Bald eagles have a safe home at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Created in 1982, the huge park protects the world’s largest collection of bald eagles and their habitat.
Natural salmon runs are also protected in the preserve, where the Chilkat, Kleheni, and Tsirku Rivers meet.
For the best views of the eagles, head to the Haines Highway by the river flats surrounding the Chilkat River. To ensure the eagles aren’t spooked by your presence, stay off the river flats themselves and keep to the area near the highway.
From October to February, the eagles are attracted to the wetlands by the spawning salmon. During these months around 3,000 bald eagles have been known to stay at the preserve; the number of year-round inhabitants is between 200 and 400.
As well as eagle viewing, a visit to the preserve might take you river rafting on the Chilkat River to spot beavers, brown bears, moose and waterbirds.
The Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is north of Haines on the Chilkat River. The park extends over 48,000 acres (19,200 hectares) of river flats.