Fortress of the Bears Kayak & Camp

The Ultimate  Alaska Adventure


Hiking, Kayak, Sightseeing, Camping

Highest Concentration of Brown Bears

Currently not available in 2020 and 2021

Easy to Moderate

We pick you up.

Experience The Trip

Pack 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 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.

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

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.

The Trip Itinerary

3 days


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.

Day 3

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. Listen for the rubble of the float plane engine as it returns to pick you up for your return to civilization.

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.

Practical Info

Client Pickup Information

The “C” Sign, located near the cruise ship docks directly between Mt. Roberts Tramway and the green Taku Smokeries building, is our centralized downtown meeting location for all clients in the downtown area, including the majority of cruise ship passengers.

Passengers Arriving At AJ Dock
Special Note:

Because the AJ Dock is about a 20 minute walk away from the “C” Sign, clients off cruise ships docking at the AJ Dock with 30 minutes or less between their ship’s arrival time and ABAK’s trip departure time will be picked up directly from the AJ Dock.

Hotel Guests

Clients staying at major hotels in the Mendenhall Valley may be picked up directly from their hotel. Clients with their own transportation may meet their guides directly at the ABAK Office at 2767 Sherwood Lane Juneau AK 99801

This is the "C" sign. Right by the tram.


3 days/2 nights

Currently not available in 2020 and 2021

Group Size: Minimum of 2, Maximum of 10 in shoulder season

Minimum of 2, Maximum of 5 in peak season

Minimum Age: 10 years old.

Availability: May & June is considered shoulder season and has more flexibility on dates, group size, and time. During July and August is considered peak season and has extremely limited dates and flexibility. Please book early to secure a space during the peak season time.

Included In The Price

  • All inclusive! Food, transport, and lodging in backcountry Alaska
  • Professional guides
  • Roundtrip van & float plane transportation
  • US Forest Service permits
  • All Necessary Camping equipment
  • Rain gear (hooded jacket, rubber boots and pants)
  • Hot meals! All food and water – please let us know any dietary needs.
  • All kayak and safety gear

Not Included In Price

  • Hot shower at the end of the day. But you can book your stay with us.
  • Professional Photography
  • A helicopter ride. But this trip does!
  • Personal gear such as clothes, shoes, and toothbrush

Important Notes

  • The best chance to view brown bear is July and August during salmon spawning season or late May and June during brown bear mating season. The number of bears a group sees varies greatly, but most visitors see at least one bear if not more. Please note, bear sightings are not guaranteed. This is wild Alaska!
  • Participants must be fit enough to kayak/hike a few miles through the wilderness.
  • Due to safety concerns and flight restrictions, there is a 250lb per person weight limit on this tour. All passenger weights need to be provided at time of booking. Based on float plane restrictions, clients meeting the fitness requirements and weighing over 250lbs will be charged an additional $115 fee.
  • The Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area is within a wilderness area with no facilities on site, including no dock, no bathrooms, no shelter from the elements (except an observation tower at Pack Creek) and no cell phone service.</li
  • All participants need to follow these rules while at Pack Creek: all food is required to be stored in bear proof lockers at the entrance site, clients must stay together as a group with their guide and within designated travel routes, and clients must never leave gear or personal belongings unattended.
  • This trip operates in all weather conditions (barring unsafe conditions, to be determined by ABAK) – please stress to your clients the importance of dressing appropriately.
  • WAIVER FORM: Every participant on the trip must sign a waiver form at the start of the trip. Alterations and/or deletions to the waiver are not permitted.
  • Book early, as limited permits are available to this world class bear viewing sanctuary.

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

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

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

Paddle Distance: Depends and is adjustable for the group.

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

Information Needed:

  • Name of client(s)
  • Cell phone contact number of client
  • Desired trip date and departure time
  • Name of hotel
  • Clients’ ages, especially anyone under the age of 18
  • Rain gear & shoe sizes (please specify male or female)
  • Any pertinent medical issues, allergies or dietary restrictions
  • Primary language spoken, if other than English

Please note: Clients must disclose information regarding pertinent medical conditions/history, allergies and any type of restriction or limitation that might introduce a higher degree of challenge on this trip. ABAK strives to accommodate various conditions, restrictions and/or limitations and can better do so with prior knowledge of such. Women who are pregnant are welcome to participate in this trip with a doctor’s note confirming the safety of their participation in the activities of the tour.