Fortress of the Bear

Fortress of the Bear, Sitka: Hours, Address, Fortress of the Bear Reviews: 4.5/5

Fortress of the Bear
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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About
A 501(c)3 non-profit educational bear sanctuary in Sitka, Alaska. Providing a safe haven for Alaska's orphaned bears.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
957 reviews
Excellent
640
Very good
219
Average
67
Poor
18
Terrible
13

OMB
Apex, NC30 contributions
While vacationing in Sitka on May 27, 2022, my wife and i visited the Fortress Of The Bears. The admission fee was $15 each. We took a Blue Line bus from our motel out to The Fortress Of The Bears. The bus stopped a block from the facility. A one day pass on the Blue Line bus cost $5 each. The Fortress Of The Bears opened at 10:00 and we arrived around 10:25. We learned the facility was created to be a sanctuary for orphaned bear cubs. The Fortress Of The Bears consists of two large concrete enclosures formerly used by the Alaska Pulp Company. There were three areas in which bears resided. Three black bears were in the first section. Three brown bears in the second section. Two brown bears in the third section. It was pretty cool to see bears up close. By visiting early on a Friday in May, there were hardly any visitors and it seemed we could stand on the platforms and watch the bears as long as we wanted. The bears would wander around, interact with each other, play in the water and be on the lookout for staff throwing food into the water. The Bears are fed throughout the day but not on a schedule. While we were there, we saw berries, apples and salmon tossed down to the bears. We were lucky enough to see an eagle perched in a tree overlooking the black bears. We met the Blue Line bus back at the bus stop at 11:15 for a ride back to town. Being able to see a good number of bears up close, safely, made this a must stop while in Sitka.
Written June 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jolene K
3 contributions
Just had a private tour with the owner Les, omg, he’s got an incredible history in Alaska. His got a heart as large as the state when it comes to his bears! Claire was wonderful as well, I got to be there when the fed the bears it’s incredible. If you like wildlife you can’t get ay closure to a coastal brown bear(s) than this. Please consider donating to this cause, they are not funded by anyone but by donations and revenue with tickets purchased at the door. I have to go EVERY to see those beautiful creatures. He also has blk bears that are pretty big size themselves!

This is a RESCUE center so had it not been for Les the owner these bears and others that he’s sent to different zoos around the US would have been euthanized!

One cool thing to do, they are building a brick walkway for the bears, you can personalize them and help in that manner and your name or your loved one will always leave a piece of yourself in Sitka By The Sea!
Written October 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Deborah P
Cape Girardeau, MO31 contributions
We visited via a escorted trip. This is a wonderful up close and personal but safe way to see the alaskan bears. Also, it is interesting since the facility was an old pulp mill which has been repurposed and makes an excellent enclosure. Highly recommend a visit, but they need a better donation system for visitors to be able to donate while on site.
Written November 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Companion812318
6 contributions
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.

Carrie B
5 contributions
I wasn't sure what to expect but I was more than satisfied. We happened to be there on the day when the owner was too. The bears, who are very easy to see even with multiple visitors, did hand gestures/tricks and he fed them. It was amazing to see the love he has for these powerful creatures and how well they are treated. I wish we could have spent even more time there!
Written July 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lanamom
Sunnyvale, CA640 contributions
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.

YuontoGo
Huntsville, AL148 contributions
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.

Ellensbee
Kansas City, MO9 contributions
Family
We met one of the founders, Evy, in the Seattle airport and chatted a lot about her life in Sitka as a co founder/owner of the Fortress of the Bear. She inspired us to visit! We went with my Coastie son, his wife, my veteran hubs and I. Military discount for all!!! Thank You!
Orphan bears usually are dispatched (shot and killed) these were saved by Evy and Les to educate the public. They are treated with respect and have continuous change of sensory experiences (music, scents, foods, objects) to stimulate them in captivity. This place is a labor of love. The gift shop is really nice too!
Written July 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amy V
Dearborn, MI31 contributions
This bear sanctuary is in a repurposed paper mill. The bear habitats are in the old "siloes" where the paper pulp was mixed. The non profit has plans to retrofit and make it look less post-industrial chic and more bear natural looking. The bears were quite active on a sunny day in July (60 degrees). Hearing one growl at his sister was awesome--so loud.
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Happy In Water
9 contributions
This has to be on your list if you're visiting Sitka. I've seen some reviews that say it's 'zoo-like' and it's a shame that these folks don't take the time to read the information about the facility, the release laws in Alaska and learn from the staff available to talk with during a visit. The opportunity to see the different bears, read their stories and spend time this close to them is a privilege. I watched one of the bears engage in a focused 'game' and loved seeing her solve the natural puzzle that had been created in her home. The team are doing their best for the bears and their knowledge about them is phenomenal. Spend your money here, support the bears and the team who have plans to grow and develop the facility.
Written June 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Fortress of the Bear

Fortress of the Bear is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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