Chilkoot Wilderness and Wildlife Viewing Tour from Skagway

Wildlife & Wilderness Excursion in Haines from Skagway, Alaska
Excursion Highlights:
  • Experience the majesty of Chilkoot Lake State Park, home to stunning snowy mountain peaks, a turquoise lake, and wildlife
  • Enjoy a high-speed catamaran ride through steep-walled fjords from Skagway to Haines, with waterfalls dropping hundreds of feet on both sides
  • Benefit from an expert naturalist guide who knows the best spots for scenic views and potential wildlife spotting
  • Capture unforgettable photos of wildflowers in bloom and possibly brown bears feeding along the riverbanks
  • Explore the charming downtown area of Haines, depending on the ferry schedule
Price: $272.00
Choose Options My Cruise Itinerary
Shore Excursion Size ? Small
Shore Excursion Type Scenic, Active
Shore Excursion Duration 6 Hours 30 Minutes
Activity Level ? Moderate
Shore Excursion Leaves From ? If you are arriving by cruise ship, this tour departs from the three cruise ship piers in Skagway. If you are staying in a hotel in Skagway, the tour meets just outside the hotel. Please enter your ship or lodging location above.
Food/Beverage Provided A turkey sandwich on organic whole wheat bread, fruit, and a freshly baked cookie are included. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are available with advance notice.
Recommended Dress For all tours in Alaska, we recommend dressing in layers with the top layer being waterproof. Sensible walking shoes that may get wet are also suggested. Please bring a reusable water bottle as water refills will be provided periodically throughout the tour.
Restrictions Tour is not wheelchair accessible. There is walking over uneven terrain, and steps to board transportation.

Chilkoot Wilderness and Wildlife Viewing Tour

Escape the bustling crowds of Skagway and venture to Chilkoot Lake State Park in Haines for a more serene experience. Upon reaching Haines, meet your naturalist guide to embark on a small-group driving tour through the picturesque and wildlife-abundant Chilkoot Lake State Park.

Commence your journey with a captivating 45-minute ride aboard a 100-passenger shuttle catamaran, navigating the steep-walled fjord linking Skagway to Haines. As you cruise, be enchanted by the spectacle of over a dozen unnamed waterfalls cascading hundreds of feet from the towering cliffs lining the sea. Take in the breathtaking scenery, and keep an eye out for harbor seals sunning themselves on the rocks and bald eagles gracefully perched in the pine trees. Wildflowers bloom profusely in May, June, and July, while bald eagles nest along the verdant river. The pink salmon flow up the Chilkoot River to spawn starts in August. Pink salmon are the smallest and most common variety of Pacific salmon. This is the best opportunity to see brown bears as they are often witnessed feeding along the banks of the river. Bring your camera so you can take advantage of all the photo opportunities.

Upon arrival in Haines, rendezvous with your guide and step onto a comfortable vehicle for a scenic half-hour drive to Chilkoot Lake State Park. This park offers a splendid combination of natural wonders- from a turquoise lake encircled by snow-capped mountain peaks to a river teeming with salmon that merges into the sea, all complemented by significant Tlingit cultural sites.

In the months of May, June, and July, immerse yourself in the vibrant wildflower display while eagles diligently care for their young in nests. Transitioning into late July, witness the river come alive with migrating salmon, drawing harbor seals upstream for the spawning ritual. By early August through late September, the salmon surge attracts brown bears, enhancing the likelihood of captivating bear sightings along the river. Your knowledgeable guide, adept in identifying prime locations for both scenery and safe wildlife observation, ensures an enriching experience. Additional binoculars are provided for your convenience throughout the tour. If wildlife is spotted, the guide halts the vehicle, sets up a potent spotting scope for everyone's use, and provides insights into the animal's behavior while prioritizing safety. The region is adorned with pristine nature and stunning scenery, though it's essential to note that wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

Your guide will assist in identifying the diverse vegetation and flowers, providing insights into the Ice Age geology of the area and illustrating the interconnectedness within the Chilkoot's rainforest ecosystem. Don't forget your camera to capture the myriad photo-worthy moments. Enjoy a delightful lunch as you make your way back to Haines. Board the Fast Ferry bound for Skagway, concluding your expedition with memories of an unforgettable adventure etched in your mind.

Please Note: Brown bear sightings are not expected before the salmon run begins in August. While this tour goes through prime wildlife habitat, it's important to note that wildlife sightings, including brown bears, cannot be guaranteed.