Have you ever kissed a reindeer? You’ll do that and meet a variety of other wildlife residents at the Kroschel Wildlife Center. Located just 38 miles from Haines and off the Haines Highway, take Mosquito Lake Road all the way to one of the most acclaimed preservation, conservation and wildlife education centers in the country. (The ferry ride to Glacier Bay is also nearby, so you can double down on your outings!).

Tours are available, including featured personal encounters with 15+ difference species. These can include grizzly bears and wolves (don’t worry, it’s not too close!), the snowy owl, foxes, lynx cats and of course, the holiday reindeer. The reindeer are especially popular in December, and giving their velvety noses a kiss is a tradition for many Haines residents.

A Walk on the Wild Side

From the wolverine to the porcupine, this is where you can see Alaska’s impressive wildlife in their natural habitats. There are special tours available for photographers, and easy walking trails along 600 groomed pathways. Visitors of all ages are welcomed. In the gift shop, you’ll find one of a kind treasures just in time for the holiday season.

Choose from handmade arts and crafts to keepsake items for yourself, friends, family and loved ones. Although many tour operations are closed during the winter months, Kroschel’s stays open because the furry and feathered residents need year-round care. Visit the wildlife center and take a selfie or two with some of Alaska’s wildest citizens.