Fortress of the Bears Kayak Adventure

Book for June - August
Book for May & September

Venture to the Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary

Day Trip
About 8 Hours

Hiking, Kayak, Wildlife Viewing

Brown bears viewing, float plane flight

Price $849 per person

Difficulty Easy to Moderate

Transportation We pick you up.

Experience The Trip

Join us for an unforgettable wildlife kayaking and brown bear viewing experience into the “Fortress of the Bears” on Admiralty Island! You’ll begin your day with a 25-minute scenic floatplane flight to Windfall Island on the remote Admiralty Island. From here, you’ll kayak about 1 mile to the world -famous Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary, the prime brown bear viewing area. This unique wildlife viewing destination provides protected habitat for brown bears while affording visitors an opportunity to view and photograph wildlife up close and personal in their natural habitat. The Tlingit call Admiralty Island Kootznoowoo “Fortress of the Bears”, aptly named with perhaps 1800 brown bears- one of the highest bear population densities anywhere on Earth. In addition, eagles are extraordinarily abundant along the shoreline, and the occasional humpback whales makes it way into the protected waters making this area truly one of the gems of Southeast Alaska.

You’ll kayak from Windfall Island to Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary with a total roundtrip paddling distance of about two miles. Of the two primary bear-viewing areas at Pack Creek, the most accessible is a sandy spit of land right at the mouth of the creek, a short beach hike from where float planes land and boats tie up. Slightly more challenging is a beautiful one-mile trail through an old-growth rain forest to a viewing tower. The tower has room for eight people and is an excellent place to watch bears as they roam directly below you.

The Trip Itinerary

About 8 hours

30 Minutes

Van transport to Float Plane

30 Minutes

Floatplane Flight

1hr 30min

Kayak Orientation & Paddling

3 Hours

Brown Bear Viewing at Pack Creek

1 Hour

Kayak back to Windfall Island

30 Minutes

Floatplane Flight back to Juneau

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.


  • $849 per person including float plane flight during shoulder and peak season.
(non-refundable $50 National Forest Service permit fee is included in all reservations)

Group Size: Minimum of 2, Maximum of 10 during shoulder season; Minimum of 2, Maximum of 5 during peak season (July 5th – August 25th)

Minimum Age: 12 years old.

Book early! 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 on the beach overlooking the bay

Not Included In Price

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.
  • There is a non-refundable $50 permit fee to enter Pack Creek. For example, if the trip is cancelled for weather, all payments will be refunded minus the $50 permit fee.

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

All shoulder season trips (May 15th-July 4th and August 26th-September 10th) are offered daily. During peak season (July 5th – August 25th), permits to Pack Creek are extremely limited and reservations will only be accepted for days with permits available.

Dates of Operation: April 28th – September 30th, 2020

Group Size:
Minimum of 2, Maximum of 5 during peak season

Minimum of 2, Maximum of 10 during shoulder season

Minimum Age: 
10 years old. Families with children younger than 8 must book a private trip. Children must be in good enough physical condition to paddle a tandem kayak with an adult.

Activity Level:
Easy to Moderate with No Experience Necessary – Family friendly tour

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

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.

Book for June - August
Book for May & September
Mendenhall Glacier hiking 34