This is both the standard route and the easiest route to the summit of Shakuseyi Peak. The trail is in good condition, but it is very steep at times, gaining almost 4000 feet elevation in 3.2 miles. Part of the trail is a little brushy, but that section is very short-lived.
Cathedral Spires from not far above the Sevenmile Saddle Trailhead.
From Haines, drive the Haines Highway (or bike or take a taxi) 6.8 miles northwest to the trailhead on the right (north) side of the road. Park at one of the pullouts near the trailhead.
View of Mount Emmerich and the Cathedral Spires from not far below Sevenmile Saddle.
From the trailhead, the trail immediately gets down to business and starts switch-backing up the mountain. The trail is steep in places, but is well constructed and in good condition.
The trail passes through some huge trees and mostly stays in the timber until the Sevenmile Saddle. Along the way, occasional views open up and there is one short section that is brushy. As of June 2011, the brush is minor and easy to pass through.
The short brushy section on the Sevenmile Saddle Route. The brush isn't sharp, so it's not bad.
Sevenmile Saddle (with water and some fine campsites) is reached after 1.9 miles (2585’ elevation gain). From here on, the spectacular views really open up. The trail is a bit easier after the saddle, but is often covered in snow in places until at least mid-summer.
From here on, the route to Shakuseyi Peak is highly visible and your objective is in front of you the entire way. Shakuseyi Peak is 1.3 miles and just over 1300 feet above Sevenmile Saddle. Enjoy the spectacular views from the summit!
If it is still early enough, consider the Shakuseyi Peak to Mount Ripinski Traverse.
Descending to Sevenmile Saddle after climbing Shakuseyi Peak.
A good pair of boots is needed. Southeast Alaska is notorious for bad weather, so make sure to go prepared for that.