your presence.
- With the onset of fishing season, fishermen should inform themselves
of Alaska State fishing regulations. Sport Fishing is not allowed within
300 feet of a fish weir. Snagging - hooking a fish other than in the mouth,
is not allowed in fresh water. See the Dept.
of Fish and Game web site for more information on fishing regulations.