From Cache

Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, Totem Park & Eagles

A delightful eight-mile coastal drive takes you to the exclusive Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, a private reserve located in the forested mountains at rustic Herring Cove. This pristine natural environment is home to bald eagles, black bears, seals, a variety of birds and other species attracted by the major salmon runs in the abundant marine estuary. In addition to wildlife viewing opportunities, this tour enables you to see and photograph live eagles up close, and to observe a master native totem pole carver at work.

You will be greeted by your naturalist and guided along an improved trail through the heart of the dense forest, amongst tall stands of hemlock, spruce, and Alaska cedar. The forest floor is covered with mosses, wildflowers, and a variety of berries. Stops will be made at strategically located viewing areas. Your guide will lead you to a protected open estuary, where you follow Eagle Creek along an elevated wooden boardwalk overlooking grassy wetlands. Major runs of salmon return to spawn here. Watch and listen to the symphony of bird activity in this spectacular setting.

During the spawning season bears and seals feed on salmon in Eagle Creek and the likelihood of viewing these fascinating animals is good. Bald eagles and other birds wait for scraps in the estuary. Sitka blacktail deer, mink, and marten also frequent the area. Seasonal ecosystem changes result in varying levels of wildlife activity. If you like nature, you will love this tour.

At the conclusion of the half-mile trail hike, you will have an opportunity to visit the Alaska Wildlife Foundation, a non-profit organization. Take the opportunity to interact with and feed their Alaskan reindeer as well as see raptors up close as a raptor specialist explains the heritage and habitat of the different species. Following these great photographic opportunities, you will be guided through the historic Herring Bay Lumber Company sawmill, established by legendary pioneer Ben Fleenor. Observe a master native totem pole carver at work and enjoy his many works in front of our General Store.

Included: Rain ponchos if necessary. Admission to the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center.

Please Note: Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. Requires approximately 1/2 mile walk on possibly uneven terrain through forest. Not recommended for guests with mobility issues.

Duration: 2.75 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal.)


  • Rain ponchos if needed
  • Spotting scopes at the sawmill estuary


  • 1/2 mile walk on uneven terrain through forest. Not recommended for guests with mobility issues.

Duration: 2.75 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 - a 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

Meeting Instructions:

  • 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?

Wildlife is abundant in Southeast Alaska and sightings are possible on any tour. Bears are often seen during the late summer salmon spawning season, however cannot be guaranteed!

Are there any age restrictions for children?

There are no age restrictions for this tour.

Can I bring a backpack?

Backpacks, small bags, and purses are allowed on this tour.

Can I bring my own food or drink?

Food and drink are not allowed on the tour.

Are food and drinks included?

No, food and drinks are not included on this tour.

Are there any physical requirements for this tour?

Guests must be comfortable walking medium distances on uneven terrain.

What type of clothing should I wear?

Layered clothing and waterproof outerwear are recommended.

Not seeing answers to your questions?

Check out other frequently asked questions here!

Customer Reviews
May 2023 - LAUREN P.

This is a great excursion! To be honest, at first, I thought about skipping this excursion and just staying in town to shop, but I'm really glad I decided otherwise. You learn a lot about Tongass National Rainforest and get to see plenty of wildlife along the way. At the end, you get to meet the man that makes the totem poles and watch him carve a totem pole.

Sep 2022 - Erich R.

Eventhough it was raining all day, this was one of our best excursions of the trip! We had a great shuttle driver that knew a lot of history of the city and Rainforest guide was also very educated and informative. We were even fortunate enough to see 3 black bears up close (within about 50 yards away) It was a great tour!

Aug 2022 - Richard P.

Really enjoyed our walk in the rainforest. Kyle was our guide and did a fantastic job. He made the walk educational and very fun. Highly rated!

Aug 2022 - Shelley L.

Our tour guide was entertaining and knowledgeable. The walk was not that long and it was at a pretty easy pace. The Tongass rain forest is a place not to be missed.

Aug 2022 - John N.

The Rainforest Sanctuary guide was very knowledgeable and friendly, and the short hike was educational and enjoyable. The Totem Park part was a Q&A with a totem carver. The Eagles part was 3 rescued birds on display. We enjoyed our time.

Jul 2022 - Marlise P.

The forest was amazing. We were lucky and had amazing weather so we were able to see a lot. Brolin was our guide and he was so kind and patient with our kids. We saw lots of eagles, amazing birds being rehabilitated, a salmon run (late June), and learned about the incredible landscape. We also got to see an artist creating a totem pole and learn about the process. We really enjoyed this excursion.

Jun 2022 - Jill S.

Leroy was an EXCELLENT guide. His ability to walk backwards during the entire excursion was extremely impressive.

Jun 2022 - Rebecca M.

Enjoyed this- loved learning about different flowers/plants etc.

May 2022 - Kayla M.

My favorite excursion by far on our trip to Alaska!

May 2022 - Cheryl K.

Very informative, Brynn was a super tour guide. She was funny and very knowledgeable.

Oct 2019 - Martin M.

The people that take you through the tour are top notch and have a great explanation and knowledge of the rainforest. However, I thought it was really over priced for what we experienced.

Sep 2019 - Kathryn S.

The tour guides and van drivers were all very nice. The tour guides were very knowledgeable. We even got a treat and saw a Black Bear on our walk through the rainforest. It was an awesome experience. Thank you!

Sep 2019 - Robin D.

Guide was very knowledgable about the rain forest and the wildlife around including bears. We were lucky enough to see bears on the tour. The raptor center was a little disappointing with only one bird but all in all a good excursion.

Sep 2019 - Shane C.

Great guide. Great opportunity to see a Black bear safely up close.

Sep 2019 - Paul P.

Great excursion. The guide was fantastic. A nice walk through the forest with some good observations about plants and trees. We got to see 100's of Salmon swimming in the creek. And the best part was that we saw 5 bears eating the salmon. A mother and her 2 cubs came up real close to us. Highly recommend for the price and what you get. Only a 2 1/2 hours which was just right. From the boat, there is 15 minute bus ride.

Sep 2019 - Irene Y.

This was a very educational tour.

Sep 2019 - Gerard C.

Great experience enhanced by informative guide

Sep 2019 - Gary Q.

Tour guide was wonderful and the day was perfect weather-wise.

Aug 2019 - Yue Z.

Best story teller and great experience.

Aug 2019 - Richard M.

Excellent tour guide. Perfect for a multi-generational group.

Jul 2019 - Seonah C.

It was educational and fun.

Jul 2019 - Flor F.

Our guide was awesome. I think her name was Angie, but not 100% sure. Kudos to her. She is knowledgeable, friendly, ecologically involved, excellent in her work.

Jul 2019 - Kelly L.

Joseph was an excellent guide and SO knowledgeable! We loved seeing the eagles in the estuary most.

Jul 2019 - Jim B.

Our tour guide was exceptional.

Jul 2019 - Eric B.

The tour of the rain forest was informative and the guide was pleasant. The walk through the forest was clean and beautiful. I would give that portion a 5 star. The eagle sanctuary was a joke. There were two birds and the 'expert' told us nothing about the birds. The advertisement made the sanctuary sound like there would be dozens of birds and a lot of information.

Jul 2019 - Dahlia W.

Our guide Tracy was great! She s very passionate of what she does and very knowledgeable of the area.

Jul 2019 - Marla K.

Our guide was amazing! She had so much knowledge to share and patiently answered all of our questions. We were lucky enough to see a bear! We wished that there were more birds at the raptor center but everything else was wonderful!

Jun 2019 - Louis V.

This is a tour that should not be missed. It was well done with plenty of interesting facts, knowledgeable guides, and lots of wildlife. Indian totem poles being created were also a real plus. Need to put this tour on your bucket list!

Jun 2019 - DAVID A.

Great walk thru forest. Very informative and fun. Small groups and easy stroll.

Jun 2019 - Clare S.

After a delayed start due to a mix-up at the meeting place we had a great tour of the rainforest. Our guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. I must admit that we expected to see more eagles from the Sanctuary at the end of the tour but otherwise a great excursion

Jun 2019 - Diane S.

Your guide was very knowledgeable and conscious of the age span and capability of the group. The tour was paced very well and the placement of the benches assisted some in the group to be able to finished the tour without hold everyone up.

Jun 2019 - THOMAS T.

Great time, knowledgeable guide. We saw bears in the field in addition to the falcon and bald eagle at the aviary, met the guy who makes the totem poles. We wanted to go the salmon fishery, but it's not part of the tour ... Later in summer, the guide said salmon fill the stream which would have been cool to see

Jun 2019 - Rachel R.

the guide was lovely and we learnt a lot but it wasnt what i thought, as i thought there would be more birds to look at in the sancuary and not just a 2 minute look

Jun 2019 - Greg G.

Clara our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly A bit disappointed that there were not as many eagles to view but overall quite enjoyable.

Jun 2019 - Paul Richard John K.

Interesting tour but lacking content. The guide was reasonably knowledgeable but really not a lot to see and do on this tour. We spotted a young bald eagle on a low tree branch but the guide would not allow us to go further on the board walk as that part of the board walk was for the Salmon viewing area for a different tour which was closed. I would have seen no hard in having the gate open and board walk extended. I would not really highly recommend this tour.

Jun 2019 - Mike H.

It was a nice tour. For our third time to Alaska it was a bit dull. I expected more with the Eagle Sanctuary. One eagle on a perch inside of an enclosure, I was not impressed. However the description of the tour is 100% accurate. It was good way to kill a couple of hours.

Jun 2019 - Ifang L.

A nice short hike to see salmon, eagles, plants, the environment bears and salmon live and totem poles carvings.

May 2019 - Sherill F.

Enjoyed this rainforest tour,the guide was amazing with lots of knowledge of the area,very informative. Glad the walk was no longer though,being older citizens it would have been to much for us.

May 2019 - Gwen O.

This was a wonderful experience. Driver Ed kept us informed and entertained on the way from the dock to the Sanctuary. Guide Red was informative, interesting, funny, and very patient with all the questions we had. The Sanctuary birds make you realize how important it is to donate to these types of places. They were regal and beautiful and clearly well cared for!

Sep 2018 - Michael L.

Great excursion, informative guides .

Sep 2018 - Teresa W.

If you come to Ketchikan, AK, come prepared for rain. Wear a waterproof outer layer with a hood. All the locals are used to the rain so are unfazed?it was the unprepared tourists that were all complaining). The walk through the rainforest was along a paved path, very easy and at slowish pace. There was no rush. We saw a lot of the variety of the plants that make up the rainforest. We were also lucky enough to see a black bear and her cub. Our naturalist, Clara, was informative and stopped every few feet to point out something. If someone had a question off script, she answered it.

Sep 2018 - Gary B.

Nice walk through rain forest and were able to view black bears feeding on salmon.

Sep 2018 - Peter K.

We loved this trip. Our guide Joe was deeply connected to the forest and so passionate about all things in it! His enthusiasm, knowledge and pure excitement in his job was infectious and a joy to experience. We even had the added bonus of some bears up close and personal. Well worth a visit.

Aug 2018 - Michael M.

Great walk. Very informative.

Aug 2018 - Marilyn W.

Very enjoyable and great variety of things to see.

Aug 2018 - Ramgopal N.

Excellent experience! Our Tour guide, Mr.Joe, was extremely knowledgeable and explained everything nicely!

Aug 2018 - Esther C.

This excursion was ok, the guide was very knowledgeable but I thought the walk through the forest would have been longer. The animal sanctuary was really small

Aug 2018 - Jon K.

Lack of rain for a week coupled with low tide meant the salmon were not running and the bears not "fishing", The rainforest walk and sawmill OK; the Raptor center held two eagles, an owl and a hawk.... only there for a few minutes.

Aug 2018 - Gang W.

The introduction of the tour guide is great, we gain a lot of knowledge of the plant and animals in this area. The eagle section introduction is a bit too simple. Another regret thing is that we only see the sign of bear but didn't really see one.

Aug 2018 - Mairi F.

All excursions beautifully organised!

Aug 2018 - Maryan J.

Our guide didn't speak clearly or loud enough much of the time. She was pleasant and knew what she was presenting when we could hear and understand her

Jul 2018 - Daniel B.

Great tour! Guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Jul 2018 - W S.

Our guide, Sarah, was fantastic. Knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

Jul 2018 - Ravi R.

It was a easy walk & informative. we got to see black bear towards the end of our walk, which was very exciting. Also saw a lot of bald eagles.

Jul 2018 - Kevin C.

Our guide was very knowledgeable. We enjoyed his enthusiasm over the banana slug. We especially liked the raptor rescue center at the end. We were able to see a bald eagle up close.

Jul 2018 - Thomas S.

Excellent experience on the excursion. Our drive was great and a continuous source of information and humor.

Jul 2018 - John R.

Very informative tour leader during the rainforest tour - the Eagle Sanctuary was the highlight.

Jul 2018 - Robert K.

I can not remember the cute little blonde headed girl who was our tour guide but she was very informative and had such a great personality that came through during our tour.

Jul 2018 - RUBY O.

Great and I loved the totem pole carving.

Jun 2018 - Kerryne K.

This was a great excursion, the young women that was the guide had both a terrific personality and very knowledgeable. She had an answer for every question and told us some things that we would never have found out otherwise. Well Done

Jun 2018 - Karen M.

Enjoyable walk through the forrest. A bit pricey for this activity.

Jun 2018 - Jennifer H.

Great tour lead by a knowledgeable guide. The bald eagles flying above was the highlight of the day.

Jun 2018 - Douglas N.

Savannah our guide was very engaging and gave us lots of interesting information about the Alaskan Rainforest plants, trees and animals. The banana slug was huge and yellowy, we saw evidence of Black Bear presence. In the river we watched King Salmon swimming upstream, the start of the salmon run. At the eagle sanctuary we got up close to a female bald eagle, a hawk and an owl. As a bonus on the drive back to Ketchikan we saw orcas in the bay. A group of 6, so a really personal friendly tour.

Jun 2018 - Jill C.

Really great half day. You get out into the real rainforest and learn so much about the area. Joe was a great guide, interesting and informative. We managed to see a bear, eagles and a seal plus the rescue birds and totem centre. Highly recommend getting out on foot like this.

Jun 2018 - Terence G.

Another very interesting and informative few hours about the forest and its trees and plants, we also saw plenty of eagles, salmon swimming up the river and a bear feeding near the lodge.

Jun 2018 - Gregory J.

Great tour. Knowledgeable guide and very interesting.

Jun 2018 - James P.

Had a great time! The guide was really knowledgeable and did a good job of pointing things out. This is more of a walking tour and not a hike, so keep that in mind for expectations. Overall a fun experience and just the right amount of time.

Jun 2018 - Mercedes C.

We had a great time in the rainforest, and the eagle sanctuary was the best.

Jun 2018 - Ross M.

Awesome tour through the rainforest and the guide was very knowledgeable and helpful.

May 2018 - Montie B.

The pace of the guide was a little slow. Other wise I really enjoyed the visit.

May 2018 - Trevor P.

Very enjoyable; Savannah was the nicest tour guide and knowledgeable on all scores.

Oct 2017 - Teresa R.

Saw two captive bald eagles and two wild flying squirrels and plenty of salmon and a BEAR eating salmon for about 10 mins. Tootsie our guide was great, she gave us lots of information about the rainforest and inhabitants, really recommend this tour,

Sep 2017 - Diana M.

We really enjoyed our walk in the rainforest and spotting some bears eating salmon was exciting. Our guide was full of some much knowledge about the plants and trees. Didn't see any eagles in the wild but the talk on the injured eagle was very interesting.

Sep 2017 - Amy K.

We enjoyed the sanctuary, and were thrilled that we got to see several bears while on our tour. It would have been nice to have a little more time at the end of the tour to explore the grounds/giftshop. But other than that we really enjoyed this excursion.

Sep 2017 - John F.

Great walk thru the Sanctuary! We saw black bear fishing for salmon, eagles, a family of otters, among other wildlife. Easy walk with excellent, educational narration from guides who really love their jobs! If you have a few hours, it's well worth the $$.

Sep 2017 - Thomas S.

Very good tour, knowledgeable guide, very interesting, eagle conservation, totem carving and four black bears

Sep 2017 - Issamary M.

Smoth transfers from cruise to rainforest and back to town. Guides at the Rainforest were fun and knowledgeable.

Aug 2017 - Anna R.

Our guide was great

Jul 2017 - Denise W.

This was a last minute compromise we made with the kids and I think we didn't have very high expectations of it. We sort of thought it was a place where we'd see a bunch of injured animals being cared for, but I think this turned out to be our favorite thing we did! The guide was great. Can't remember his name of course but a red head with a beard, big guy, really knowledgeable, funny, accommodating, and enthusiastic. The rainforest was amazingly serene and beautiful and we got to see a bear (which was up to that point the only thing on my list I hadn't seen in Alaska) so we were pretty excited when the bear showed up...actually two bears showed up. We saw tons of bald eagles too. Even the bus driver (also a red-head oddly enough) was great and full of interesting stories and history. I highly recommend this tour for both the experience it provides as well as the value of the excursion.

Jul 2017 - Tracy R.

Clint did a great job. Really enjoyed this tour

Jul 2017 - Tonya H.

Rylee was awesome!! She is very friendly, knowledgable, and kind. Leanne, our transport driver, was also very kind. We had a blast!

Jun 2017 - Gordon R.

Exelent guide very interesting

Jun 2017 - Victoria V.

It was great! our guide was terrific.

Jun 2017 - Lara H.

This was a good tour for families. Good length, good walk which let us see nature but not too long, especially since it was cool and rainy. We really enjoyed seeing the eagles at the end. My toddler enjoyed the whole tour as well as his grandparents.

May 2017 - Pat Edward And W.

This was an excellent tour with an extremely knowledgeable and entertaining guide. Who else could go into raptures over banana slugs? The forest development was well explained, eagles on trees and other birds pointed out and it was a real thrill to see a bald eagle close up. Also feeding banana to reindeer was surprising and unexpected. Many thanks for making a rain soaked day pleasant.

Sep 2016 - Cynthia Marcela R.

Great tour, our guide was Kevin and he was so passionate about the rainforest, had all kind of amazing information and fun facts, the day was rainy ( as usually is in Ketchikan) but we still were able to do it. We saw 2 black bear cubs with mama bear like 2 mts from us!!! It was awesome and a little scary but they didn't pay much attention to us since they had a river full of delicious salmon to feast. Totally recommend this activity!

Aug 2016 - Joseph L.

This was the best excursion. I wish it had been longer. Our guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. This was the kind of excursion I came for! Thank you!

Aug 2016 - Joyce G.

Loved walking on the improved trails through the rainforest, and learning all about the flora and fauna in the area. My only complaint was that our tour guide (a young female, I can't remember her name) was a bit flippant and acted like the info she was giving out was not important. Might just be her way of communicating. She DID give us good, important info.

Aug 2016 - Carole J.

Very knowledgeable tour guide for this adventure. It poured the day we were there, but the guides were ready with appropriate gear. We didn't see any bears, but did learn a lot about the Ketchikan area. The eagle sanctuary is a great benefit for our world, and it was nice to see the rescued eagles.

Aug 2016 - Norman S.

Tour personnel, structure and area were excellent - on the day of the tour, I was not feeling well (got extremely wet & cold and left the group prior to the end). Even though, I would still rate this venue / tour outstanding!

Jun 2016 - Kristin S.

Really enjoyed this excursion, being that close to an eagle was so awesome.

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Duration: 2.75 hours

Number of Passengers *

Adult: $105.00

Child (2-11): $55.00

Infant (Free under 2): $0.00

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