Pack Creek Bear tour

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#2
4,290 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Wow who is offering a Pack Creek bear tour in May? The peak season for Pack Creek is more like mid July and later, through sometime in August. Sure you might see a bear in May, but I would never take such an expensive tour unless I were going in peak season.
#3
Canberra, Australia
2,305 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Here is some info I found when researching this trip:

*Peak time for bear viewing at Pack Creek is July 5 to August 25

*Permits are required to visit Pack Creek and there are only 24 permits per day allowed in peak season. 12 permits are available from a National Parks website for those wanting to visit on their own, and 12 are available from commercial guide companies that take tourists into the area - here is the link for permits:
http://www.recreation.gov/wilderness...O&parkId=72356

*There is no road to Pack Creek; access is by floatplane, motorboat, sailboat, kayak, or canoe only. Most visitors arrive by floatplane from Juneau.

*There are no bathrooms, shelters, cell phone access, and you can't take food in. There are bear proof lockers where you first arrive to store food in. So you really need to be prepared for whatever the elements are going to throw at you.

*If you come by float plane, you will need to walk through water to get to shore, but from what I have seen tour companies seem to provide waders or boots.

*Not all commercial tour companies are allowed to guide into Pack Creek in peak season (this surprised me). The National Parks website and the USDA website provides a list of those that are allowed to guide in this time. However, these lists are slightly different, so would be best to contact the company you are interested in and double check if they are allowed to guide into Pack Creek in peak season.
National Park site:
http://www.recreation.gov/marketing/...CGuideList.pdf
USDA site:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongas...telprdb5401931
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Bill and Yvette, Canberra, Australia - 186 nights at sea - 71 RCI (6 cruises) & 115 X (11 cruises)
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#4
Palm Harbor, FL
13,065 Posts
Joined May 2000
Too early for Pack Creek.

If your cruise stops in Skagway you can rent a car and drive into the Yukon. Should spot some bears along the road in May
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Linda
#5
south Florida
440 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I heard that bears eat dandelions and other things if the salmon aren't swimming? Does Pack Creek only have Bear tours in Peak Season?
Isn't it an island Bear Sanctuary? They should know where the bears are.
#6
4,290 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by 4cats,1dog
I heard that bears eat dandelions and other things if the salmon aren't swimming? Does Pack Creek only have Bear tours in Peak Season?
Isn't it an island Bear Sanctuary? They should know where the bears are.
Again, which company is offering this tour a month or two before peak season?

Do you realize how large the island is where Pack Creek is located? Bears go where the food is and if they eat dandelions it won't be at Pack Creek in May . That is also why you don't see many people flocking to Brooks Falls in Katmai NP other than in July and September. Bears are somewhere but not at the water when the fish are not there.

I would never spend that kind of money on a bear viewing fly-in when it is nowhere near peak season. But it is your money not mine and it sounds like you are trying to convince yourself it it worthwhile.
#7
Syracuse, New York
49,853 Posts
Joined May 2000
Pack creek is a specific location, you would not be going anywhere else to "find" bears. With no salmon, they aren't going to be there. The viewing is a platform at a river/creek. This is a PEAK season excursion in my opinion, only.
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#9
Palm Harbor, FL
13,065 Posts
Joined May 2000
Well, after reading the information about the shoulder season trips they offer - I say go for it! Hopefully, you will enjoy it and that's all that really matters

Be sure and come back and post about the experience!
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Linda
#11
Syracuse, New York
49,853 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by frugaltravel
Definitely sounds like a great PR write up. Still it would not be on my list for May.
I have flown with Butch a few times, but not to Pack Creek. This company is highly respected and although, I only do my fly in bear tours in peak (even chartered a flight and guide on a trip last year, so to have more time), but, I do doubt this may be hype? IF I were to consider this, I would ask for stats. I would certainly want to know how many trips were skunked, and how many they do? Do they have a customer base for daily fights?

This "may" be something I'll look at next year, since my next Alaska trip is early Sept.
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Happy Alaska travels

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