Skagway Chilkoot Lake Wildlife Viewing Tour to Haines

Your tour begins with a high-speed catamaran ride along the steep-walled fjords that connect Skagway to Haines. Over a dozen unnamed waterfalls drop hundreds of feet from both sides of the boat. Bald eagles and harbor seals are often seen on this journey.

Upon arrival in Haines, meet your expert naturalist guide for a drive to Chilkoot Lake State Park. This park has it all: a turquoise lake surrounded by snowy mountain peaks, a salmon-filled river flowing into the sea, and important Tlingit cultural sights. Bald eagles, harbor seals, and brown bears are often seen here.

May, June, and July feature wildflowers and eagles. Beginning in August, pink salmon - the smallest and most abundant of the Pacific salmon varieties - begin their run up the Chilkoot River to spawn. This is the best opportunity to see brown bears as they are often witnessed feeding along the banks of the river. When bears are present, every effort will be made to give you safe bear viewing. Please be advised that while bear sightings are common, they cannot be guaranteed.

As you drive through the park, your guide knows the best places to stop for scenery and the possibility of wildlife spotting. Your guide is equipped with a powerful spotting scope to bring the wildlife in close, and explain how the animals fit into the Chilkoot's complex ecosystem.

Make sure you bring your camera to take advantage of the numerous photo opportunities.

Please note: A minimum of 2 passengers is required to book. Child prices for ages under 12.

Duration: 6.5 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal.)


  • Fast Ferry fare to and from Haines on public service Catamaran Ferry.
  • Use of spotting scope.
  • Lunch: turkey sandwich on organic whole wheat bread, fruit, freshly baked cookies, water in paper cups (vegan and gluten free options available upon request) 


  • Minimum of 2 passengers required to book

Duration: 6.5 hours. Tour times below are approximate:

  • 45 minutes - fast ferry to Haines 
  • 4-5 hours - nature tour through Haines, Chilkat Valley and Chilkoot State Park 
  • 45 minutes - fast ferry to Skagway

Meeting Instructions:

  • This tour meets on the cruise ship dock. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.

ADA Accessibility of Tour:

  • This tour is limited mobility accessible. Guests must be able to climb 4 steps into and out of the bus and they need to be able to walk up and down gangways that vary depending on the tide. Guests can choose to remain in the vehicle at all stops during this tour. The ferry to and from Haines is NOT wheelchair accessible. There is limited space for collapsible wheelchairs and walkers. There is no storage available for motorized scooters. Please leave a comment during checkout if accommodations for collapsible equipment will be required on tour.

Is there a minimum number of guests?

Yes. There is a minimum of 2 guests and a maximum of 14 guests per departure.

What time does the tour run?

Our tours typically leave in the morning but vary due to the Fast Ferry schedule.

Do you meet us at our ship?

Yes, a representative will meet the guests just past security.

What are the vegan and gluten free meal options for this tour? 

Vegetarian: avocado and cheese sandwich on organic whole wheat bread

Vegan: hummus, onion, and spinach sandwich on organic whole wheat bread

Gluten free bread and cookies are available for any meal option upon request. 

Is this tour wheelchair accessible?

No. We do not have a wheelchair lift in any of our vehicles.

What should I wear while on tour?

We recommend that you dress in layers. It can be cold enough that you want a wool cap, gloves, and a jacket, or it could be so warm you will be in a T-shirt with sunscreen and sunglasses. The weather can change quickly.

What size groups are on your tours?

Our maximum group size is 14. Our typical tour has around 6-8 guests at one time. We can charter large buses for large groups with advance notice.

What kinds of vehicles do you use?

Depending on the size of the group and the tour, we utilize everything from an SUV like the Toyota Sequoia or Sienna to the 14-passenger Ford Econoline Van to the 14- passenger Airporter-style bus.

Not seeing answers to your questions?

Check out other frequently asked questions here!

Customer Reviews
Aug 2023 - Karen S.

Nice trip to Haines was informative and nice ... we saw nice wildlife but missed out on the bear!

Sep 2022 - Paul H.

Excellent tour, with the highlight being seeing bears fishing for salmon and in particular seeing a mother bear feed her cubs. The scenery was also outstanding, especially as we had wonderful weather on the day of our excursion. The guide was very well informed and good at sharing information. The transportation was also good and with the small group size of 10, it felt like this was a personal tour.

Aug 2022 - Mike N.

This was a great tour! Our tour guide, Jen was an amazing woman who shared stories of living in Alaska and made a point to know each person's name on our tour van. It was a small enough group that it felt like a private tour.

Jul 2022 - Brianna H.

Ended up being just our family. Loved our guide. Beautiful scenery. Perfect stops.

Sep 2019 - Richard F.

Our tour guide Jenn spotted us several different sightings of bears in the wild catching salmon in the river, then foraging along the shore which resulted in awesome photos and enjoyable moments simply observing wildlife in its rightful place. Beautiful place to visit for sure!

Aug 2019 - Frank S.

The guide was excellent. She was knowledgeable and a real Alaskan. Sadly there were not enough animals to make this a worthwhile excursion. There were 11 of us and we spent over 00 for this trip. We did not see any bears and only one moose from a great distance. Our guide was good in pointing out eagles and we saw about 10. However this was not enough to make this excursion worthwhile. There should be some money back if you don t see much wildlife.

Aug 2019 - DiAnna F.

The description on the website implied that the tour would be leaving a populated area in order to view wildlife. In reality, the tour van stayed on the main road along the harbor and then to the lake. I understand that people cannot dictate where animals will show up to be seen, but getting away from populated areas is usually a first step. I was disappointed to stay on the main road. The tour guide, Jen, was very informative, and offered a good mix of information and quiet viewing. Her knowledge of the area and where to see the eaglets was super! I also appreciated the simplicity of the lunch. Eating a sandwich looking at the harbor/bay was a lovely end to the tour. While I am happy to have supported a locally-owned business, I think the price and time length were inflated beyond the experience. After the first "loop" the tour felt like it dragged on for the sake of filling time until the ferry.

Aug 2019 - Cathleen S.

Lots of confusion finding the rep and meeting place. Not just for us but others in the group. The ferry ride to Haines was very nice on public transportation. We arrived in Haines and was greeted by Bruce our guide. The transportation was comfortable. There were 14 of us which is the largest group they take. We drive down the main road and stopped at two turnouts on the road. Bruce put up a spotting scope at each location. We saw an eagle nest and an eagle at these location. Bruce has been a resident in Haines for 40 years and was very knowledgeable. We then drove to a state park a few miles down the road to the lake area. The surroundings were beautiful. There were picnic tables we sat at and had a bag lunch. The lunch was a turkey sandwich, water, apple and a cookie. The lunch was prepared by a local company in town and it was delicious. We took a very short walk into the forest area and it was time to leave. Bruce said we didn't have time to see the river aspects of the tour. Our ferry ride was the high point of the trip. This trip was not worth the money it cost by any means. As another guest said to me it s a very lack luster event. Wildlife sightings not so much.

Jul 2019 - Maree M.

This was an amazing experience. We saw a bear, lots of eagles, ducks and salmon in the river. Our guide, Ashley was great. She was very knowledgeable and entertaining, we had a really good day.

Sep 2018 - Hawkee N.

We saw bears, bald eagles and mountain goat in the tour. The tour guide is local, so she is very knowledgable about Haines and its history, recent developments, neighborhoods, lifestyle.

Aug 2018 - Carol S.

Fantastic! Our guide worked very hard to make sure we saw wildlife. We saw bears, eagles, salmon, and beautiful picnic lunch with breathtaking scenery

Aug 2018 - George O.

Our guide, Jen, was just terrific. Spunky, happy, very engaging. The tour itself was a little disappointing. There just wasn't much to see. That could have been in part, due to the weather, but Haines itself is very, very small and we covered the same ground at least three times looking for wildlife, including eagles. Jen stopped several times and had us looking through a scope to see nests, etc. We had debated between this excursion and the one on the river. I think next time we'd choose that one just because there would have been more variation in what we'd be doing and seeing.

Jul 2018 - Tommy W.

Had a great tour guide that was extremely knowledgeable about the area.

Jul 2018 - Anne J.

When we arrived in Haines we were met by Dena and we had the tour to ourselves. Dena was fantastic. Knowledgeable, informative, and made the trip exceptional. Wonderful tour, wonderful day. Thank you Dena.

Jun 2018 - Michael H.

Byrne was an awesome guide. In addition to leading us to an area in which we viewed about 15 eagles, he also showed us local flora and explained uses for the plants and flowers. He showed us the town of Haines and the surrounding area, giving our the insider scoop!

Sep 2017 - Linda T.

Really enjoyed this trip. Our guide Jen was informative, pleasant, helpful and amusing. Really good day.

Sep 2017 - Alison T.

Very good guide. Enjoyed the tour

Jun 2016 - Debra T.

This is an excellent tour! Jen, our guide, is knowledgeable and friendly. The scenery is beautiful and Jen shared lots of information that helped us connect with this incredible area. I highly recommend this tour.

May 2016 - Susan S.

Jan, the tour guide was fabulous! Jan tailored the tour to three senior citizens. Her knowledge of the area was superior.

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Duration: 6.5 hours

Number of Passengers *

Adult: $217.00

Child (2-12): $197.00

Infant (Under 2): $20.00


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