Admiralty Island Fortress of the Bear Kayak

  • Juneau float plane tours
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    The float plane is a welcomed aspect of this tour, providing overhead views of the terrain below
  • Juneau shore excursions
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    What is it? Curious cubs anxiously looking on…
  • Windfall Harbor bears
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    A one-mile hike at Windfall Harbor on the way to the bear viewing area
  • Brown bear salmon fishing
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    These skilled anglers are enjoying some afternoon snacks
  • Alaskan Juneau tours
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    Untouched by man, the land below provides a glimpse into true wilderness
  • Brown bear viewing
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    If you have a good zoom lens, you’ll take home some great close-ups
  • Bear viewing in Juneau
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    360 degree views encompass every part of this Juneau shore excursion
  • Juneau tours and shore excursions
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    One of Juneau’s most exclusive tours puts you up close and personal with these wild animals
  • Sea kayaking Juneau Alaska
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    Expert guides provide informative narrative and insights into the local ecology
  • Admiralty Island tour
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    Spend plenty of time observing bears’ behavior in their natural habitat
  • Admiralty Bear Juneau Tours
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    Views from the area, passing over waterways and islands below
  • Juneau tours
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    A peaceful sea kayaking adventure in anticipation of the wildlife opportunities up ahead
  • Pack Creek bear viewing
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    At Pack Creek, a raised tower provides a great area to photograph and see bears below
  • Alaskan rainforest
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    Pristine temperate rainforest is characterized by old growth in this designated wilderness area
  • Brown bear adventure
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    Where are the fish? Watching these guys catch fish is surely impressive!
  • Brown bear adventure, Juneau AK
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    During late summer, salmon spawning provides ample feeding opportunities for bears on Admiralty Island
  • Brown bear viewing tour
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    Your friends might not believe some of your photos from this trip!
  • Ultimate bear adventure in Juneau
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    Some bears can be seen on the coasts as you cruise along in the sea kayaks
Hands-down the most exclusive Juneau tour we offer, this Admiralty brown bear viewing tour is a full-day excursion that provides wildlife encounters on another level. Flying out to Admiralty Island, also known as 'the Fortress of the Bears', a float plane drops you off in a remote wilderness where you will sea kayak along the coast of what is home to one of the highest density brown bear and nesting bald eagle populations on the planet! Pull the kayaks on shore, and find a viewing location with your guide to observe brown bears in their native habitat; no walls, no fences. Check out Windfall Island when you land before heading over to Admiralty Island for your bear viewing experience at Pack Creek, which encompasses true Alaskan wilderness and unparalleled wildlife opportunities.

What to expect and what not to expect with this Juneau shore excursion

Start this Juneau tour with a pick-up right at the cruise docks and transportation to the float plane base, which allows an opportunity for gear fitting and safety instructions for the day. A 20-minute float plane flight culminates on the shores of Windfall Island, where sea kayaks await for the next leg of this journey. From here, you will paddle ato Admiralty Island, keeping your eyes peeled for brown bears, bald eagles, and even whales and seals which frequent these waters. Extremely knowledgable guides share insights into the ecology of your surroundings and wildlife behavior, providing an excellent narrative to complement the stunning scenery in all directions.

  • Limited spaces held with Forest Service, sells out quickly
  • An Alaskan 'all-in-one' experience
  • Home to 1,800 bears
  • Private tour options are available
  • Small-group setting
  • Lunch provided

Guests in late summer will enjoy watching spawning salmon returning home, swimming upstream to mate, which of course is a popular location for brown bears as well. Enjoy lunch on the beach, savoring this wilderness area and the sensitive ecological balance that accompanies it. Photographers will fill up their SD cards with some of the most amazing up-close bear shots, and there is enough time to really observe and deepen your appreciation for these majestic animals. Eventually, make the return trip home via kayak to the float plane location for the return flight back to Juneau. It will undoubtedly be hard to put this experience into words upon your return, but the imprint of this Juneau shore excursion will surely stay with you.

Please note: Kayaking is only included from June-August. In May & September a direct flight is taken to the Pack Creek area to maximize bear viewing time.

Looking for more ways to see Alaska's famous bears? How about the Wildlife Safari & Bear Viewing Tour in Skagway & the Neet's Bay Bear Viewing & Flightseeing Adventure in Ketchikan!

Minimum Ages, Cancellations, Accessibility, Etc.


  • Restrictions: The minimum age for participants is 12 years old, except if booking a private tour (minimum 8).
  • Accessibility: Guests must weigh under 250lbs. Must be fit enough to paddle a kayak for 3 miles and hike about 1 mile (Note: kayaking portion is about 8 miles round trip if going to Windfall Harbor). The kayaks can accommodate a maximum torso (waist-chest) diameter of 52 inches (132cm). People taller than 6’2″ (198cm) have a hard time operating the rudder because the pedals only adjust to a certain maximum distance. However, people as tall as 6’6″ have been able to paddle in our kayaks.
  • Cancellation Policy: This tour includes a non-refundable $50 permit in the tour cost. In the event your cruise ship is late, delayed, or doesn't make it into port we will issue a refund for the tour, excluding this $50 fee. Changes or cancellations are allowed up to 14 days prior to the tour departure. Any cancellations made within 14 days of the tour departure are non-refundable.
  • What to Wear: We recommend you prepare for rain and hope for sunshine in regards to the weather. Due to the cool, damp climate, it is best not to wear cotton and instead, wear clothing made of polyester, wool, fleece, nylon, polypropylene and/or capilene. A full list of what to bring will be included in your confirmation email.
For availability and timing, complete the information on the sidebar
  • Passenger Rate: $849
  • There are no child rates available for this tour
    Private tours are available for increased price, ask us about details
    + 5% sales tax
You've got questions, we've got answers
Q:Will the trip still operate if it is raining?
Because much of SE Alaska is a rainforest, these Juneau tours do operate rain or shine. Rain jackets and pants are provided on this trip. If weather conditions are unsafe, the trip will be canceled and we will provide a refund (minus non-refundable deposit). This can happen on kayaking trips from time to time and will be typically related to sea or lake conditions, not rain.
Q:What if our ship is delayed or doesn't make it into port?
It's very rare that a ship is delayed into port, but in those cases we will try our best to work with you to reschedule the tour to a later time. If that is not a possibility or your ship doesn't make it into port, we will refund you (minus non-refundable deposit).
Q:What about restroom facilities along the way?
You'll have a chance at the base to use the restroom, but after that we will be entering the great outdoors. We recommend all guests follow 'Leave No Trace Principles' and should the need arise, we request packing all trash from the trip including toilet paper. If this is of concern for you, we recommend bringing toilet paper and a ziploc bag for easy packing.
Q:How many guests are on this tour?
There can be up to 10 passengers on this trip, and there is a minimum of 2 guests for the trip to operate. With advance notice, we can accommodate larger groups on private tours.
Q:When is the best time for seeing bears? Are we guaranteed to see them?
The best chance to view brown bears is July and August during salmon spawning season. May and June are also great months because it’s brown bear mating season. The number of bears a group sees varies greatly through the summer, but most visitors see at least one bear if not more. However, bear sightings are not guaranteed. This is wild Alaska!
Q:What are the different bear viewing areas like?
When arriving at Admiralty Island, you will first land at Pack Creek which is the slightly more accessible of our bear viewing sites, with designated viewing areas. The second option involves a 1-mile hike through the rainforest to a bear viewing platform that holds up to 8 people.
Q:Do I need previous kayaking experience?
Nope! This trip is rated as 'Easy' or 'Moderate', and we can accommodate even beginner kayakers. There is a recommended fitness level with the ability to paddle for 3 miles and hike about 1 mile (Note: kayaking portion is about 8 miles round trip if going to Windfall Harbor).
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A quick breakdown of what the typical timing looks like for this tour
  • 30 minutes: Pick-up and cruise docks and transportation to Ward Air
  • 30 minutes: Time set aside for orientation, gear fitting, and boarding the float plane
  • 20 minutes: Scenic float plane flight towards Admiralty Island
  • 1.5 hours: Trade the float plane for a kayaks and paddle the along the coasts of Admiralty Island
  • 3-4 hours: Time dedicated to bear viewing, hiking through old growth temperate rainforest, lunch on the beach
  • 20 minutes: Float plane flight back to Juneau
  • 30 minutes: Return van transfer to downtown Juneau and cruise docks