Homepage / Tours / Admiralty Island Fortress of the Bear Kayak

Admiralty Island Fortress of the Bear Kayak

Admiralty Island Fortress of the Bear Kayak the 1st Next Tour Image Admiralty Island Fortress of the Bear Kayak the 2nd Next Tour Image


Hands-down the most exclusive Juneau bear watching tour offered, this full-day excursion 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.

Start this Juneau bear 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.

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 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.

What's Included

You will be provided with all necessary safety gear, orientation from a professional guide, USFS Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor Permit, Rain Gear (Jacket/Pants), Rubber Boots, Hearty Lunch and Bottled Water, and roundtrip van transportation from near the cruise ship docks and many major hotels in Juneau.

Frequently Asked Questions

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!
What about restroom facilities along the way?
You'll have a chance at the gear 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.
How many guests are on this tour?
There can be up to 12 participants on this trip and there is a minimum of 2 guests for the trip to operate. With advanced notice we can accommodate larger groups on private tours.
Do I need 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).
What if our cruise ship's schedule is canceled or delayed?
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, then you will receive a refund, less any non-refundable fees.
What is the difference between the Pack Creek viewing area and Windfall Harbor?
Of the 2 viewing locations on Admiralty Island, Pack Creek is slightly more accessible with designated viewing areas and a tower platform suitable for up to 8 people. Windfall Harbor requires a longer kayak paddle and a 1-mile hike through the rainforest and lacks any type of infrastructure or platforms - this one is true brown bear country!
Will the tour still operate if it's 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 fees).

Quick Facts


8h 00min

The minimum age for participants is 12 years old.


Customer Reviews 3

Total score

Popular Juneau Tours

Must-do activities while visiting Juneau