Private Brown Bear Viewing & Kayak

Trip Details

2016 Cost: 1-5 people = $3,445 per outing, 6-10 people = $6,890 per outing

Trip Duration: Approximately 8 hours roundtrip

Book 1-5 People
Book 6-10 People
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What to Expect

Highlights: Flight Seeing, Bear Viewing, Sea Kayaking, Hiking

Areas you can cross off your bucket list are:
Admiralty Island, Flying In A Floatplane, Remote Kayaking, Alaska Brown Bear Viewing


Explore the Brown Bears and Coastline of Admiralty with your own Private Guide!

Exclusive permits held with the Forest Service – space is very limited so book early!

This trip explores the Admiralty coast and temperate rainforest at either Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor, two  world-class wildlife viewing destinations that provide protected habitat for brown bears while affording visitors a unique opportunity to view and photograph wildlife.  This area in the heart of the Kootznowoo Wilderness of Admiralty Island is also well-known for its calm waters, solitude, and untouched old growth temperate rain forest.

The native Tlingit’s of Southeast Alaska  call Admiralty Island “Kootznoowoo,” which translates to “Fortress of the Bears;” aptly named for the estimated 1,800 brown bears residing on the island.  The island is considered to have one of the highest brown bear and nesting bald eagle population densities on the planet! Additionally, seals and humpback whales ply the waterways, Sitka black-tailed deer silently stalk through the woods, mink and marten bound along the shoreline, and the cries of loons haunt Admiralty’s coast and interior lakes.  This is truly one of Southeast Alaska’s gemstones.

The full day adventure begins with a 20-30 minute scenic float plane flight to Admiralty Island.  From our Wilderness landing site we collect  our stored kayaks and, following a safety briefing, enjoy a remote sea kayak along the tranquil coastline to Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor.  Once on shore next few hours are spent with activities including: observing brown bears and  learning about their habitat and behavior, stretching our legs on a hike through the old growth forest, watching salmon swim upstream to their spawning grounds, and taking in the scenic grandeur of the entire ecosystem while enjoying lunch on the beach.  As the time for our return flight nears we will load back into the kayaks and paddle back to our initial landing site.  After storing our kayaks and collecting our gear our taxi, in the form of a float plane, announces its arrival with a dull roar that echoes off of the surrounding mountains.  Following the return flight  a van awaits us at the float plane base and brings you back to your ship or local accommodations with photos to share with friends, an increased appreciation of wilderness solitude, and memories to last a lifetime.

Flightseeing  –  Sea Kayaking  –  Hiking  –  Brown Bear Viewing

Enjoy Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor on Admiralty Island with just your group.  Booking our Private Admiralty Brown Bear Viewing & Kayak allows us the flexibility to cater the trip to your pace, ability, interests and available time.  Common reasons to request a private trip include: 

  • Requests to spend more time at a particular location

  • More time out on the island depending on flight availability and group time constraints

  • Groups with children between the ages of 6 and 12

  • More of a one-on-one environment with your guide

  • Groups that prefer to fly directly into Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor due to time constraints or limited physical abilities

Brown Bear Viewing at Pack Creek

Clients and their guide take a scenic flight via float plane over Douglas Island, across Stephens Passage, and into Seymour Canal where they are dropped off at Windfall Island. After a short kayak safety briefing the group will paddle approximately 1 mile to Pack Creek where there are two primary bear-viewing areas. The most accessible is a sandy spit of land right at the mouth of the creek where the bears love to fish and a short beach hike from where floatplanes land and boats tie up. The other viewing area is a bit more challenging, but worth the beautiful one mile trail that leads through an old-growth temperate rain forest to an observation tower. The tower has room for eight people and is an excellent place to watch bears as they pass directly below you.

Brown Bear Viewing at Windfall Harbor

Within a few miles of Pack Creek is the bear sanctuary of Windfall Harbor. Clients and their guides enjoy the same flight path as above. The group is dropped off to the north of Windfall Harbor at Staunch Point on Admiralty Island where we have another set of kayaks stored. It is an approximate 5 mile roundtrip kayak into Windfall Harbor along the remote coastline of Admiralty Island looking for bears while also keeping watch for marine wildlife. Windfall Harbor is more remote and rugged than Pack Creek lacking designated wildlife viewing structures. You will be in true bear country and our guides know of several locations to pull kayaks ashore for scenic breaks and bear viewing.

 

Trip Activities: Flightseeing by Floatplane, Sea Kayaking, Hiking, Brown Bear Viewing

Trip Rating: Easy to Moderate

Sample Itinerary for Pack Creek:

  • 30 minutes – Van transport to Ward Air
  • 30 minutes – Gear fitting & check in at Ward Air
  • 20 minutes – Floatplane flight
  • 1.5 hours – Orientation & kayak
  • 3-4 hours – Bear Viewing
  • 1 hour – Kayak back to pick up site & put away gear
  • 20 minutes – Floatplane flight to Juneau
  • 30 minutes – Van transport to drop off locations

 

  • Cost: 1-5 people = $3,445, 6-10 people = $6,890

  • Trip Duration: ~8 hours roundtrip

  • Bucket List: Admiralty Island, Flying In A Floatplane, Remote Kayaking in Alaska Brown Bear Viewing

  • Trip Activities: Flight Seeing, Bear Viewing, Sea Kayaking, Hiking

  • Trip Rating: Easy to Moderate – no experience necessary

  • Age Requirements:

    • Minimum = 6 years old

    • Maximum = None, however unless booking a private trip you must be able to meet all of the minimum fitness requirements

  • Minimum Fitness Requirements: Fit enough to paddle 3 miles roundtrip (8 miles for Windfall Harbor) and walk approximately one mile. Private trips can be scheduled to fly directly to Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor.  In this case, the paddling fitness requirements would not be required, but the walking would.

  • USFS Location Map, USFS Pack Creek MapABAK Pack Creek Map

  • Pack Creek Zoological Assessment  – Interesting zoological information about the Pack Creek area that includes excellent maps beginning on page 66

  • Professional Guide

  • USFS Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor Permit

  • Binoculars and a Spotting Scope

  • Kayak and Paddling Gear

  • Rain Gear (Jacket/Pants)

  • Rubber Boots

  • Hearty Lunch/Bottled Water (we prefer you bring your own reusable water bottle)

  • Roundtrip van transportation from near the cruise ship docks and many of the major hotels in Juneau

 We recommend you prepare for rain and hope for sunshine in regards to the weather.  Due to the cool, damp climate it is best NOT to wear cotton and instead, wear clothing made of polyester, wool, fleece, nylon, polypropylene, and/or capilene.

TOP LAYERS

  • T-Shirt
  • Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Insulating Layer (i.e. Fleece Jacket)
  • Gloves (fleece liner type)
  • Warm Hat
  • Sunglasses

BOTTOM LAYERS

  • Long Underwear (weather dependent)
  • Hiking Pants
  • Walking/Hiking Shoes

OPTIONAL ITEMS TO BRING

  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellent
  • Camera
  • Extra Snacks
  • Rain Jacket
  • Rain Pants
  • Binoculars
  • Reusable Water Bottle (Pre-Filled)
  • Guide Gratuities

**WAIVER FORM**  Each individual on the trip must sign a waiver form at the start of the trip.  Alterations and/or deletions to the waiver is not permitted.

  • The best chance to view brown bear is July and August during salmon spawning season. May and June are also great months because it’s brown bear mating season. The number of bears a group sees varies greatly through the summer, but most visitors see at least one bear if not more. However, bear sightings are not guaranteed. This is wild Alaska!
  • Book early! Pack Creek and Windfall harbor are very regulated brown bear viewing destinations and only a limited number of permits/people are available each day.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Once this trip is booked, there is a $50 non-refundable fee per person. This is non-refundable for any reason, including weather cancellations.
  • We outfit all clients in sit-in double kayaks with spray skirts.
  • NOTE ON KAYAKING SIZE/WEIGHT LIMITATIONS: Our kayaks can accommodate a maximum torso (waist-chest) diameter of  52 inches (132cm). Maximum weight limits including gear are 300lbs (136kg) for single kayaks and 600lbs (272kg) for double kayaks. People taller than 6’2″ (188cm) have a hard time operating the rudder because the pedals only adjust to a certain maximum distance. However, people as tall as 6’6″ have been able to paddle in our kayaks.
Book 1-5 People
Book 6-10 People
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  • About ABAK

    Above & Beyond Alaska, LLC is a local, employee-owned guiding company based in Juneau. We have been exploring the region from Ocean to Ice for over 25 years and guiding others since 2002. Our goal is to provide a complete Alaskan wilderness experience by sharing with clients our passion for the outdoors, technical know-how, and natural history knowledge.

© 2013 Above & Beyond AK, LLC US Forest Service Permitted by the U.S. Forest Service, Tongass National Wilderness Back to top