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A passport or passport card is required for this trip. While we never cross the Canadian/US border, the downhill ride on Klondike Highway out of Skagway passes through US customs without entering Canada due to the locations of the customs stations being offset from the actual border.
Arrive on your own into Haines, AK in the afternoon. You can take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry or a regional flight on Alaska Seaplanes from Juneau, Alaska. After checking in at our hotel, we have an afternoon bike fitting and orientation, followed by a 20-mile out-and-back ride to Chilkoot Lake. The mostly flat route serves up great views along the fjord, with mountains all around as we start our four-day tour. This area is covered with stands of Sitka Spruce, buzzing with the calls of native birds. And if we're lucky we might catch a glimpse of a bear or two! We return to freshen up before our evening meal together. Dinner included.
Cycling: 22 miles. Elevation gain/loss +1,652’ / -1,652’.
After an early breakfast we depart for a ride along the Haines Highway. Our route passes through a portion of the 48,000-acre Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, which serves as a wildlife corridor from the coast to interior Alaska. The preserve also provides the perfect year-round home for 200-400 bald eagles and is considered one of the best locations to watch the majestic birds in the Inside Passage. We’ll take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch near the village of Klukwan, home of the Tlinglit people. If the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center is open, we’ll step inside to learn more about the journey the Chilkat Indian Village Tribal Government have taken to rebuild and restore their culture heritage and precious clan treasures. After lunch we hop back in the saddle and continue our journey along the Chilkat River and its tributary: the Klehini River. Our final destination is the U.S. - Canada border where we stretch our legs before hopping on our shuttle back to Haines. Dinner is on your own, with many walkable and bikeable options. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: 40 miles. Duration: 5 hours; Elevation gain / loss + 2,641 / -1,926’; Van transfer: 1 hour.
Our destination today is the city of Skagway, Alaska. With a rich cultural history and idyllic natural setting, Skagway is a favorite destination for visitors to the Inside Passage. After a 1-hour ferry ride from Haines to Skagway we hop on the gravel road out of town and pedal towards Dyea, once a boomtown during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890’s. Along its tidal flats we see scores of aquatic birds: herons, eagles, seagulls, terns and many more. We’ll also keep an eye out for other wildlife as we ride through what ecologists consider a “biodiversity hot spot”. After a great day on our bikes, we’ll gather at Skagway Brewing Company for dinner and great conversation. All meals included.
Cycling: 21 miles. Elevation gain/loss +1,794’ / -1,794’; Ferry transfer: 1 hour.
After a hearty breakfast we’ll grab our passports and head out for an exhilarating downhill ride down the Klondike Highway. While we won’t technically cross the Canadian border, the unique off-set-from- the-border proximity of the US customs station means we’ll be required to show our passports in route. Our ride along the highway parallels the route prospectors followed during the Klondike Gold Rush. It’s easy to imagine the brutal physical and mental toll those hardy individuals must have faced back in 1898. After our 15-mile descent into coastal rainforest and back into Skagway we’ll bid our new friends goodbye. There are multiple flights connecting to Juneau in the afternoon, and depending on ferry schedules, possibly a later option to take the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry to Juneau. Breakfast included.
Cycling: 14 miles. Elevation gain/loss +155’ / -3,442’; Van transfer: 20 minutes.