Welcome to Pack Creek Bear Tours
A Partnership of Alaska Seaplanes, Juneau and Kootznoowoo Inc., Angoon
June Update In May we experienced some incredible bear viewing, including a sow with 2 new spring cubs, and five large boars at different times engaged in various courtship and mating behavior. See our new Facebook page for some recent photos. As expected, bear activity at the estuary has slowed considerably in June. We are expecting migrating salmon to return to the area in early July, with bear numbers picking up by the end of June. Though our limited Pack Creek permits are largely sold out from mid-July to mid-August, we have added a second very popular bear viewing tour option during the peak of the summer salmon runs. Please check out our Waterfall creek tour, which runs daily starting in mid-July. Both areas should remain strong for bear viewing through the first two weeks of September.
With a private naturalist-guide in our own 6-seat aircraft, we operate some of the most personalized trips in all of Alaska! We place a high premium on not just taking you to see bears in the wild, but on the entire experience of exploring wilderness Alaska in a small group. Explore this website, or contact us with your questions: call 907-209-5432; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reservations for the 2016 season are available online under the Reserve tab. Trips will operate to Pack Creek daily from May 5-September 15, with a “vacation” from June 10-25; this is the only period, in our experience, in which chances of seeing strong bear activity at low elevation do not warrant a planned visit. However, May is a fascinating time to come, as bears emerge from hibernation ready to feed, mate, and raise their new young. (See the video link below, which was filmed in May.) Waterfall Creek is reliably teeming with salmon from July 15-August 31, when we plan daily late afternoon tours that put us ashore for 3+ hours of evening light and active bear feeding.
See below for a description of a typical bear tour from Juneau. For prices, availability and reservations, click here or in the box above.
May is mating season at Pack Creek! Click the short video link below to see a medium-sized boar on the prowl during one of our trips last May, approaching an older female. Also watch footage of our float plane flight and disembarking onto the beach, which gives you a good idea of a typical tour. (Well, maybe not always so sunny.) The other medium-sized male in the video is our manager Ken, also looking a little grizzled.
Overview of a Bear Watching Tour from Juneau
Your journey to the wilderness on either of our bear watching tours will begin at the Alaska Seaplanes counter inside the Juneau Airport where you will be met by your trip leader, an experienced wilderness guide and naturalist. Our guides are all Alaskan residents, and all have many years, and in some cases decades, of guiding experience throughout Alaska. They know bear country!
After introductions, your guide will review the day’s itinerary, give you a briefing on what to expect when you arrive on the beach, and orient you with maps showing first all of Alaska, then the Tongass National Forest, and then the specific flight route we will be taking from Juneau. After the briefing, you will be fitted with knee-high rubber boots (necessary for disembarking from the floatplane to the beach) and proceed to your aircraft. We can also loan you a day pack, water bottle, extra socks, rain gear, trekking poles, and excellent Vortex compact binoculars. You do not need to bring any food or snacks, but if you do, your guide will pack them in our food bag. Personal items, including wallets and purses, can be left in our secure outfitting room inside the airport.
You will then board a classic Alaska bush plane operated by Alaska Seaplanes for the 20-25 minute flight to Admiralty or Chichagof Island. Along the way, your guide will point out the topography and natural features seen out the window. We often see whales or bears from the air! Your aircraft will land on the water and taxi to the beach where you will offload. Your pilot and guide will be on hand to assist you out of the plane onto the stable float, and then taking 1-2 steps in calf-high water to get ashore. This is when our rubber boots earn their keep, but be careful not to step on star fish!
Once ashore, you can change into your own hiking boots or remain in our rubber boots (depending on weather). Bears can be seen at any time, although usually we will walk several hundred yards to the best viewing area. Lunch is always eaten onshore near the plane drop-off beach. Bathroom break? No problem – we call them “bio breaks” and we do what the bears do. Your guide carries all needed supplies.
At the end of the tour, your pilot and plane will return for the flight back to Juneau. Your guide will escort you back to our outfitting room to change foot wear, retrieve any personal belongings you left behind, and perhaps exchange Facebook or email addresses to facilitate sharing of photos and stories from the day!
Yacht and Charter Boat Services
If you are traveling by private yacht or chartering a boat through the Inside Passage, Pack Creek Bear Tours can also fly to your vessel and bring you to Pack Creek, or to one of many other salmon watersheds on the ABC Islands of Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof where some of the highest densities of brown bear can be found anywhere in the world. We can also provide a naturalist-guide to stay on board your vessel for one or more days to provide natural history interpretation, guide a sea kayak outing, or take your family or group ashore to explore bear country wherever you are anchored.
For information, call 907-209-5432 or click here to view our Yacht/Film page.