There’s no telling how many bears might show up on a given day, and of course, we can’t make any promises, but it’s not at all unusual for our guests to have had such close encounters they go home knowing that bears smell just like big, wet dogs.
Every year, from early July into mid-August, as many as 300,000 salmon return to spawn in Anan Creek.
And that means Anan Bear & Wildlife Observatory is a smorgasbord for bears. It is also one of the few places in the world where black and brown bears share the same fishing spot.
Our Anan trips begin with an hour-long jetboat ride through the Back Channel, a scenic waterway separating Wrangell Island from the mainland. Once at the Observatory, we’re greeted by park rangers, who give a quick talk about how to act around the bears. It’s an easy to moderate half-mile walk from the beach to the viewing platform. The trail winds through the rainforest, along a lagoon on a boardwalk with steps. It’s not unusual to see bears on the trail. The viewing platform overlooks a small waterfall.
And that’s where the bears like to be, as the fish get backed up, trying to leap the falls. During the salmon run, more than a hundred bears may come to the cold waters of the creek to eat their fill, and because the bears are interested only in the fattiest parts of the fish, there’s plenty left for other animals: bald eagles, ravens, otters, harbor seals, and more.
The bears are used to people on the platform, so they simply go about their business of eating and getting fat for the winter. Bears wade into the stream, grab a fish, and then come back ashore, as if posing for photos. Our guides carry guns and pepper spray for your safety and the bear’s. There has never been an injury incident involving human and bear interactions at Anan, however we don’t recommend this tour for children under 7. Please call for more information.
Anan price 2017: $285 per person plus 7% tax. Includes permits, guides and water/soda. Does not include lunch or gratuities. Lunch can be ordered in the reservation cart.
We encourage our clients to behave in a bear savvy manner: