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 bear, 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, interact with reindeer, 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, wild flowers 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 black tail 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 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 tour of the historic sawmill, totem park and Alaska Raptor Center exhibit
- 20 minutes in the gift shop before returning
- 20 minutes transfer to 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?
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.
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