Battery Point Trailis a very accessible, mostly flat hike through woods to magnificent views across the Chilkoot Inlet at Kelgaya Point and Battery Point.
Looking across the Chilkoot Inlet of the Lynn Canal (fjord) from Kelgaya Point
Hike Difficulty: EasyThe broad, well maintained and mostly flat 1.2 mile long trail through the woods to Kelgaya Point (gravel & dirt shored up with wood in places) is hikeable nearly year round as heavy use keeps the snow pack down. There are a few short sections of steep uphill or downhill climbs; the very young or elderly may need some assistance. The trail is not wheelchair traversible. From Kelgaya Point to Battery Point is another .7 miles, a moderately difficult hike along the beach or an easy hike on the trail.
Access:From anywhere in Haines, head to the water (Front Street) and take a right. Stay on Front Street as it changes from a paved road to a gravel road and finally dead-ends in the Battery Point Trail parking lot.
Devil's Club (foreground)
Skunk Cabbage (center)
The trail winds around huge boulders that seem out of place with the surrounding landscape, a common sight in the woods around Haines. These boulders are more properly called glacial erratics and they were deposited by the glaciers that covered the entire area during the last ice age.
After about 3/4 of a mile or so you will come to a fork in the trail - keep right (marked as straight on the trail marker) to stay in the woods all the way to Kelgaya Point (easiest difficulty) or take a left to emerge onto the beach.
In the video above we take a left to walk along the beach.
The trail along the beach to Kelgaya Point is moderately more difficult than staying on the trail in the woods, particularly the first jagged rocky section before it turns into a pebble beach. The bigger rocks are deceptively slippery, covered with a layer of algae that will put you on your bottom even if they look dry.
Looking back down the beach from Kelgaya Point
A sheltered meadow on top of Kelgaya Point
Although the trail is named for the second point (Battery Point), the first point you come to is actually the primary destination for most hikers. Kelgaya Point is a rocky bluff sticking out into the water with trails winding around it and many small sheltered meadows. The long crescent beach beyond Kelgaya Point leading to Battery Point, although beautiful to look at, is a difficult hike in places across thick deposits of detritus left above the high tide line during winter storms.
The trail does continue through the woods past Kelgaya Point to Battery Point as well, but we did not go down it and I have not been on that section of the trail personally since they did major improvements to the trail system a few years ago. It used to be almost nonexistent when I was a kid growing up in the area.
My old friend Gabe stopped by my parents' house looking for us shortly after we left for this hike - he ran the trail in his flip flops to catch up with us
Wildflower seed pods on Kelgaya Point - both Kelgaya and Battery Point are covered in wildflowers
Adjusting your weather expectations
We absolutely lucked out on our recent trip to Alaska and had clear blue skies every single day of our trip. This is... not the norm, to put it mildly, even in the middle of the summer. It is far more common to see overcast grey skies. For reference, this is the same scene as the cover image of this post but shot almost exactly two years earlier (July 24th, 2016 for the photo below; July 22nd, 2018 for the cover image at the top of the post above).
This is typical southeast Alaska summer weather :) Even if you can't see the tops of the mountains it will still be a beautiful hike.
Looking at Battery Point from the far side of Kelgaya Point - July 2016
More from our recent trip to Alaska:
Dance of the Dead frogs - Valley of the Eagles Golf Course