Bear Viewing Flight to Prince of Wales Island
PLEASE NOTE: There is an additional fee for individuals weighing more than 250 lbs, fully clothed.
Prince of Wales
This bear viewing Ketchikan excursion brings you up-close with bears on massive Prince of Wales island, the third-largest island in the United States. This exciting Ketchikan cruise tour, combining forest flightseeing with a wildlife encounter, is offered August through mid-September.
Departing from the harbor in your quintessential Alaska bush plane, the legendary Dehavilland Beaver, you will fly westward out of Ketchikan toward big Prince of Wales Island. The aircraft seats up to 6 passengers with each passenger having a window seat. On the 20-minute flight, you see the islands and waterways that make up this section of the Inside Passage. You touch down on Polk Inlet, a long finger of saltwater where Dog Salmon Creek meets the sea. Four species of salmon come home to spawn in this creek, drawing the black bears we're here to observe.
You're met at the dock by an experienced and knowledgeable guide and walk about an eighth of a mile to the viewing area. On the way, your guide provides a natural-history course on the plants and animals in this lush rain forest ecosystem, from berries to bears. During this Ketchikan tour, you watch for bald eagles and ravens and scan for the bears we sometimes see in transit to and from Dog Salmon Creek. At the creek side viewing platform maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, you safely witness bears and salmon in nature's vital contest: salmon running a gantlet of waterfalls and predators to spawn upstream, bears feasting and fattening before their long winter of hibernation. This is one of the most popular bear viewing sites on Prince of Wales, with good chances to spot a bear when the salmon run is high.
Throughout the excursion, naturalist guides will answer your questions about the wildlife and flora of this rich temperate rain forest.
This exciting Ketchikan tour is offered through a permit with the U.S. Forest Service and opportunities to visit Dog Salmon Creek are limited. Please book your seat as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Excellent scenic flight to island. Walk to creek with black bears actively catching salmon. Creek was loaded with salmon. Bear guide was knowledgeable and professional. Worth every penny. Highly recommend.
Reviewer: Maureen Almon
Great float plane ride. All personnel were very friendly and knowledgeable. Saw three bears in natural environment and fishing. Great excursion!
Reviewer: Edgar Ball
Bears weren't very hungry in early Sept, but we did get to see them up fairly close. Don't expect to see them snag salmon out of the air like on Nat Geo channel. Seaplane ride was fun albeit a little bumpy. Wife had a flash of air sickness. So be warned of that if you have motion sickness probs.
Reviewer: Richele Larrance
This was absolutely the best excursion of our entire trip. We saw some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife ever.
Reviewer: James B Wacaster
We had a delay because of fog and could not fly when previously scheduled however the office kept us informed of the weather and eventually flew us to an alternate site where we did see bears. The flight was amazing. Comfortable sea plane with lots of windows so our group of 6 each had great views. We were not rushed when we were watching a bear at the salmon ladder feeding on several fish. Very relaxed excursion with no cattle car feel. Excellent excursion.