PACK CREEK BEAR TOUR
Operated in partnership with Alaska Seaplanes Adventures and Above & Beyond Alaska
Visit the Home of the Bears
Explore the home of the Alaskan brown bear on a wilderness Alaska bear eco-tour adventure from Juneau.
Join an intimate small group and an expert guide at one of the premiere Alaskan brown bear viewing sites. A short, scenic seaplane flight from Juneau. Small group trips, maximum groups size of 5. Children under 9 may not join this tour.
Come explore Admiralty Island, or “Fortress of the Bears,” where we hope to observe these amazing animals in their wilderness home. Follow in the bear’s footprints as you walk the shoreline and forest trails. Look out over the meadow, where the creek meets the sea. Come to the home of the iconic Alaskan brown bear.
We visit Admiralty Island with grateful thanks to the Tlingit village of Angoon for allowing us to share this part of their homeland with you.
Why Pack Creek
- Excellent chances to view and photograph brown bears. Pack Creek is one of the most reliable places to see brown bears in southeast Alaska. Bears begin using Pack Creek in May for foraging and courtship. Activity tends to be slower in June and early July before picking up Mid-Late July through August. We often see reliable bear activity into early September.
- Wilderness experience. Visitation is limited to no more than 24 people per day during the peak season. We will walk along cobble beaches to a grassy meadow where the creek meets the tide. There is an optional 2-mile trail through the old-growth forest to an observation platform higher up on the creek.
- Seaplane flight over Kootznoowoo, the Admiralty Island National Monument and Wilderness.
- 5 Hours on the ground provides time for wildlife activity to unfold.
- Intimate small group experience guided by professional naturalists with years of experience in the Alaskan wilderness. Maximum group size of 5. Minimum age of 9.
- Fully outfitted, with rubber boots, rain gear, binoculars, and healthy lunch with snacks.
- Trips May 10 – September 15. No regularly scheduled trips June 10-25. Call for special arrangements.
ADD ON: Bears and Glaciers
Groups of 5: Add Glacier Flightseeing to Pack Creek for an additional $149 person
Call (907)209-5432 to book
Additional $149 person
Take the scenery up a notch and add glaciers to your Pack Creek experience. Our full bear viewing experience with a scenic detour for glacier flightseeing. We only make this option available to groups of 5, as we need everyone on the trip to cover the additional flight costs! Flying to Pack Creek takes us along a similar route as our glacier flightseeing, so it’s a fairly short detour to add even more outstanding scenery.
- Meet your guide for orientation and outfitting
- The full Pack Creek experience
- Scenic glacier flight en route to Pack Creek
- Add on available to groups of 5.
The Pack Creek Need to Know
- Trip starts at the airport one hour prior to scheduled flight time for an orientation with the guide. You may arrange a complimentary downtown pick up by request one and a half hours prior to flight time.
- Flight time is 25-30 minutes via seaplane. Guests should be able to board and deplane a small airplane, climbing up and down the ladder, walk along the float and step into the water with minimal assistance.
- Your guide is there to help facilitate the day and share their experience. They will help your group make a plan that balances everyone’s needs and desires, while helping the group stay safe, following appropriate protocols for the area, and avoid displacing bears. The guide will do their best to provide you will options for your time based on their experience and judgement.
- Once we arrive, we’ll be outside the entire time. Typically we are on the ground for approximately 5 hours. Disembarking from the seaplane requires walking down the float and stepping down onto shore with assistance. Expect to walk a quarter mile over challenging terrain to get to and from the primary viewing spot. Pack Creek Tour may involve up to 3 miles total walking on a moderate trail.
- We will spend most of our time seated, quiet, and still. This will enhance opportunities for seeing bears, however, there is no guarantee of any particular sighting.
- Bears may (or may not) be seen at any time while ashore. Your guide will help direct you to the best places to see bears. These are wild animals. Flexibility and a positive mental attitude are essential! There are no fences or walkways separating us from the bears and we may encounter bears at close distances though this is not common. Your guide will carry non-lethal deterrent, give guidance to the group in the event of a close encounter, and instruct you in bear safety protocols. While we do occasionally have close encounters, our goal is for the bears to ignore us and engage in their natural behaviors.
- The minimum age for our bear trips is nine. We find that the trip is generally not appropriate for children. Visiting Pack Creek often requires extended time spent sitting still and being quiet. There are not opportunities for kids to move freely or explore on their own.
- While there are no physical bathrooms, there are opportunities to relive yourself outside. Your guide carries sanitary equipment and can instruct you in the protocol.
- We put our primary focus on a personalized, small-group experience. Our guides are deeply knowledgeable about bears, salmon and the Alaskan forest. We are confident you’ll enjoy your time exploring the wilderness with them.
- We operate with a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. We are an equal opportunity provider.
Pack Creek SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Bear Viewing May – September
- May is a special month at Pack Creek. Bears are descending from hibernation high on the mountainsides down to the beach and estuary to gorge on giant clams at low tide and to graze on nutritious grasses and sedge grasses.
- Late May through early June is a great time for bear viewing. This is courtship/mating season; when we may see the larger males in pursuit of females, but also when sows with new cubs are at their most wary.
- By the middle of June bears head into the forest and mountain slopes for newly emerging vegetation, and although we often still can observe bears in mid-June, the chances of good viewing decrease such that we do not offer tours June 11-25.
- Through June there may be a few regular bears that continue to use the area. While bears may be seen in June, this is the slowest time for bear activity.
- July bears begin congregating at Pack Creek in anticipation of the salmon returns. The chum salmon usually arrive into Pack Creek during the second week of July, followed by pink salmon. This food draws bears to Pack Creek. Adult females and sows with cubs are very common, as are juvenile and sub-adults who have been raised at Pack Creek and are very comfortable with the low level of human presence.
- In Late-July and August This is prime time for bear viewing, when salmon are running up Pack Creek. We often see multiple bears in a day at both Waterfall Creek and Pack Creek. We typically observe bears engaged in salmon fishing and moving around avoiding conflict with other bears.
- Early September can stay strong for viewing activity at Pack Creek, as long as there are fish in the creek. Bears hang around to gorge on the remaining salmon run before starting to head into the mountains to eat berries at higher elevation and to prepare for hibernation.
- Mid September there may still be bears at Pack Creek, but by this time fall weather makes flying difficult and most bears are leaving the creek for the alpine.