Chichagof Island has been named "Bear Island" by National Geographic because it has the highest concentration of bears in the world at 1-2 brown bears per square mile. This Exclusive Wildlife and Bear Search small group tour will give you a flexible, up-close experience that the large group tours simply cannot offer.
There are many exciting things to see, such as a the scenic view of a muskeg, some of the ten varieties of edible berries found on the island, viewing an old growth forest, and potential sightings of the king of the island: brown bears.
Based on current bear movements, feeding habits, and daytime temperatures, there are short stops in key locations to scope out a magnificent view of these captivating creatures, and your wildlife guide knows them all. They will also share information about the area and the Tlingit Native population.
There is also a host of other wildlife that are quite frequently spotted during excursions, including mink, marten, red squirrels, otter, beaver, ducks, sea birds, Sitka black-tail deer, and plenty of bald eagles. So be sure to bring your camera.
Please note: Wildlife sightings can never be guaranteed. However, this tour can re-position quickly, and there is a much higher chance of sightings than with the slow moving, large tour groups.
Reviewer: James Elliott
We saw several bear and dear. So we got some great pictures, even got exciting when the bear came up on the road, our guide handled the situation very professionally.
Reviewer: Mary Jo Diefenthaler
Our driver Luke made the trip awesome. The first thing we did was stop on the side of the road and watch 6 whales swim by. Then he told us all about his island and drove us to all the places that the bears have been spotted. We saw many signs of bears and a couple up the stream but blocked by trees and Luke just stayed out there with us way past the time of the excursion. Finally, this big bear just walked down the river right to us, went under the bridge and then on the other side, jumped on a salmon and took it into the woods to eat it. It would have been a wonderful day just being in the beautiful Alaskan wilderness, but that just topped it all off. We were all so happy for Luke, too, because he worked so hard to give us this outstanding day. Then we all went to lunch together and had a great time. We went on many great excursions during our 10 days in Alaska, but this was the best by far and mostly because Luke made it so much fun.
Reviewer: Lynn Dettman
Our guide, Luke, was determined to show us live wild brown bear and he came through. We saw 4 bear. One large 500 lb brown bear came in to a creek we were at watching the salmon run and we watched the bear catch and eat salmon. So cool to see. That was my nat geo moment. This excursion was a highlight of my trip to Alaska. Thank you Luke.
Our guide, Luke, who lives on the island made the difference. He worked very hard to show us bears, eventually we saw a grizzly. He also educated us on plants, local lifestyle and saw bald eagles.
Reviewer: Matt B. Cincinnati
A 10 minute walk from the ship at 7:00AM, we met Luke, our guide and driver. Luke did a fine job of telling us what to expect, and spotting bears along the way. There were eight of us in a van that could hold ten people. We rode on gravel roads to the other side of the island. Along the way, we sighted a total of nine bears. The bears feed on vegetation in the woods and on the side of the road. They pretty much ignored us. We were able to get out of the van at times and take pictures as long as a reasonable distance was maintained. Luke took a "guide rifle" (short barrel 45 caliber), every time we got out of the van, just in case.The highlight of our trip was bear#9, who was so close to the van that my wife was able to shoot several portrait shots of him. I would say this excursion surpassed our expectations. Luke said that they usually spot five or six bears.