Fortress of the Bears Kayak Adventure

best kayaking tour award

Venture to the Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary

Day Trip
About 8 Hours

Hiking, Kayak, Wildlife Viewing

Brown bear viewing, float plane flight

Price $939 per person

Difficulty Easy to Moderate

Transportation Meet at "C" Sign by the Mount Roberts Tramway

Experience The Trip

Join us for an unforgettable wildlife kayaking and brown bear viewing experience at the “Fortress of the Bears” on Admiralty Island! You’ll begin your day with a 25-minute scenic float plane flight to Windfall Island. From here, you’ll kayak to Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary, the premier coastal brown bear viewing area on Admiralty Island. After a leisurely 1-mile paddle, we’ll land on the beach and embark on a short hike to the main bear viewing area. ***Kayaking is not included May 15th-June 15th or September 1st-10th.  Guests will fly directly to Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary.

The Tlingit call Admiralty Island Kootznoowoo, aptly named with perhaps 1800 brown bears – one of the highest bear densities anywhere on earth. Eagles are extraordinarily abundant along the shoreline, and the cries of loons haunt Admiralty’s lakes. This is truly one of the gemstones of Southeast Alaska, affording visitors opportunities to view and photograph wildlife up close.

Pack Creek is an ecosystem rich in flora and fauna that provides rich sustenance to the healthy brown bear population on Admiralty Island. With approximately 1 brown bear per square mile, Admiralty Island is home to one of the highest brown bear population densities on Earth and is home to roughly 10% of Alaska’s entire brown bear population!

pack creek bears

From the banks of Pack Creek, we’ll have the opportunity to watch bears fishing for salmon or napping in the tall grass. While wildlife sightings are not guaranteed, the abundant bear population of the Pack Creek area rarely disappoints. Brown Bears are most active during mating season (late May – June) and annual salmon runs ( July and August).

After a quick lunch in the designated food storage area, we’ll return to the main viewing area or venture to other vantage points.

float plane to fortress of the bears
pack creek bears
pack creek bears
fortress of the bears
pack creek bears
admiralty island
pack creek bears

The Trip Itinerary

About 8 hours

45 Minutes

Pick up from downtown meeting location

Van transport to Juneau’s floatplane base for check-in and outfitting

30 Minutes

Scenic Floatplane Flight

Enjoy the views of mountains and oceans as you leave the city behind

1hr 15min

Arrive on Windfall Island, Kayak to Pack Creek

Familiarize with you kayaks before a 1-mile paddle begins

3 Hours

Brown Bear Viewing at Pack Creek

Cache your food in the bear-proof lockers!

1 Hour

Kayak back to Windfall Island

Your Floatplane Pilot will meet you at the beach.

30 Minutes

Return Floatplane Flight to Juneau

Your van transport will be waiting to return you to the main office – Thanks for joining us!

Practical Info

Client Pickup Information

Located at the base of the Mt. Roberts Tramway, the C-Sign is ABAK’s primary downtown meeting location for cruise passengers and clients staying in the downtown area.

Clients arriving at AJ Dock:

Clients who dock at the AJ Dock within 30 minutes of the ABAK pick-up time will be picked up directly from AJ DOCK.

Clients Staying Locally:

Clients can be picked up from any major hotel in the Mendenhall Valley.

Clients staying at major hotels in the Downtown area will meet at our Downtown meeting location.

ABAK is unable to provide pick-up in residential neighborhoods. Clients staying at private residences, Air BnB’s, VRBO’s, or have own transportation please contact our office for meeting location information at 907-364-2333 or

downtown juneau dock c
This is the "C" sign. Right by the tram.


  • $939 per person **Guests travelling in May or September will fly directly to the Bear Viewing Area and will not kayak.
(non-refundable $50 National Forest Service permit fee is included in all reservations)

Group Size: Minimum of 2, Maximum of 5

We can accommodate of groups of 6-10 guests between May 15-July 3, and August 26-Sept. 10, 2021. Contact for availability.

Minimum Age Public Tour: 12 years old

Minimum Age Private Tour: 8 years old – Requires a minimum of 4 guests to book to make Private.

Book early! Pack Creek Permit space is extremely limited!

Included In The Price

  • Professional guides
  • Roundtrip van & float plane transportation
  • US Forest Service permits
  • Rain gear (hooded jacket, rubber boots and pants)
  • Picnic lunch, Hearty Snacks, & Bottled Water

Not Included In Price

  • Hot shower at the end of the day. But you can book your stay with us.
  • Professional Photography
  • Gratuity for your Guide: If you feel that your guide went Above and Beyond to facilitate an exceptional experience, a gratuity is a welcomed way to show your appreciation.

Important Notes

  • Bear Sightings are not guaranteed. This is wild Alaska!
  • Due to aircraft restrictions, there is a 250 lbs per person weight limit on this tour. All passenger weights need to be provided at time of booking. Passengers may be weighed by float plane operator – those over 250 lbs may be subject to an additional fee.
  • Our kayaks can accommodate a maximum torso (waist-chest) diameter of 55 inches (140cm). Maximum weight limit is 600 lbs (272kg) for double kayaks. People taller than 6’2” find operating the rudder challenging, as the pedals only adjust to a certain maximum distance; however, people as tall as 6’8” have been able to paddle our kayaks.
  • The Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area is a wilderness area with no facilities, restrooms, or shelter on site. All garbage and waste must be packed out.
  • All participants must agree to follow all guide and ranger direction, always stay with the group, store all food items in designated bear proof lockers, and keep all personal belongings on their person.
  • Participants must be able to confidently kayak 2 miles round trip and hike 1-2 miles in the wilderness.
  • This trip operates in all weather conditions (barring unsafe conditions, to be determined by ABAK) – it is very important to dress to get wet.
  • 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.
  • Every participant must sign a Release of Liability/Assumption of Risk Form at the start of the trip. Alterations and/or deletions to the form are not permitted.
  • Due to various fitness abilities and weather variables, we prefer clients not schedule other excursions directly before or after our trip. Please let us know if you clients have another excursion booked on the same day.
  • Due to the inherent risks involved in this type of tour, pregnant guests are not permitted to participate.

Departure Times: 9:00am Daily
*Please contact us for custom departure times and availability.

Dates of Operation: 

May 15 – June 15th and August 26 – September 10: Guests will fly directly to Pack Creek and will not kayak.

June 16 – August 26, 2022: Guests will fly to Windfall Island and Kayak to Pack Creek

Group Size:***Pack Creek Permits from July 5 – August 25 are extremely limited
Minimum of 2, Maximum of 5

Minimum Age: 
12 years old – public tour

8 years old – private tour

Activity Level:
Easy to Moderate

Documentation Needed:

  • Name of client(s)
  • Cell phone contact number of client
  • Desired trip date and departure time
  • Name of cruise ship or hotel
  • Participants’ 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
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