Margaret Creek (Traitor's Cove): Blackies are the Most Popular Visitors

Getting There

Located 26 miles north of Ketchikan in Margaret Bay/Traitors Cove, this area is accessible only by floatplane (20 minutes) or boat. Just be aware that the boat is considerably slower (at least 1 hour), and the ride can be rough.

The Bears

This spot is a bit unusual; it’s a salmon-rich stream, but attracts only black bears. Most salmon streams are dominated by brown bears, so this is a great opportunity to see black bears feasting on fish. Steelhead, coho, sockeye, and pink salmon move upstream through a fish ladder here, which constricts the fish run and makes fishing easy for the bears. You may see up to 10 bears at one time.

The Viewing Situation

Float planes or boats will drop you at a dock, and from there it’s a 1¼ -mile walk. The first mile is on old logging roads, and the last ¼ mile is on trail. When walking, use caution and make noise so you don’t surprise any bears. A platform that can accommodate 14 people sits next to the stream and at the top of the fish ladder. Most of the 2,000 summer visitors to this spot use a guiding service, but as long as you have access to a boat, you can visit here independently. And if you do come on your own, you need to be very familiar with travel in bear country. Two Forest Service Rangers work in the area, but they aren’t always at the platform. Only six companies (listed below) are permitted to guide here, but independent travelers don’t need a permit.


August 1-Sept 15


Floatplane or boat


Getting There

Latitude: 55.6839
Longitude: -131.5944
Driving Directions