Fortress of the Bear
Fortress of the Bear
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
A 501(c)3 non-profit educational bear sanctuary in Sitka, Alaska. Providing a safe haven for Alaska's orphaned bears.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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Admission tickets
from $199.20
All you need to step foot in the door.
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  • Simon Scowen
    Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth it
    Was here on the 12 June 2023. It is a good place to get photos of real bears in a safe environment. It is a $2 bus ride from Sitka and $15 to get in so cheaper then going on a bear safari to see a bear.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written June 24, 2023
  • FlickFanatic
    Saint Louis, Missouri84 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Best thing in Sitka!
    There is always a chance to see bears in alaska, but in Sitka, it's a guarantee at Fortress of the Bear. FotB is a bear rescue that cares for bears injured or abandoned and not able to return to the wild. They have brown and black bears living there. The community donates the food they feed the bears. This was the best thing we did in Sitka!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 24, 2023
  • Gloria
    Baltimore, Maryland169 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Bears
    Amazing morning watching the bears. Organization rescues orphaned cubs who would otherwise be put down. We went early and the bears were being fed so they were pretty active and close. Very cool to watch them interact with each other as well. You can take the bus from downtown. We spent about 40 minutes there. There were maybe 15 other people when we went, but a big cruise group showed up as we were leaving - another reason to go early…
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 29, 2023
  • Tammy K
    Redmond, Washington22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Bears
    We loved seeing the bears and appreciate how they are providing safe housing to the orphan cubs. My kids age 9 and 11 enjoyed the educational talk and looking at the bears. I hope to encourage my neighbors back home to use bear proof garbage cans to protect our black bear population.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 30, 2023
  • IndieBajan
    New York City, New York95 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Get Ready for a Beartastic Day!
    Amazing opportunity to real life bear up close in their natural habitat. I visited as a stop on Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Sea from July 7th- July 14th. Instead of a cruise excursion, I took a taxi from Centennial Hall, charging $50 for 4. I then paid the admission fee of $15 for adults and $5 for youth(13-17 yrs), this saved me a bunch. On our way back we got off at The Raptor Center to explore and walk back to the Centennial which was only a 15 minutes walk away. If you're able body and can read a map I suggest this experience without going broke via the cruise excursion.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 14, 2023
  • XXNYC
    85 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great opportunity to see brown bears close-up
    This is a really great opportunity to see brown bears up close. There were five bears when we visited. The staff who work here are really knowledgeable and happy to answer all of your questions. We watched them feed different types of food to the bears and also watched them play.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 24, 2023
  • Robert D
    3,872 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    See bears up close
    The Fortress of the Bear cares for orphaned bear cubs. There were eight bears here when I visited, five coastal brown bears and three black bears. It was interesting to watch them interact with each other. This place is popular so there was a short wait until I was allowed to ascend the ramp to see the bears.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 24, 2023
  • Amanda_B109
    Edmonton, Canada535 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great way to see these rescued bears.
    I enjoyed seeing the black and brown bears here. There were 6 different bears that I saw. It is so sad that they had to be rescued from the wild. It was a $30 taxi ride from town to get there, and an extremely small area where the bears were. Think of one to two enclosures in a modern Zoo.Wouldn’t want to spend more than 45 minutes here, thus only gave it 4 stars. There wasn’t that much to do (I am from Alberta and have seen bears- so take that into consideration). I would definitely recommend it!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 6, 2023
  • Sandra B
    115 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience
    This was an amazing place to visit. How great to get to see bears as close as this. Such an amazing experience! The staff were all amazing, with lots of knowledge about orphaned bears that now call the Fortress their home. They are very well cared for, which is pleasing to know. I would definitely recommend a visit here to support the work of this amazing place!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 10, 2023
  • PhoenixFlash
    Anthem, Arizona145 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Timing is everything.
    We went in the middle of September 2023 before embarking on a cruise. The secret is going when the cruise tours aren’t there. On cruise tour days they can have between 7k - 10k visitors in a single day! You can catch the blue line bus from downtown Sitka for $2.00 single ride or $5.00 day pass. You take the bus to the end of the line and it is a short walk from there. Buses run every our. The bus line website keeps track of the day and the times the ships will dock. Note: If it is busy cruise ship day you may not be able to just walk up and buy a ticket or even catch a bus! For our visit we were amongst the first of four visitors for the day. The bears were very active and playing with each other. No challenge in seeing them or taking photos. We spent around an hour there. I would go back assuming the conditions were good. If it is going to be packed with tour groups you may come away less than thrilled.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 18, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,008 reviews
Excellent
664
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231
Average
73
Poor
20
Terrible
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Wildman68
Decatur, IL45 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
About a half dozen bears are kept in two large concrete enclosures that are about an acre each. There are no trees for cover, just piles of dirt and logs mixed together to simulate what, I have no idea. The bears look like they got in there by accident and can’t get out. They pace back and forth, back and forth…unable to do bear things. They are not physically handicapped, and could have been released to areas uninhabited by humans…it is Alaska. But then, who would visit the 5 star gift shop? I’m giving an added star because they did have an employee that was able to communicate via sign language with the hearing impaired. $15 per adult for an experience that’s over in 20 minutes, and packed when cruise ships are in town.
Written June 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jim B
Hollywood, FL4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
This was an overpriced excursion offered by our cruise to Sitka, Alaska. If you’ve seen bears at a zoo, then don’t expect anything more. There are less than 10 bear, some black, some brown, wondering around an enclosed area that reminds one of a junk yard. The price of $15 entrance is reasonable (although the cruise excursion was much more than $15) which supposedly goes towards the caring of the bears. During the season, with several cruise ships stopping in Sitka each week, I would imagine thousands of visitors at $15 each. Assuming a few thousand visitors a week, it appears that the “Fortress” is more of a money making operation than a sanctuary. Unless you’ve never seen a bear at a zoo, this place is boring and overrated.
Written May 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Companion812318
6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Several people we had talked to touted the Fortress of the Bear as "must see". We biked there from downtown Sitka and quite frankly the bike excursion was much more rewarding than the destination--beautiful along the entire way. As an activity, the Fortress of the Bear is not much different from visiting a zoo exhibit. We were happy to support the project of providing refuge to orphan bears, but it was crowded with tourists and I did not learn much from this experience that I did not already know or could read online at their website. Not a must see.
Written July 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PhoenixFlash
Anthem, AZ145 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
We went in the middle of September 2023 before embarking on a cruise. The secret is going when the cruise tours aren’t there. On cruise tour days they can have between 7k - 10k visitors in a single day!
You can catch the blue line bus from downtown Sitka for $2.00 single ride or $5.00 day pass. You take the bus to the end of the line and it is a short walk from there. Buses run every our. The bus line website keeps track of the day and the times the ships will dock. Note: If it is busy cruise ship day you may not be able to just walk up and buy a ticket or even catch a bus!
For our visit we were amongst the first of four visitors for the day. The bears were very active and playing with each other. No challenge in seeing them or taking photos. We spent around an hour there. I would go back assuming the conditions were good. If it is going to be packed with tour groups you may come away less than thrilled.
Written September 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lanamom
Sunnyvale, CA671 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
we had seen a lot of bears on our Alaska trip so I was lukewarm to the idea of coming here and saved it for our last day if we had time. I'm so glad we had time - it was amazing!!! The bears have a great habitat and you really get to see them itneracting with each other. They even have a pond where they can catch salmon.
Written August 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kat S
Lake Stevens, WA78 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
This place is a wonderful concept and it's great that the orphaned bears have a place to go instead of being euthanized. Going to visit has much to be desired when you arrive at the same time as other bus loads and you are crammed in like sardines and can "bearly" see what you've come to see... the bears. If you can't get close enough to the railing because of the number of people packed around the railings, it's definitely not worth the cost.
Written September 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YuontoGo
Huntsville, AL158 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
We actually ended up going twice during our stay in Sitka and enjoyed it each time. The bears are always doing something different and they are very entertaining. We even saw a Bald Eagle swoop down and take a fish from the paws of a Black Bear. The eagle was happy, the bear was not. They said sometimes the bears will win.

It is sad that these bears can never be released into the wild, but they are healthy, happy and have a great home.

We recommend a visit to Fortress of the Bear during your visit to Sitka. It is pretty far out of town so plan on taking a taxk.
Written July 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tammy K
Redmond, WA22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
We loved seeing the bears and appreciate how they are providing safe housing to the orphan cubs. My kids age 9 and 11 enjoyed the educational talk and looking at the bears. I hope to encourage my neighbors back home to use bear proof garbage cans to protect our black bear population.
Written June 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WeLoveDisneyland
Forked River NJ289 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
This is a wonderful place to see bears up close and personal at a safe distance. These orphans are very playful and curious and the staff works very carefully with them to keep the bears happy and healthy. I bought a membership so I could visit more than once during my 2 week stay in Sitka. It's at the end of the island so you either need a rental car or a tour bus/private tour. (Note: Cruise ship excursions are probably too expensive- try to use a taxi?)
Written May 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Simon Scowen
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Solo
Was here on the 12 June 2023. It is a good place to get photos of real bears in a safe environment. It is a $2 bus ride from Sitka and $15 to get in so cheaper then going on a bear safari to see a bear.
Written June 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Fortress of the Bear - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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