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Pack Creek Bear Tours

#35 of 107 Tours in Juneau
Features Animals
Juneau, AK, USA
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About Pack Creek Bear Tours
A personalized, small-group bear watching experience. Visit Pack Creek on a full day guided tour or Waterfall Creek on a half day trip. Trips are limited to 2-5 guests plus one highly experienced bear viewing guide/naturalist. We include a spectacular float plane flight from the Juneau Airport, all the gear and extra clothing needed, a hearty lunch, optional one mile hike through old growth forest to an observation tower, and necessary permits. Watch brown bears in May as they emerge from hibernation, congregate for the annual salmon run
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Lindsey R wrote a review Aug 2020
New York City, New York22 contributions3 helpful votes
This tour was the highlight of our Alaska vacation. We are so grateful to Dan and our guide Sam. When we arrived they suggested we change our plan a bit because of recent experiences as a particular viewing spot, and we're glad we agreed, we saw so many bears and cubs fishing for hours and hours. It could not possibly have been a better afternoon. Highly recommend this group.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours
Responded Sep 8, 2020
Thanks for coming along!!
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Dale F wrote a review Aug 2020
4 contributions
There are a lot of amazing wildlife experiences in Alaska, but the experiences offered by Pack Creek Bear Tours are among the best of the best. It starts with safety, and making sure you have proper attire. There is rain gear available to borrow plus proper boots for moving around Admiralty Island. There is no strenuous hiking involved but it is not something I would do if I had limited mobility. There are also trekking poles available, snacks and a sandwich were provided too. After a short but incredibly scenic flight on the floatplane you disembark onto the island and one can start seeing bears immediately, although you get to check several spots. While they can’t guarantee animals or particular behaviors, the company does their best to schedule these tours on good dates and good times that coincide with the salmon runs. We saw quite a few bears on our trip including many cubs, listening to our guide’s instructions helped us increase our chances. Safety is the top concern on this trip and the guides at Pack Creek Bear Tours have lots of experience and strict protocols that not only ensures the safety of guests, but also safety for the bears too. Our guide was Dan and it was clear that he had a lot of reverence for the wildlife and he was constantly aware of our surroundings. Pointing out every detail of the forest while also being keenly aware of any bears that were close. I strongly recommend this tour not just as something to do in Juneau but as a bucket list item for anyone who appreciates wildlife and loves seeing animals in their natural habitat.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours
Responded Aug 21, 2020
Thank you for the detailed review, I hope people find it useful. The wild character of Pack Creek definitely means that we need to be self-reliant. This means keeping ourselves comfortable: warm, dry, fed and watered. We take responsibility for how our actions might influence the bears, then it's just our responsibility to have an open mind, flexible expectations and a good attitude!! The rest is up to the bears.
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Heath C wrote a review Aug 2020
Arvada, Colorado43 contributions12 helpful votes
My husband booked this for our group of 7 without consulting anybody and it’s probably a good idea he didn’t because I may not have wanted to go! A float plane where you have to give your weight?? Sit for hours on pebbles in the rain so you can be close to a bear who probably doesn’t want you all up in her business?? These are not things I would choose to do on my own. Maybe if I was being paid. But definitely not on vacation. But, I have a husband who thinks these things sound like fun, so he booked it and informed us. And do you know what? It ended up being everybody’s favorite memory as we went around the dinner table on our last night in Juneau. Who knew? Our guides outfitted us in xtratuf wader-type boots and let us use rain pants/jackets if we wished. They took time to point out on a map where we were going (we went to the island of Chichagof—it’s actually the 5th largest island in the US!) and what the experience would be like. They packed snacks and pretty much thought of everything. The plane ride over was one of my favorite parts. The pilot we had was very chill and he let my son sit in the front seat with him. The weather was clear and it was a smooth flight and very smooth landing onto the water, where he got out and actually paddled us closer to shore. He got us close enough so all we had to do was take one giant step in the water (hence, the rain boots) and we were on land. We changed into our own boots and they hung the rest of them in a tree. We walked maybe a half mile down the beach and around the corner was a beautiful waterfall with a bear “feeding” on salmon in the middle of the river. We found a “comfortable” place to sit—which felt too close to the bear to me, but the bears didn’t seem to mind at all—and we watched them for several hours. It was amazing to watch them in their natural habitat. Some were “single” bears and some had cubs. One had three cubs! They were adorable to watch play while mom made a catch. Some people came up the river in boats and got out and fished on the shore, so at one point there were quite a few of us and it never seemed to disturb the bears. All in all, we saw 10. Thankfully, while rain was predicted, it was dry the whole time. The sun came out and we were comfortable, but by the end, we were all pretty chilly. I would highly recommend this tour if you’re looking for a very unique experience in Juneau!
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours
Responded Aug 21, 2020
Thanks so much for your review - Certainly a good point to make sure everyone is on board with the program as a wilderness bear trip is quite an adventure! Float planes, remote locations, bears, it may not be for everyone. I'm really glad that it was a memorable and positive experience for your whole family!
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Steven C wrote a review Aug 2020
Modesto, California9 contributions6 helpful votes
In the end this worked out incredibly ! Got rained/fogged out on my scheduled day. No seaplanes were flying. Dan kept at it though, and got us going the next morning, fitting a trip in for me before I had to head onward to my fishing lodge in the afternoon. He did this even though I was a singleton traveler at that point and probably didn't represent much (any?) profit for him. We went to Freshwater Cove on Chichagof Island rather than Pack Creek on Admiralty. I think two reasons: continued bad weather at Pack Creek but also because a lot of bears had been spotted at Freshwater in the recent days. Good luck indeed ! I saw five adult bears and five cubs (one mom had three cubs, two adults were loners). These bears were all around us; at one point a mother and cub passed 16 or 17 feet away. Watched the moms fish and the cubs do a bit of everything except try fishing. Too young still. A great day. The float plane trips are fun and very scenic, too.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours
Responded Aug 21, 2020
Thanks Steven. Close encounters like that certainly aren't an every day thing, but pretty neat when they happen. For me, simply seeing a brown bear in the wild is worth going out for. When we see several, its great. Stuff like this, these are trips guides tell stories about too. Thank you for sticking with us and being flexible with the weather. Two people is our minimum for a trip, but I am very glad I was able to get you out there for what turned out to be a very enjoyable enjoyable day. I think the positive attitude, openness and sense of adventure that you bought were key making it so good! Dan
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Amelia DuVall wrote a review Sep 2019
Seattle, Washington2 contributions
I recently visited Juneau for the first time and I’m so glad my trip included going out to Admiralty Island with Pack Creek Bear Tours. I’ve spent many nights backpacking in bear country but I had never had an up close bear encounter until then and I had no idea you could have such an intimate positive experience with a brown bear. Our guide Dan Kirkwood was super knowledgeable and at ease bringing us in close proximity to a mother and two cubs that we crossed paths with on the beach as we exited the Tower trail. We crouched down at the water’s edge as the trio made their way pass us less than 15ft away. It was heart-stopping to be so close to such a powerful creature and heart-filling to have a peaceful stress-free interaction. Even if you don’t get the chance to see bears, it’s worth it for the float plane ride and chance to check out a beautiful island in southeast Alaska.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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