The Haines Junction area offers recreational opportunities for all age groups and abilities. Stroll along the Dezadeash River Trail near town or take a sightseeing trip into the heart of the St. Elias Mountains. There are many outdoor activities available depending on the season. The most popular include rafting, fishing, cross-country skiing and dog sledding. You must register with park staff for all overnight trips into the Kluane Park and Reserve.
Choose a public or private campground and stay for a few days. The nearby Pine Lake Campground has a beach and playground and you can launch a boat to fish for lake trout and northern pike. Kathleen Lake Campground and Dezadeash Lake Campground are on the scenic Haines Road. The Kathleen Lake Day Use area has a picnic area and boat launch and a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk trail.
The spectacular mountains you are approaching are part of Kluane National Park and Reserve of Canada. This dynamic landscape is dominated by soaring mountain peaks, massive glaciers, sediment-choked rivers and verdant valleys home to a diverse array of wildlife. Ask at the Kluane National Park and Haines Junction Visitor Centre about the many maintained trails that lead into the Park or, during the winter, join a snowmobile excursion into the snowy mountain passes outside the Park.
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Ancestors of the Champagne and Aishihik people have lived for thousands of years in this beautiful land. Traditional First Nation travel routes crisscross the area to converge at camps near good hunting and fishing spots.
The Tatshenshini River (Shäwshe Chù) was a major traditional hunting and fishing area and large fish camps were established at Shäwshe and Neskatahin. Trails to this region led past Kathleen Lake (Mät'atäna Män) where strong winds made crossing the lake very dangerous. Several fishing camps were located on Dezadeash Lake (Titl’àt Män) where spring fishing was done through holes in the ice. The hills around Kusawa Lake (Näkhü Män) were hunting grounds for the large herds of caribou that lived in this region until very recently.
Before the Alaska Highway was constructed in the 1940s, the present site of Haines Junction was known to the Champagne and Aishihik people as Dakwäkäda, or “high cache” place. After the highway was completed, the Champagne and Aishihik people set up permanent residences in Haines Junction and Champagne.
The Southern Tutchone people have an unbroken ancestral connection to the region and remain stewards of the land. Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Kluane First Nation and Parks Canada cooperatively manage Kluane National Park and Reserve.