Alaska Bald Eagle Festival
The annual Alaska Bald Eagle Festival takes place in Haines during the second week of November at the peak of the largest congregation of eagles in the world. Drawn by a late run of chum and coho salmon, some 2,000 to 4,000 eagles converge on the Chilkat River Valley every fall. This fascinating natural phenomenon inspires a week-long celebration of America’s national bird.
A Visit to Eagle Paradise
The festival attracts photographers from all over the world, along with families and travelers who simply find eagles fascinating and seek the unique experience of viewing dozens of birds in a single glance. Hosted by the non-profit American Bald Eagle Foundation, the festival features transportation from Haines to prime eagle viewing spots about 20 miles from town inside the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Visitors will also find live raptor demonstrations, educational programs, guided hikes, live music, games, a gala fundraiser and other events. It’s a great way to meet locals and spend time in a small Alaska community during one of its beloved annual celebrations.
Festival Planning Tips
- Check out our guide to the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve for advice and an overview.
- America’s national bird thrives throughout Alaska. Here’s a primer to bald eagle viewing in the Last Frontier.
- With its Gold Rush roots and great access to wild country, Haines has many things to do.
- A directory of places to stay in Haines.
For More Information:
Haines connects to the North American road system via the Haines Highway—only 40 miles from Canada and 130 miles from Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. Still, driving from Anchorage is a major trip—about 750 miles or 14 hours. Many people take a 4.5-hour ferry from Juneau or a 45-minute ferry from Skagway. The town has regular airline service, usually from Juneau, with easy connections to Anchorage. Located at the head of Lynn Canal, one of the longest and deepest fiords in Alaska, the community of about 1,700 is known for its roots to Alaska’s pioneer past as well as its rich Alaska Native heritage.