The community of Hoonah, with a year round population of approximately 800, is located in the northern part of Chichagof Island. Hoonah is also home to one of Southeast Alaska's hidden gems, Icy Strait Brewing!
The vast majority of Chichagof island is pure, uninhabited, Alaskan wilderness teeming with wildlife! The Brown Bear is the king of the forest but Sitka black-tail deer, bald eagle, mink, marten, beaver, duck and sea birds thrive on the island and are frequently spotted on this tour. One of the last grizzly strongholds, the dense rain forests of Chichagof Island in southeast Alaska hide more brown bear per square mile than any other place on Earth.
This 4+ Hour High Top Van based tour is limited to the months between May and September because those months offer the highest probability of seeing bears. Your local guide will pick you up at Icy Strait Point, drive you through the City of Hoonah while pointing out what makes Hoonah unique. Then it is off into the Tongass National Forest in search of wildlife!
After approximately 2.5hrs in the forest, it's back to Hoonah where you will be dropped off at Icy Strait Brewing. Using crystal clear water from the mountain streams of Chichagof Island, Icy Strait Brewing crafts several styles of beer on site. Guests 21 and older will receive a token good for a flight of 3 (A Light, a Medium and a Dark) beers, and sampling of fresh popcorn seasoned with a locally sourced Kelp Blend seasoning.
You can spend as much time as you like at the brewing company as we have a shuttle that makes frequent stops at the brewery on the way back to the port.
Please note: While there is a high probability of seeing bears, we cannot guarantee sighting. We can guarantee a journey into wilderness and a chance to experience the sheer beauty and ruggedness of the Tongass National Forest!
Tour is primarily vehicle based. Guests should dress in layers when visiting Alaska. If it is safe to do so, your guide will allow you to get out and take pictures of the wildlife. Guests do not have to get out of the vehicle if they do not want to and very little walking is involved.
Duration: 4 hours (Roundtrip from Icy Strait Point Adventure Center - Excursion Hub)
- Roundtrip transportation from Icy Strait Point Adventure Center - Excursion Hub
- Token for flight of 3 beer sampling from Icy Strait Brewing
- Bottled water
- Local tour guide
- Photo ID is required for 21 years and older for beer sampling
- Minimum age: 5 years old
- Although tour is primarily van based, short walks in the forest are sometimes requried so guest should be able to negotiate uneven terrain
Duration: 4+ hours. Tour times below are approximate:
- 15 minutes transport from port to forest
- 2.5 hours on wildlife and bear search
- 15 minutes to Icy Strait Brewing
- 45+ minutes at Brewery - you can leave at your leisure. We have a shuttle that makes frequent stops from the brewery to the port
- 15 minutes transport back to port
- This tour meets at the Icy Strait Point Adventure Center - Excursion Hub. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.
ADA Accessibility of Tour:
- This tour is not wheelchair or limited mobility accessible. There is no storage available for wheelchairs or walkers.
Are there restrooms in the forest?
No, there are no facilities in the forest. There is a restroom at the brewery.
Is there a lot of hiking involved?
Although this is primarily a van based tour, depending on where the bears are located, your guide may get guest out of the van on bridges over streams. Your guide may also take you on a short walk through the woods. Guest should be able to negotiate uneven terrain.
How will I get back to the port from the brewery?
Your guide will drop you off at the brewery where you can spend as much time as you like. We have a shuttle that makes frequent stops at the brewery on the way back to the port.
What should I wear?
Layers are always a good idea when visiting Alaska.
Where does this tour meet?
This tour meets at the Icy Strait excursions hub, which is a short walk away from your cruise ship. Detailed meeting instructions will be included on your ticket voucher.
Not seeing answers to your questions?
Check out other frequently asked questions here!