Treat yourself to a small group rafting and scenic driving tour through the famous Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. This Skagway day trip begins with a 45 - minute ferry ride along the steep-walled fjords connecting Skagway to Haines. Over a dozen unnamed waterfalls drop hundreds of feet from the cliff sides on both sides of the boat. Marvel at the scenery and look for humpback whales, harbor seals, and a variety of seabirds.
Upon arrival in Haines, meet your expert guide and enjoy a riverside drive along the Haines Highway. The drive is incredibly scenic: glacier-clad mountains thrust to the sky, colorful wildflowers line the road, green riverside channels provide habitat for moose, bear and trumpeter swans. The highway was declared a National Scenic Byway in 2009. Arrive at the river in the heart of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, approximately 45 minutes away.
After boarding your raft, you'll enjoy a scenic raft trip down the Chilkat River through the famous Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, home of the world's largest concentration of Bald Eagles. You are immersed in the Alaskan wilderness, floating the silent river. As there are no rapids (white water) on the river, it makes for a very relaxing float. Depending on the flow of the river, the float portion lasts about 1 1/2 hours.
Along the way, your professional guide will inform and entertain you with the natural history of the area, Chilkat Indian Heritage, and Alaskan stories. The number of eagles you will see is very dependent on the food available to the eagles (i.e. the fish runs). During the early months of the summer season you will often see parent eagles sitting on nests, eaglets in nests and the parent eagles flying to the nest with food for their young. Thousands of bald eagles travel here to feed on salmon in the fall and winter. During very warm days, the eagles are often seen catching the thermals and soaring above the mountain peaks.
Paddling is not required, as your expert guide will push the raft along, explaining the intricate balance of nature that makes this a unique and special place. As they are experts in spotting wildlife, and you may observe brown bears, black bears, wolves, otters, trumpeter swans and moose. Don't leave your camera behind for this adventure!
After rafting, your guide will select a scenic spot to enjoy a picnic lunch on your way back to Haines. Board the Fast Ferry to Skagway and return to your ship with memories of an unforgettable adventure.
Reviewer: Cheryl Kieth
Thankful to say my excursion I couldn't take due issues was refunded. Jamie was very nice and most helpful with my situation. Thank you
Reviewer: Serena Nyikes
Although we did not see any wildlife on our rafting trip my family thoroughly enjoyed our trip. The ferry ride over from Skagway was beautiful. Our guide on the river ride was very knowledgeable about the river and it's history.
Reviewer: Shore Tripper
We enjoyed our trip to Chilkat preserve. We were the only people in the raft that held 8. We knew it was not eagle season, but however we saw a few eagles in nests and had the most relaxing time we have had in a long time and we would recommend it to anyone
Reviewer: Mark and Di
Andy and his Dad were fantastic guides! The raft tour was unbelievable with the sighting of more than 40 eagles, we saw a brown bear on the side of the creek and even saw young eagles in their nest along the creekside. We learned quite a bit about Alaska from Andy. He was warm and felt like we already knew him. He was a very skilled tour guide and rafter and would love to take this tour again!
We were so lucky to be able to get in on this rafting tour (with Rainbow Glacier Adventures) on our recent cruise to Alaska. We met Eric Kocher our guide and Jim Wilson on the dock in Haines and right off we knew we were in for a true Alasaka experience. We were the only two on the tour so it was certainly quiet and personal. I had been a rafting guide in the interior of Alaska over twenty years ago so I knew what to expect, but I had forgotten how remote you can get when you get away from the crowds (which can be sort of hard to do on a cruise trip). But our driver Jim filled us in on some of the local history and Eric introduced us to the preserve and talked about the wildlife. The real treat was just to sit back and absorb the character, sights, sounds, and fresh air of this wonderful place. The guides were very personable and friendly and told us all kinds of stories about Haines. We even got to see the Hammer Museum. All in all, five star service and a once in a lifetime experience. Thanks Eric, Jim, and Barbara