Best independent "BEAR" excursion in Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Straight????

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#21
Ohio
169 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
All help appreciated!!!! We are doing a week DIY before our Southbound Alaska cruise.
We want to see brown bears ( have seen many many black bears in the hills of TN). I have researched a fly in trip to Chinitna bay but I am used to seeing bears fairly close (50-100 yds) & from what I have seen of the bay you are pretty far away most times & of course bears sightings are not a guarantee in the bay.
The Brooks Falls trip is possible but it is an entire day & we are travelling with another couple that is not interested in doing it.
So now we are looking at Ketchikan an Anan. We will be there July 29th 10am-6pm on a Princess cruise. Is it too late in the month for Anan? I know Traitors Cove is a good option for bears but from what I have read that is black bears only.
Thanks for any suggestions.
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#22
Syracuse, New York
51,834 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by joyful34
All help appreciated!!!! We are doing a week DIY before our Southbound Alaska cruise.
We want to see brown bears ( have seen many many black bears in the hills of TN). I have researched a fly in trip to Chinitna bay but I am used to seeing bears fairly close (50-100 yds) & from what I have seen of the bay you are pretty far away most times & of course bears sightings are not a guarantee in the bay.
The Brooks Falls trip is possible but it is an entire day & we are travelling with another couple that is not interested in doing it.
So now we are looking at Ketchikan an Anan. We will be there July 29th 10am-6pm on a Princess cruise. Is it too late in the month for Anan? I know Traitors Cove is a good option for bears but from what I have read that is black bears only.
Thanks for any suggestions.
You do know that Anan is also most often blacks as well??? Sure once in a while browns are seen, but better chances of not seeing any.
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#23
Ohio
169 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Budget Queen
You do know that Anan is also most often blacks as well??? Sure once in a while browns are seen, but better chances of not seeing any.
Yep, I know, but other then a chance encounter in Denali or something similiar it is our best chance of seeing any brown bears. Thanks though.
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#24
MD
25 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
For those who went through Hoonah travel adventures to Chicagof, how is it different than the ship tour to Chicagof? Someone said the ships only go to a viewing platform. Is that across all ships? We have the Chicagof Bear tour booked through RCI, but we are now looking for cheaper/better tours through private vendors where we can. Just don't want to go through hassle of canceling if it is the same tour. Thanks!
#25
Syracuse, New York
51,834 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Returntocruising16
For those who went through Hoonah travel adventures to Chicagof, how is it different than the ship tour to Chicagof? Someone said the ships only go to a viewing platform. Is that across all ships? We have the Chicagof Bear tour booked through RCI, but we are now looking for cheaper/better tours through private vendors where we can. Just don't want to go through hassle of canceling if it is the same tour. Thanks!
Yes all the ship tours go to the fixed platform. Bears can sometimes, be seen there, but, you have FAR more success, being on the move with a vendor who knows areas. This is never going to happen with anyone having larger than a van. Also it's significant- your timing, it's not a zoo and you need a salmon run.

Time and skill/knowledge is important. It's a mistake, in my opinion to book based on price. (since you mention this)
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#26
2,788 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by joyful34
Yep, I know, but other then a chance encounter in Denali or something similiar it is our best chance of seeing any brown bears. Thanks though.
My best friend is a driver on the Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali. In the past 10 years he has had maybe 10-12 days when they haven't seen a bear in the park. You just have to make sure you get all the way into the park on a shuttle bus to Eielson or the TWT. They will not all be close up, but the bears are frequently within a couple hundred feet of the road.
#27
Las Vegas
12,176 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by joyful34
All help appreciated!!!! We are doing a week DIY before our Southbound Alaska cruise.
We want to see brown bears ( have seen many many black bears in the hills of TN). I have researched a fly in trip to Chinitna bay but I am used to seeing bears fairly close (50-100 yds) & from what I have seen of the bay you are pretty far away most times & of course bears sightings are not a guarantee in the bay.
The Brooks Falls trip is possible but it is an entire day & we are travelling with another couple that is not interested in doing it.
So now we are looking at Ketchikan an Anan. We will be there July 29th 10am-6pm on a Princess cruise. Is it too late in the month for Anan? I know Traitors Cove is a good option for bears but from what I have read that is black bears only.
Thanks for any suggestions.
This is a late reply but why do you care what the other couple wants to do. Do what you want and let them do whatever they want. If I travel with someone else, I make this clear from the very beginning of the trip planning stage.

DON
#28
Michigan
343 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
We did the Hoonah Travel Adventures Wilderness Tour and Brown Bear Search on August 30 and saw 6 brown bear--really close, lol. We stopped on a bridge and saw a younger male meandering along and fishing going in one direction, and then he turned around and came back by us and kept on going, because a few minutes later a very large male came down the river. Then we went to another site with an observation platform where we saw a mother and two cubs, and then another large male. The narrative was great too.
#29
Ohio
169 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by donaldsc
This is a late reply but why do you care what the other couple wants to do. Do what you want and let them do whatever they want. If I travel with someone else, I make this clear from the very beginning of the trip planning stage.

DON
The all day fly in to Brooks falls from Anchorage means an extra day spent in Anchorage for them (& another night for all of us) which none of us want to do. We are prepared to do separate things during our week DIY land vacation but we only have 6 days and truthfully flying into Brooks for 4 hrs wouldn't be enough for us. We would like to do a package and stay at one of the back country camps for a few days at some point. It's our first trip to Alaska, and we already know we will be back. For our friends it's a one and done trip. Thanks for your reply.
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