Bear Watching in Alaska
By Viator, April 2014
One popular spot for bear viewing in Alaska near Juneau is the Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area on Admiralty Island. The protected wildlife area is home to the highest concentration of brown bears in the world -- about 1,600 -- and you’ll be able to see them interacting, playing, catching salmon and swimming in their natural habitat.
An Exclusive Pack Creek Bear View Tour from Juneau is a great option for those who want a well-rounded experience and a knowledgeable guide. Moreover, the tour, which is available July through September, allows you to not have to worry about obtaining necessary permits. The excursion begins with a scenic floatplane ride over Alaska’s Inside Passage and Tongass National Forest to Windfall Island. From here, you’ll kayak through Windfall Harbor to the mouth of Pack Creek for a once-in-a-lifetime Grizzly watching experience.
You can also head to Admiralty Island on your own. The most inexpensive way to get to the island is via the Alaska State Ferry system to Angoon for $24 one way, although you can also take a floatplane which costs about $75. Keep in mind that during the summer you will need to obtain a permit, and they become very limited between peak season from July 5 to August 25. You can obtain a permit, which is $50 during peak season and $20 otherwise, through the Admiralty National Monument. Along with bears, visitors to Admiralty Island can view sea lions, seabirds, harbor seals, sea lions, otters, whales and Sitka black-tail deer.
Visiting Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau provides chances to view black bears, especially when hiking on the trails surrounding the natural attraction. Salmon swim in the nearby waters, so this is where you’ll likely to see them hanging out, as well as foraging in the berry bushes. Along with hiking the trails around Mendenhall Glacier you can explore it by kayaking, glacier trekking, rafting and cruising. Safety Tip: As bears are prevalent it’s a good idea to wear bear spray as well as make a lot of noise on trails so the bears know you’re there and make themselves scarce.
For an array of quintessential local experiences including bear viewing in Alaska, opt for a tour that includes an array of activities. One example is the Bears, Whales and Glaciers by Land, Sea and Air Tour from Juneau. The seven-hour excursion includes bear viewing from the comfort of a van, a scenic flight over the glaciers of the Juneau Icefield and an exciting whale-watching cruise.
Tours are also available from Anchorage, visiting the world-renowned Katmai and Lake Clark national parks. You can even camp for up to 4 nights in the park, right in the heart of bear country! It doesn't get any closer to the action than that.