Pack Creek Brown Bear Kayak Camp

Trip Details

Trip Cost: 2 days/1 night = $1,399 per person, 3 days/2 nights = $1,499 per person. (min of 2 people required).

Trip Duration: 2 days/1 night or 3 days/2 nights

2018 Trip Dates: Contact office to schedule.
Availability May-August (peak season July-August)

What to Expect

Highlights: Unique wildlife encounters, observing and photographing brown bears, temperate rain forest hike, kayaking the Admiralty coastline, camping on remote island in Alaska, wilderness solitude

Areas you can cross off your bucket list are:
Admiralty Island, Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary, viewing Brown Bears – remote camping – and sea kayaking in Alaska, flying in a floatplane

The All in One Alaskan Experience:

Brown Bear Viewing – Sea Kayaking – Camping – Remote Alaska Wilderness – Hiking in the Old Growth Forest – Floatplane Ride

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

admiralty-expedition-9Pack Creek and the surrounding area are world renown for its virgin old-growth forest, unique brown bear viewing potential, calm inland ocean waters, and abundant terrestrial, marine, and avian wildlife.  This wilderness adventurers paradise is located a 25 minute float-plane ride from Juneau, Alaska on Admiralty Island in the heart of the Kootznoowoo Wilderness.

This trip spends 2 to 3 days exploring and experiencing this gemstone of Alaska.  Following the scenic flight the plane gently touches down at our Wilderness landing site on Admiralty Island.  We will setup our camp, secure our food, then following a safety briefing will enjoy a remote sea kayak along the tranquil coastline to Pack Creek.  Once on shore the next several 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 afternoon turns to evening and our stomachs begin to rumble, we will paddle back to our camp for a quiet evening.

The second and third day will be spent exploring further from camp into Windfall Harbor and Swan Cove.  Activities will include a combination of kayaking, hiking along the shore and in the forest, observing wildlife, searching for bears and bear sign, and learning about the environment and history of the area.  As the time for our return flight arrives we will pack up our camp, store our kayaks, and collect 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 local accommodations with photos to share with friends, an increased appreciation of wilderness solitude, and memories to last a lifetime.

Camp in style with ABAK in the remote Admiralty Wilderness and experience the thrill of observing North America’s largest predatory land mammal!

– John Neary: USFS Manager of Admiralty Island National Monument and Kootznoowoo Wilderness – describing the wilderness character of the National Monument –

“Tall columns of Sitka spruce hold a ceiling of branches far above deer trails and the thorny spread of devil’s club leaves.  Streams tumble down the steep shoulders of the mountains, the clear water drawing thousands of salmon to spawn in Admiralty Island’s streams every year, a colorful bridge to centuries past.  The Tlingit clans of Southeast Alaska have long known that bear outnumber people by a large margin on the rainforest island known as Kootznoowoo, the Fortress of the Bear, where the brown bear confronts us with our fear of the primeval forest and serves as the ambassador for all things wild.  If we follow a brown bear through the course of her year, from rocky alpine den to a coastal stream exploding with salmon, we’d discover a vast place known intimately by smell and taste.  If we follow bear tracks along the edge of a meadow to her lingering scent on the bark of a spruce tree, we’d inhale her secret message: “I am here, I walk this place.”  It is your place to feel the wild pulse of the earth, where the ambassador treads on padded feet.  Walk carefully.”


Location:  Pack Creek and Windfall Island in the Kootznoowoo Wilderness on Admiralty Island

Duration:  2 days / 1 nights or 3 days / 2 nights (recommended).  Custom length trips are available by arrangement.

Activities:  Sea kayaking, bear viewing, hiking, photography, camping

Paddle Distance:  15-25 miles over 3 days, 10-15 miles over 2 days, 3-10 miles per day

Trip Rating:  Easy to Moderate – No Experience Necessary

Highlights:  Scenic floatplane ride, viewing brown bears without barriers in their natural habitat, sea kayaking, hiking in old-growth temperate rain forest, unique wildlife encounters (harbor seals, porpoise, birds, bears and deer), Wilderness solitude, camping on an island in Alaska and enjoying a quiet evening by a campfire, exploring beaches and intertidal zone creatures

Bucket List:  Admiralty Island, Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary, Kootznoowoo Wilderness, Viewing Brown Bears in Alaska, Remote Camping in Alaska, Sea Kayaking in Alaska, Flying in a Floatplane

Rainbow Pontoon

Trip Description/Sample Itinerary:

Note – The activities of Day 1 and 2 may be switched depending on availability of Pack Creek permits. 

  • Pre-Trip:  Prior to your scheduled departure, your guide will contact you by phone or meet with you in person to introduce themselves, answer any last minute questions, ensure that you have all the necessary equipment, and to discuss the route and expectations. 
  • Day 1:  Early in the morning our van picks you up  from your local accommodations and transports you to the float plane base for gear outfitting and trip orientation.  A twenty minute scenic flight over the temperate rain forest  and coastline brings us to our island camping site near Pack Creek on Admiralty Island.  After setting up camp, eating a snack, and discussing bear and kayak safety, we will get onto the water and enjoy a remote  and scenic paddle up into Windfall Harbor.  This area in the heart of the Kootznowoo Wilderness of Admiralty Island is well-known for its calm waters, solitude, untouched old growth forest, and the presence of the coastal brown bears.  At the head of the inlet time will be spent on shore observing eagles and other birds, searching for bear sign, and hopefully, watching the wild brown bears in their natural environment.  Once our appetite for experiencing this setting has been satiated, we will paddle back to camp to enjoy a delicious hot meal cooked by the guide and crawl into warm sleeping bags to the sounds of nature.
  • Day 2:  The morning starts with a hearty breakfast and hot drink of your choice and once everyone is ready a beautiful one to two mile paddle along the rainforest cloaked coastline  brings us to Pack Creek Wildlife Viewing Area.  The entire day is spent at this site with activities including: observing brown bears and  learning about their habitat and behavior, stretching our legs on a one-mile trail through the old growth forest to a viewing platform, watching salmon swim upstream to their spawning grounds, and taking in the scenic grandeur of the entire ecosystem.  In the afternoon a short paddle brings us back to our camp.  After storing our kayaks and collecting our gear our taxi, in the form of a float plane, arrives to return us back to Juneau.  A van awaits us a the float plane base and returns you to your local accommodations with photos to share with friends, an increased appreciation of wilderness solitude, and memories to last a lifetime.
  • Day 3:  Adding a third day to the trip creates the following benefits:
    • Allows a greater amount of time to be spent at Pack Creek on Day 2, as you wouldn’t need to return as early to pack up and catch the return flight.
    • Provides an opportunity to explore more of the greater Seymour Canal/Pack Creek Zoological Area.  The day could be spent paddling to Swan Point to view some gigantic trees, searching for more bears in Swan Cove, exploring the unique muskeg environment, or looking for humpback whales and other marine mammals in Seymour Canal.
    • Gives you more time to be “unplugged” and enjoy the wilderness solitude of Admiralty Island


  • Professional Guide with kayaking, camping, and naturalist expertise
  • Roundtrip van transportation from your lodging to the airport for float plane flight
  • Roundtrip float plane flight to Admiralty Island
  • Permits to Pack Creek
  • All of the necessary kayaking equipment (kayaks, PFD’s, rubber boots, safety gear, etc)
  • All of the necessary camping equipment (tents, sleeping system, stove, pots/pans, etc)
  • Dry bags for your personal clothing
  • Delicious meals and beverages
  • A spirit for adventure
  • Personal clothing (click for Recommended Gear List): We recommend you prepare for the worst and hope for the best 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.
  • Toiletries and personal items (only the essentials, see the Recommended Gear List)
  • Camera with extra batteries and extra memory card
  • Your lodging for the nights before and after your trip
  • The ability to spend up to 2-3 hours in a kayak at a time and paddle 10+ miles in day
  • The ability to hike up to 2 miles over moderate terrain 
  • **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.

  • This expedition will be camping at undeveloped, natural sites that do not have ANY amenities.  You will be sleeping in a tent and your restroom will be the open air of the intertidal zone (the area at the ocean waters edge that is affected by the tide).  Tents are 2 or 3 person backpacking style tents that are weather tight, but comfortably snug.

  • ABAK practices Leave No Trace principles and expects clients to do so as well.  Please see the Leave No Trace Camping information under the Additional Information tab.

  • There is a limited weight and space capacity of the floatplane.  Consider the necessity of each item you bring, how much it weighs, and how much space it takes.  Please review the Recommended Gear List found under the Additional Information tab.

  • 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.




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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