Takshanuk Mountain Trail

Skagway/Haines: Takshanuk Mountain Trail

Home sweet home! I know I wrote in yesterday’s post about how it was going to be a long travel day home with getting off the ship, getting to the Vancouver airport, flying home and then the time change. Well, add to that bad weather back home leaving my plane in a holding pattern for an hour before being rerouted to Boston because we wouldn’t have enough fuel to continue to wait for the heavy rain and lightening to stop! Thankfully, we didn’t have to even de-plane in Boston (I had a fear that we’d be stuck there overnight and the last thing I wanted was to spend the night at the airport or another hotel after traveling for 12 days) we just refueled and within the hour got back in the air for the 50 minute flight home from Boston. Then, of course, it took an hour for our luggage to come out so I got home at 2:30am. It is now 4:15 am and I’m scheduling this post to go up at 8am so hopefully I’m sound asleep when this post goes live.

Why, you may ask, am I writing this blog post up at 4 in the morning after an exhausting travel day? Well, after getting home, eating, and showering, now I’ve got a second wind and thought writing this post would be a nice way to unwind before bed.

So as you may know I got onto the cruise ship last Saturday after spending 4 days in the interior of Alaska. We spent Sunday and Monday purely at sea and our first port was on Tuesday in Skagway, a very small town tucked inbetween mountains and on the sea. I titled this post “Skagway/Haines” because while we docked in Skagway, I really did not actually see Skagway or walk around the small town. The excursion my immediate family and I booked for that day was an outing on a Takshanuk Mountain trail by 4×4 in Haines. We were ferried across from Skagway to Haines with the Haines Skagway Fast Ferry and then met with the tour guides for our 4×4 adventure which was so fun!

First off, the ferry ride was great. It was about a 45 minute ride and one of the crew members talked the whole time giving us information and basically a tour of what we were seeing. By now I’m sure you know I love learning facts about an area, its culture and history so this ferry ride was fascinating to me! What is really cool though is that the ferry ride between Skagway and Haines is 45 minutes but if you were to drive it would take 7.5 hours!! Yes, you read that right – seven and a half hours. Why? Because Skagway is located on a peninsula so by road the only way to get to Haines it to drive all the way around and actually through Canada and back into Alaska. Crazy, right?

Anyway, after the ferry ride we met with our tour guides for the 4×4 adventure, they drove us by bus about 15 minutes to their site, we got into our 4×4 and headed up the mountain. The drive was so fun and scenic. About a mile up the mountain, we stopped at their lodge for some refreshments and freshly baked cookies. Then, we drove higher up the mountain and stopped for pictures at spectacular view points. Then, we drove back down to the lodge for a delicious meal – beer battered halibut, baked chicken, and more. Pictures of the food will come in my upcoming 2 part food posts featuring pictures of all the good food I ate in the past 12 days.

Arriving in Skagway
View from my state room balcony at the port in Skagway

 

Haines
Arriving in Haines after getting off the ferry

Takshanuk Mountain Trail
Takshanuk Mountain Trail  1
Takshanuk Mountain Trail  2
Takshanuk Mountain Trail 3

Takshanuk Mountain Trail 4
You can just make out the lodge in-between the trees on the left side of the picture

Takshanuk Mountain Trail 5
Takshanuk Mountain Trail - Fire Weed
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Takshanuk Mountain Trail 6
Haines 1

Haines - Bald Eagle
Spotted a Bald Eagle while on the ferry leaving Haines.

Fun fact: Haines has the highest population of bald eagles in the world! I probably saw more eagles in Alaska in the past week than in my entire life. Actually, I think I’ve only seen an eagle once or twice before this week – but this week I saw multiple each day.

The 4×4 excursion was a lot of fun and my whole family enjoyed it. My brother drove the whole time. At first, I wanted to have a turn to drive but then I decided not to because I really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to take great photos and video for my upcoming YouTube videos on this vacation. Warning, the segment of the video of this excursion might be bumpy!

If you’re in the Skagway/Haines area, I highly recommend going on the Takshanuk Mountain Trail. It’s a fun experience, the views are breathtaking, and the food is good too!

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