Page 9 - Breath of the Bear
P. 9

Pack Creek  Wildlife  Viewing  Area is an   to the fish hatchery, which produces summer   Herring Cove
        outstanding place to capture photographs of   and fall chum, fall coho and chinook salmon.   Another  lesser-known  spot  that  rivals
        brown bears, eagles, and even whales as they   The eggs of the salmon are collected from the   others in its serene rainforest walk on elevated
        navigate the channels around the island.   returning fish, raised in the hatchery and then   platforms.
                                             released at several remote sites, thus ensuring
          Traitor’s Cove                     a  healthy  and  robust  salmon  population  for   There are many ways to view bears in Alaska,
          A popular bear-viewing area and a short   all to enjoy. Bears instinctively know when the   from just driving down the highway to hikes and
        20-minute   flight   from   Ketchikan.   After   salmon are returning and arrive at Neets Creek   treks on forest trails. However, the safest way
        disembarking from the plane there is a short 10-  ready for  a meal  as  if an  internal dinner  bell   would be to book a tour with a guided bear-
        12 minute guided walk through the rainforest,   has  been  rung.  At  any  time  dozens  of  bears   viewing company. In the excitement of seeing
        where  local  flora  and  fauna  is  pointed  out.   can  be  seen  feasting  on  the  salmon  behind   these massive animals many tourists can
        At Margaret Creek there is a bear-viewing   the hatchery. Tours are limited to this area and   forget that bears are wild, unpredictable and
        platform situated above a  waterfall and a   include  a  float  plane  or  boat  tour.  If  arriving   can be dangerous if you don’t know what you
        unique  fish  ladder  that  helps  the  spawning   by floatplane, passengers will disembark and   are doing. From first-hand experience I count
        salmon, but also makes for an easy lunch for   walk the guided trail to the fish hatchery. There   my blessings for my Katmai guide who knew
        the bears. The area is wide open and the short   is an observation area including a gazebo and   exactly  what to do in every situation.  These
        hike is one of the prettiest in the area. The site   benches. If you arrive by boat, passengers will   guides make the tour enjoyable, memorable
        is maintained by USFS and permits are limited.  not disembark but will instead stay on the boat   and most importantly, they make it safe so you
                                             and watch for bears along the shore line.  can come back to Alaska again and again.
          Neets Bay
          It has been said that Ketchikan has some   Prince of Wales Island
        of the best bear  viewing in  Alaska. If that is   One of the lesser-known spots and not as
        the case then Neets is the epicenter. Located   popular as some of the other bear-viewing
        40 miles from downtown Ketchikan, this area   sites, but is still a unique tour  where  visitors
        can  only  be  assessed  by  floatplane  or  boat.   disembark upon the shore and explore a rain
        The bears gravitate to Neets Bay thanks in part   forested island with the chance to see bears.
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