Join the fun on a 3-hour guided driving tour across the beautiful Chichagof Island. Chichagof is home to Icy Strait Point situated at the entrance of Port Frederick Bay to the indigenous people, the Tlingit, it is known as the Bay of Bears.
The Bay of Bears has six major salmon streams that flow through it. When the salmon spawn begins, the streams will be teeming with wildlife during the Alaskan summer. Salmon are a significant food source for Brown Bears, Marten, River otters, Minks, and Bald Eagles.
Away from the stream, you can see the wildlife in their natural habitat; Sitka blacktail deer, the many different songbirds, and various sea birds; bring your binoculars and camera. An essential food source for the community of Hoonah. These berries give you more nutrients than any cultivated berries per pound. In addition, other plants grown here have medicinal uses; our drivers will be happy to point them out to you!
Depart from the Excursions Hub with your lifelong Hoonah residential guides. Your guides will share local history and stories from living in Hoonah and all that Chichagof Island has to offer. This tour is a 3 Hour driving tour with a few very short walks. Wildlife is not guaranteed but your guides will do their best to point out any sightings.
Duration: 3 hours (Roundtrip from the Excursions Hub.)
- Roundtrip transportation from the Icy Strait Excursions Hub
Duration: 3 hours. Tour times below are approximate:
- 3 hours narrated scenic drive around the island
- This tour meets at the Excursions Hub. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.
ADA Accessibility of Tour:
- This tour is limited mobility accessible. Guests must be able to climb into and out of the van. There is minimal storage for collapsible wheelchairs or walkers. Please leave a comment during checkout if accommodations for collapsible equipment will be required on tour.
Are there any age restrictions for children?
There are no age restrictions for this tour.
What are our chances of seeing bears on this tour?
Our success rate for seeing bears is very high, however, wildlife cannot be guaranteed. Our area has more bears per square mile than any other place in Alaska with 1.7 bears per square mile.
Can I bring a backpack?
Backpacks, small bags, and purses are allowed on this tour.
Can I bring my own food or drink?
Non-alcoholic beverages in closeable containers and snacks are allowed on tour.
Are food and drink included?
Food and drinks are not included.
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Sep 2023 - Randy W.
Our tour with John and Marylyn was amazing and the highlight of our trip. Both of them have spent decades living on the island and there knowledge of the area was evident in our tour. Not only did we see three bears, but also harvested local herbs and berries. It was a tour for all the senses.
Sep 2023 - Frances O.
Marilyn and John were our guides and they were the best! They had so much knowledge about everything Alaska! They were able to take us to the perfect spots to see bears in the wild. Being locals and full time residents they were able to share so many cultural ways! Ask for John and Marilyn by name!!
Sep 2023 - Shawn B.
We were blessed to have John and Marilyn as our driver and guides. As local First Nation and Tlinglit people, they are extremely knowledgeable about their environment and the flora, fauna and animals. I was amazed at the variety of berries that can be foraged for, more than any place I know.
I always enjoy learning as much as i can about any location, and medicinal plants and others. We saw several squirrels, and bear, that we were able to get out of the van, (very quietly) and take photos. They were both on the lookout for recent bear signs during the whole drive and conferring with the other drivers to obtain the most viewings possible.
The location has a beauty all its own and one that I will not forget, thanks to John and Marilyn.
Aug 2023 - Olivia S.
I cannot emphasize how amazing our tour was and how much we enjoyed spending the morning with John the tour company owner. This tour was the highlight of our trip. John is not only a friendly and fun guy but really knows his stuff. We were able to see five total bears, two sets of a mother and cub and one male bear. He also brought us to a beautiful spot where we could try local berries fresh off of the plants. John's van is also incredibly clean for something that takes tourists around the natural beauty of the Alaskan mountains. I would really recommend this tour to anyone who wants to learn about the area from someone who lives there and who wants to really enjoy nature. John is so knowledgeable and we felt safe with him even while we were (somewhat) close to the bears. 10/10 recommend.
Aug 2023 - Ton-Yun F.
John and Marilyn took us on an amazing tour of the area. What a delight to see a bear with a fresh-caught salmon flopping in its mouth, and bald eagles in treetops!