This tour begins with a narrated tour through the town of Ketchikan, followed by a scenic drive up the breathtaking Alaskan coast into the bear country at the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. Experience one of the most accessible bear-watching areas in Southeast Alaska.
Be one of the limited few who get to take a stroll guided by a knowledgeable naturalist along the protected raised boardwalks of the sanctuary in search of black bears. Walk through the magnificent forest of towering cedar, spruce, and hemlock trees and over to the grassy wetlands next to Herring Creek. At the creek, you will be able to safely observe from elevated platforms the spawning salmon and the bears and seals who gather to feed on them. If conditions are right, you may also catch a glimpse of the eagles and other birds of prey who wait for scraps in the tidal estuary.
After the walk, your group will visit the Alaska Raptor Center exhibit. Get a close view of Eagles and other birds of prey. Here you can learn about the different raptor species, as well as, their rescues and rehabilitations.
Additionally, you will journey to the historic Herring Bay Lumber Company Sawmill and the Tsimshian totem pole park. Gaze in wonder at the immaculately carved 40-foot totem along with 13 other fantastic poles, all caved by the same master carver! Don't forget to stop into the general store to snag that perfect souvenir to remind you of your amazing trip! Please note that this tour only operates August-September.
Duration: 3.25 hours (Roundtrip from the cruise ship terminal.)
- Alaska Raptor Center Admission
- Roundtrip transportation
- Rain ponchos (if needed)
- Minimum age:12 years old
- 1/2 mile walk on over relatively flat terrain. The focus of the tour will be on viewing the black bear in their natural habitat. (Difficulty Level: Easy)
- Comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing and waterproof jackets are recommended
Duration: 3.25 hours. Tour times below are approximate:
- 20 minutes - narrated scenic tour to Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary
- 5 minutes - safety briefing and restroom break
- 1.25 hours - guided rainforest trail walk
- 25 minutes - tour of the historic sawmill, totem park and Alaska Raptor Center exhibit
- 20 minutes - in the gift shop before returning
- 20 minutes - transfer to the cruise ship pier
- This tour meets at the Liquid Sunshine Rain Gauge. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.
ADA Accessibility of Tour:
- This tour is limited mobility and wheelchair accessible. Guests should have a traveling companion to assist with pushing the wheelchair during the tour. If this is not an option, let us know to make other arrangements. Please leave a comment during checkout to confirm adequate space in transportation if a wheelchair will be brought on tour.
Will I see any wildlife or bears on this tour?
You will have a guide who is knowledgeable about the wildlife that inhabit the rainforest, and it is extremely likely that you will see bears but not guaranteed. You may also see whales, salmon streams, and bald eagles on your way to the bear viewing falls.
Are there any age restrictions for children?
This is a limited use area. Minimum age is 12 years and above.
What type of clothing should I wear?
We recommend wearing clothes that can be layered. A lightweight shirt, sweater, and jacket will allow you to adapt to varying temperatures. Comfortable waterproof hiking shoes or sneakers are also recommended. Also, pack a hat and sunglasses.
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Sep 2023 - Donald W.
Very small tour group; that was cool. Salmon were all over the place, and so were the bears. Our guy was great. The bird rehab center at the end was a treat, standing arms length away from a resident bald eagle. My #1 land excursion for sure. Highly recommended.
Sep 2023 - Diana M.
The guides Gina and Mickey were wonderful, and we saw bears grabbing salmon and feeding their cubs. Amazing experience!
Aug 2023 - Carla C.
What an amazing experience! We saw no less than 10 bears. Two of them with babies. The guides did a great job and had answers for every question. They were patient with everyone and let us stay as long as we wanted. I would use Alaska Shore Excursions all over again! Thank you for such a great tour!