Leaving daily from Juneau, Pack Creek Bear Tours takes you to check out some of Alaska’s amazing brown bears in their natural habitat. You’ll fly to either Admiralty Island or Chichagof Island, where the brown bear densities are extremely high. Each island is home to 1,500 brown bears—more bears than you’ll find in all the Lower 48 combined. And the trip is easy, with the shortest flight to see brown bears in all of Alaska.
This is immersion in bear territory: There’s no lodge or development out here, which means you won’t be fighting crowds to see these magnificent creatures. Depending on when you go, you’ll see bears and their mating displays, foraging for clams, or fishing for salmon. You might get up close to mothers teaching cubs how to catch salmon, spot sleeping bruins in grassy day beds, and wander trails stamped out by bears.
Quick Hop in a Bushplane
Your guide will meet you for an orientation and outfit you with rubber boots and gear you'll need for a day in the wilderness before the 25 - 30 minute floatplane ride with Alaska Seaplanes, a bushplane company serving remote communities throughout Southeast. Fly over turquoise coves and inlets fringed with green islands as you look for whales, eagles, and (of course) bears.
Two options with hours of bear viewing
You’ll land in a small ocean cove on Admiralty Island, within the Stan Price State Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected place for brown bears. A short quarter-mile along a rocky beach takes you to a small bluff overlooking a meadow where you can observe bears fishing in the creek or foraging along the shoreline. There is also the possibility of a one-mile hike through towering, 500-year old spruce forest to an observation tower, where you may see spawning salmon and bears. This option has you in bear habitat for about 5-6 hours (about 4 at the viewing platform).
A shorter trip to Waterfall Creek offers almost as much bear viewing time, in a lesser-known location. Chichagof Island supports thousands of salmon streams, which makes for high brown bear activity. After landing on the beach, you’ll walk a quarter-mile over easy terrain. Then you’ll spend up to three hours watching bears chase salmon in the creek–all with a roaring waterfall in the background.
Unlike some bear-viewing tours in the state, these trips are fully guided, with one guide to every five clients. You’ll learn from highly experienced naturalists who have been bringing visitors to these areas for many years. They’ll teach you why thousands of salmon return each summer to spawn, why eagles are so plentiful, and maybe even how to get the best camera shots!
Veteran wilderness guides, a short flight, and lots of brown bears make these tours an exciting new opportunity for bear viewing in the Inside Passage. You’ll get more time on the ground in world-class wilderness bear habitat.
Participants must be able to disembark from the floatplane onto a beach. For the Pack Creek trip, they must be able to walk a minimum of one mile on gravel beaches and trails. For Waterfall Creek, they must be able to walk a minimum of a quarter mile on a gravel beach. Call about restrictions for youth under age 9.