Haines Junction is a village of about 800 people in the Yukon Territories of Canada. It is located along the Alaska Highway and the junction of the Haines Highway. The Haines area was used for thousands of years as a trade centre between the Southern Tutchone and the coastal Tlingit natives because it served as the link between the coast and the interior. The town itself was founded in the early 1940s during the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Haines Highway, and served as a construction camp and supply centre.
Today, Haines Junction remains a village whose economy is dependent on transportation, serving the needs of travelers along the two highways. It is also a tourist village, playing the role of gateway to the Kluane National Park. This park is a magnificently beautiful wilderness, home to alpine meadows and some of Canada’s highest mountains including Mount Logan at 5,950 meters. The park also boasts the world’s most extensive non-polar icefields, which cover the bulk of the park and have been around since the last ice age. In the summer, the glaciers melt into the lower valley, creating rivers and hanging valleys.
Traversing through the wilderness are some 250 kilometers of trails, which together give hikers the means to explore the park and go on day and night trips.
Wildlife is found throughout Kluane, including moose, grizzly bears, trout and salmon in the lakes and rivers, and the rare peregrine falcon. Mountain climbers should register with the Warden Service before attempting any climbs. Only experienced climbers are permitted to scale the mountains.
Kluane National Park can be reached by car, but like the rest of the Yukon may be reached best by airplane charter. Upon arrival, arrangements can be made with professional guides and outfitters in town. Much of the park, however, is remote, so bringing a compass and map is advised.
“Haines Junction.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haines_Junction>
Simpkins, Mary Ann. Canada. New York: Prentice Hall Travel, 1994. ISBN: 0671882783.
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