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need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

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mi
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need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

We will be on a cruise to Alaska . The cruise is from June 28 to July 5. We are stopping in Ketchikan on June 30th. Does anyone know of where we will get some really fabulous bear viewing on that day? I have looked at a number of excursions and it seems that the only area that will have bears is Anan which is far from where we will be docked.

Thanks for your help. By the way, if you know of a good independent tour operator, please give me that info as well. I have contacted Island Wings and am awaiting their response.

fti
MN
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1. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

That is very early for good bear viewing. It is quite early for Anan Creek, which is a floatplane ride and a permit away from Ketchikan (many cruise passenger take the Anan trip, though I would not spend that kind of money unless it were peak bear viewing season).

Who is "we"? Are you doing a land tour too or just a cruise? Did you read the "FIRST TIME POSTERS" thread that is pinned to the top of the Alaska forum? The more info you can give us in advance, the more helpful the replies will be. Thanks.

mi
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2. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

It is my husband and myself that will be traveling. No, we are not doing a land tour. We are on a cruise. We will be in Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway. We will also be cruising the inside passage and on our way to Juneau we will be going through Tracy Arm Fjord.

Our las port is Victoria, Canada and I do not think there are any bears there.

Ketchikan
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3. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

Too early for bears. Sorry. They come down to the salmon streams much later in the season when the fish run is in. Otherwise, they keep to themselves in the woods.

California
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4. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

We will be in Wrangell on July 9 and Ketchikan on July 7. Too early for Anan bear watching? I see that the Anan bear tours sell out quickly. More of a crap shoot this early in July, would you say?

seattle, washington
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5. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

Anytime in July is good for bear viewing at Anan. I'd suggest trying Ketchikan on the 7th, by float plane. Call the various operators directly, Good luck. Anan is the best viewing in Alaska

Gisborne, New...
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6. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

You need to talk to Rich from Aurora Tours 907 821 1736 - he is known as the Birds n Bears guy! We were in Ketchikan in July last year and asked the first tourism vendor we found coming off the cruise how do we see bears - they replied "Oh, you need to see Rich" - they then kindly phoned him for us, 2-3 minutes later he was there and for only $75pp (kids are free) we had our own personal tour of the area looking for bears (and find them!) - he is a local Klinkut (sp?) Indian and knows the wildlife and history like the back of his hand. We cant speak highly enough of this guy - we were told beforehand that we would be lucky to find some bears, but Rich just seemed to now where they would be.

Chugiak, Alaska
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7. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

Tlingit - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlingit_people

'Anan is the best viewing in Alaska'

I would challenge that pretty vague viewpoint. Best in the southeast maybe. And it's only the 'best' if you hit a good day. I could have had the best bear viewing at Brooks Falls seeing 16 bears at one time at the falls and at least 10 others on the lower river in one day, but the next day there were only three or four. So, it wasn't the 'best' that day. Some qualifiers are needed for that observation to be helpful.

Edited: 6:14 pm, May 13, 2013
fti
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8. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

I haven't been to Pack Creek yet, but all I have read and seen about it makes me think that is probably "better" than Anan Creek. I have been to Anan Creek twice, both times staying at the Anan Bay Cabin. If I had not stayed at the cabin, I probably would not have taken the trip to Anan. For basically the same price as a day tour, you get HOURS more bear viewing at Anan.

Plus, Anan is mostly black bears. Many people come to Alaska to see grizzly/brown bears. I have been to Brooks three times and I would consider that "better" than Anan.

"best" is always a very subjective term!

Ketchikan
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9. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

Oh, man, this bear thing is getting out of hand. Ketchikan is not a great place for viewing bears. Yes, there is an estuary at Herring Cove where bears gather early in the day and late in the evening, and rumors abound of the tour operator there feeding the bears to make them come out for their clients, but there is no one, I repeat, no one on the island who can guarantee you a bear sighting. Yes, there is wildlife all around us (I saw a deer at the Rec Center today) but it is hit or miss....they are wild creatures. Yes, Ketchikan is a stepping off point for some wilderness excursions that are popular, pricey and involve travel, but that's all. If you really, really want to see bears at a bargain price, go to Fortress of the Bear in Sitka. It's an amazing animal rescue facility that has the best urban bear viewing I've ever seen.

haines, alaska
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10. Re: need help....can not find bear viewing excursion

Well said RR.......if you read the cruise ship brochures, you would think the entire state was a virtual zoo full of animals.......

Even though I know where they feed everyday here when the salmon are running, I still only am able to see them maybe 25-30% of the time I drive out there......they do not feed all day and even not during the same times each day...... It's always by chance and not guaranteed.....

Places like the Fortress of the Bears, in Sitka; Steve Kroschel's here in Haines; and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Girdwood all raise rescued animals and provide a quality educational experience.....

Feeding them is against the law......I believe the fine is $10,000......RainbirdReader, If you have a tour operator who is baiting the bears, I certainly hope the Fish and Game guys are watching him closely........