Chilkat River

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Quick Facts


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.

Heads at Chilkat Glacier, in Coast Mountains in British Columbia, flows south and southwest to head of Chilkat Inlet 1 mile southwest of Haines and 18 miles south-southwest of Skagway, St. Elias Mountains; 52 miles long.
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.

Named by the Russians for the Chilkat tribe of Tlingit Indians living in this region. The Indian name "Tschilkathin" was reported by Aurel and Arthur Krause (1883, map).
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).


Pictures of, from, or near Chilkat River.


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    Chilkat River is a good river for a relaxing float through amazing country. The further up the river you can get the better it gets.

    Zachary Sheldon
    Zachary Sheldon
    February 28, 2018

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