Chilkat River


  • Description

    Getting There
    You can drive to Haines Haines or to Haines from Skagway or Juneau. Haines sits along the Chilkat River, and the Haines Highway follows the river for approximately 25 miles before crossing over it.

    Road access further up the river can be obtained by driving down Mosquito Lake Road. Just past the right turn down to Mosquito Lake itself, there is a dirt road leading up to the left. Follow that to drive along the Chilkat until it turns and goes west along the Kelsall River.

    Chilkat River heads at Chilkat Glacier, and flows south and southwest 52 miles to the head of Chilkat Inlet, in upper Lynn Canal, one mile southwest of Haines.

    The Chilkat River passes through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, one of if not the largest Bald Eagle gatherings in the world. Each November the town of Haines holds the Bald Eagle Festival attracting people and photographers from all around the world.

    Chilkat River is a popular fishing destination, so much that during autumn holidays many Canadians drive down from Whitehorse, Canada to fish its waters. The river is also popular for summer rafting float trips and jet boat tours.

    Chilkat Tlingits still live along the shores of the Chilkat River, most in the village of Klukwan, located 25 miles outside of Haines, along the Haines Highway.

    Naming The Chilkat River was named by Russians for Chilkat tribe of Tlingit natives that live along the river. The Tlingit name "Tschilkathïn" was reported by Aurel and Arthur Krause (1883, map).

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