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A must for any trip to Juneau

I recently visited Juneau for the first time and I’m so glad my trip included going out to... read more

Reviewed September 15, 2019
Ameliaduvall
,
Seattle, Washington
Great Family Experience

We were in Juneau for a family trip and the Pack Creek Bear Tour was our most anticipated excursion... read more

Reviewed August 21, 2019
33093Sally16
,
Simi Valley, California
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Reviewed August 27, 2018

The initial briefing done by our guide for the day was comprehensive and addressed all safety issues. The rides on the floatplane were smooth and it was fascinating to be able to see the scenery from not too high in the sky. The lighter people sit in the back and have plenty of room. Those who are heavier and possibly broader have to sit in the middle of the plane. This means a tight squeeze. Once there the disembarkation was easy enough even though one has to negotiate the float and the water which is not deep at all.
There is a short shore walk to the viewing area. One is not allowed to step out of this area. There are big logs to sit on. The site is perfect as the creek runs all the way out to sea and at low tide the mud flats provide sustenance to a whole host of birds.
The day was perfect as the sun was shining. The bears put on a show to remember as about seven different ones showed up both up stream and, initially, on the mud flats. The difference fishing techniques were fun to watch. The mother bear and her yearling cub made for great viewing as he was becoming independent but still wanted his mother to provide him with salmon. There was also a slight difference of opinions between three bears.
I cannot recommend this too highly.
Please remember that this is a wildlife trip. Consequently the sightings may be wonderful or one may see nothing at all. That is part of the attraction and I have been on trips and been unlucky....

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank Claire P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2018

This sounds like a great day! Thanks for joining us and sharing your thoughts.
Dan

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Reviewed August 12, 2018

Although the flight was slightly delayed due to technical difficulties with the float plane, the trip length was extended so we did not feel that we had lost out. We were met at the airport by Bjorn who took us through the itinerary and gave us insight into the location and wider bear knowledge. After being fitted with waders we set off and we’re greeted by the very efficient pilot who took us through the safety regulation; thanks to Bjorn for the thoughtful giving out of earplugs to guard extreme inflight noise.
After a short flight, and without even realising we’d hit the water, the ranger was the to greet us. Bjorn quickly set up the spotter and immediately started pointing out distant bears. After taking advantage of the wild toilet arrangements we set off to our first viewing location. Bjorn was extremely careful to ‘manage’ us and our safety with his very pleasant but informed manner. There was plenty of bear action to observe. Bjorn’s and the ranger’s personal knowledge of the individual bears and their history only added to the enjoyment Andy intimacy of the encounters.
After a while, we made our way up the viewing platform where Bjorn again demonstrated his knowledge of natural history along the route, taking care to walk at the right pace. It was disappointing to only see one bear (behind the tree) and one in the distance once at the platform but we understand this is a wilderness setting. This did not detract from our overall enjoyment of the day and we cannot rate the overall arrangements and specifically Bjorn. His attention to our safety, wellbeing and welfare in his relaxed and humbled manner made us feel completely at ease and allowed us to totally enjoy the experience. I could not recommend Pack Creek Tours and Bjorn highly enough and anyone wishing to go would do well to ensure that they are accompanied by an experienced guide.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Dawn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2018

Thanks for your comments Dawn! We're glad you had a good time at Pack Creek. We place a high priority on a personalized experience in a small group setting. We don't want this to feel like a "tour," but a trip to a really neat place with a team of interesting travelers and an experienced, knowledgeable and friendly guide!

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Reviewed August 5, 2018

This was a disappointing experience. We paid a lot and saw virtually no bears just a couple walking around. The plane ride to Admiralty Island was fun. Great views and real experience to take off and land on water. Very smooth flight. The guide was very know,edgeable but I did not realize this is a bear sanctuary and you cannot go on hikes to find bears and never off the Park Service two trails. You are stuck seeing bears at one or two of the viewing areas.

I have been on bear watching tours in other areas where you see much more.

Honestly I would save the $800 per ticket and choose a different type of tour. Maybe other groups are more lucky but the morning group also was disappointed (I was told when we talked to them upon arrival).

Definite not the guides fault, but it was just a underwhelming experience.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank DCtraveler93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2018

Thanks for your comments and I'm sorry the trip didn't live up to your expectations. Wildlife is never a sure thing and some days are quieter than others. This does sounds like a "slow day" at Pack Creek. This has been a strange summer with lots of warm weather which has had an impact on bear sightings. While we love sunny Alaskan days, the bears seem happier with cooler, wetter weather. These are some of the variables we don't control, and some of the chances that are always involved in a wilderness wildlife experience.


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Reviewed August 1, 2018 via mobile

This was a rough July: zero inches rain means rivers not running, salmon not running, bears laying in wait (and out of site). We went to an alternate location in search of said furry critters (half-day trip). Everything was great, including the hiking, bear scouting, scenery, and plane ride (saw a couple bears and a whale out the window). We did see a bear exiting the river. You can’t blame Dan for the bear shortage!!! Everything within his control he did most excellently, we were happy to travel with him, and would love the chance to go again!!! (On a rainy month).

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank 720303jeffreys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 4, 2018

Hard to believe we're asking for rain in Southeast Alaska! Thanks for coming along on this scouting mission. A big part of what thrills me about Alaska are the vast spaces I haven't gotten to explore yet. This spot was new to me and I really enjoyed getting to see it. Typically we hope it won't rain, but I am glad to see the clouds return!
Dan

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Reviewed July 16, 2018 via mobile

This was our first day in Alaska having travelled from London the day before

The guide Mya was fabulous and lead the group well and her passion for the brown bear was foremost

The flight over was lovely spotting a bear on the creek

The permitted area covered by the rangers based there is quite small

We watched a brother and sister pair from quite a distance from the viewing area followed by a mother bear which crossed the river delta

We walked up the first part of the trail looking at the bear habitat

We had a surprise passing of mother and cub on the way down

One slight negative at the end of the day was a very aggressive pilot from Alsakan seaplanes who just barked at us to get on the plane as quickly as possible left me to walk on float unsupervised , managed to knock my head on the wing
He continued to bark at us to get our seat belts on as if we were escaping on a military mission Definitely should nit be working in a tourist facing industry!

Overall a very special day ; Im glad we have more bear viewings coming up in Kodiak, Brooks and Katmai

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank jonworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan K, General Manager at Pack Creek Bear Tours, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2018

Jon,
Thanks for coming along and glad you got a great introduction to Alaskan bears in a beautiful wilderness setting. I am very sorry to hear that you had an unpleasant experience with the Alaska Seaplanes pilot. We have addressed the issue directly with the pilot and I hope you'll get in touch with me so that I can learn more about it and apologize directly. Safe travels!

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