“This was one of favorite excursions. It’s a smaller group tour that goes deeper in the woods to look for wildlife. Our guide was a native local with plenty of first hand knowledge of the area with plenty of stories. We did find deer and a couple of bears, one of which we got some great pictures of. We can’t wait to come back and do this again but in August when the bears are more actively feeding during the Salmon run.”
- While there is a high probability of seeing bears, we can’t guarantee a sighting.
- We can guarantee a journey into wilderness and a chance to experience the sheer beauty and ruggedness of the Tongass National Forest!
- We limit this tour to 12 guests, but we’ll will allow for 15 if the group is all together. (Otherwise we like to leave empty seats for extra space and comfort).
- This tour is operated in the Tongass National Forest under special use permit from the Forest Service, USDA.
Chichagof Island, or Shee Kaax, is an island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Alaska Panhandle. At 75 miles long and 50 miles wide, it has a land area of 2,048.61 square miles making it the fifth largest island in the United States. Chichagof Island has the highest population of bears per square mile of any place on Earth.
The community of Hoonah, with a year round population of approximately 750, is located in the northern part of Chichagof Island. The vast majority of the island is pure, uninhabited Alaskan wilderness teeming with wildlife! The Ursus arctos, or brown bear, is the king of the forest, but Sitka black-tail deer, bald eagles, minks, martens, beavers, ducks and sea birds thrive on the island and are frequently spotted on this tour.
One of the last grizzly strongholds, the dense rain forests of Chichagof Island in southeast Alaska hide more of brown bear per square mile than any other place on Earth.
This tour is only offered May through September because those are the months afford the highest probability of seeing bears. In late April and May the bears are coming out of hibernation and looking for food. In June, the bears are mating and eating grasses on the tidal flats. Older males fight other males for dominance and mating rights with the females, who at times, are not receptive and force the male to give chase.
In July, the salmon start their migration from the ocean up the rivers and we find the Bears feeding in coastal rivers and streams. In August and September, the salmon have made it further up the rivers to shallow streams where the bears chase them.
Depending on the month and the weather, the wildlife can be found in different locations throughout the island. Your guide spends a lot of time in the forest and knows where to look.
This tour is located on the Tongass National Forest under special use permit from the Forest Service, USDA.