Prince of Wales Bear Viewing

  • Prince of Wales Bear Viewing with Ketchikan Shore Tours
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    Your brief hike out to the viewing platform gives you an upclose look at the beautiful Tongass Rainforest.
  • Prince of Wales Bear Viewing with Ketchikan Shore Tours
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    Keep an eye out for cubs learning how to hunt from their mothers.
  • Prince of Wales Bear Viewing with Ketchikan Shore Tours
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    Bears are most common in Late July through August.
  • Prince of Wales Bear Viewing with Ketchikan Shore Tours
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    This bear viewing experience has limited seats so as not to disturb the natural habitats of these beautiful bears!
  • Prince of Wales Bear Viewing with Ketchikan Shore Tours
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    You’ll have up to 45 minutes of spectacular flight time over the dark waters of the Inside Passage.
  • Prince of Wales Bear Viewing with Ketchikan Shore Tours
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    Your float-plane holds 6-10 passengers for a truly unique, small-group experience!
  • Prince of Wales Bear Viewing with Ketchikan Shore Tours
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    Black Bears are most common at the Dog Salmon Creek Bear Viewing observatory, as they hunt for salmon during summer months.
Take flight and experience the best of Ketchikan’s wildlife on this exclusive & intimate bear viewing excursion. With four species of salmon running through Dog Salmon Creek, the Prince of Wales Bear Viewing Tour is an amazing way to experience the Ketchikan salmon run and the wildlife it brings out to feast. Including a scenic flight, an informative nature walk, and a bear viewing platform that gets you up-close but safe, this exclusive experience is sure to impress.

What to expect and what not to expect with this Ketchikan shore excursion

Your Prince of Wales Bear Viewing Tour begins with a scenic flightseeing experience as you travel from Revillagigedo Island to the neighboring Prince of Wales Island. Your pilot will narrate this stunning experience as you fly over the sprawling Tongass national Rainforest & Inside Passage. And feel free to ask any questions that come up, the headset goes two ways! Upon touching down and docking, your Alaska Bear Guide will greet you for the following portions of the tour, including the short drive that follows along a US Forest Service Road to the Dog Salmon Creek Observatory.

  • 3 hours duration
  • Stunning view high above the Tongass Rainforest
  • Fully narrated by expert naturalist guide
  • 250 yard hike through temperate rainforest
  • Bear sightings highly likely, but not guaranteed
  • Exciting floatplane water landing

As you arrive at the viewing area, you will take a short but scenic walk through the rainforest along which your guide will pause to check out some of the native plants of the Tongass, before emerging on the viewing platform with a view of Dog Salmon Creek. Here, with the Ketchikan salmon run in full swing, your guide will aid you in spotting the black bears, eagles, and ravens that frequent the area for their yearly feast! To preserve this beautiful habitat, daily permits are extremely limited, so you are sure to have an intimate and unforgettable experience viewing Alaska’s native wildlife on the Prince of Wales Bear Viewing Tour.

This tour operates from late July to mid-September for optimal bear viewing conditions during the Ketchikan salmon run. Please note: that while this tour is designed to operate during peak bear season and there is a high chance of sightings, we cannot guarantee wildlife sightings on this tour.

There's more bear viewing adventures to be had! Take a look at the Admiralty Island Fortress of the Bears Kayak in Juneau & the Wildlife Safari & Bear Viewing in Skagway!

Minimum Ages, Cancellations, Accessibility, Etc.


  • Restrictions: Lap infants are free on this tour, but their parent or guardian must be able to carry and hold them for the entirety of the flight and hike.
  • Accessibility: This tour is rated ‘Moderate’ in regards to activity level. Guests should be able to hike 250 yards to Dog Salmon Creek Bear Viewing observatory (and back) along a fairly flat, well-maintained trail. They should also be able to stand for roughly an hour on-site.
  • Cancellation Policy: In the event your cruise ship is late, delayed, or doesn't make it into port we always issue a full refund for the tour. Changes or cancellations are allowed up to 14 days prior to the tour departure with absolutely no penalty. Including 'Flex Cancel' allows cancellations and refunds up to 24-hours before the tour. Any cancellations made within 14 days of the tour departure (or within 24-hours with Flex Cancel) are nonrefundable.
  • What to Wear: We recommend hoping for sunshine but preparing for rain for all of our tours. Drizzles are common in this area, so we recommend bringing a waterproof jacket. We typically recommend long pants and closed toed shoes for comfort. And don't forget your camera!
For availability and timing, complete the information on the sidebar
  • Passenger Rate: $399.00
  • Child Rate: $369.00 (12 & under)
  • Infant Rate: Free (lap children under 24 months)
  • + 6.5% sales tax
You've got questions, we've got answers
Q:Will we make it back to the ship in time? What if we don't?
We've never left anyone behind and only schedule tours that work well with your cruise ship's itinerary. We leave plenty of cushion so you can confidently book your trips independently.
Q:Do the tours ever get canceled due to weather?
The Prince of Wales Bear Viewing trip is rarely canceled for weather, though in some abnormal cases high winds may prevent planes from flying. However, if a tour is canceled completely due to extreme weather circumstances, you will always receive a full refund.
Q:What if our ship is delayed or doesn't make it into port? Refund?
It's very rare that a ship is delayed into port, but in those cases, 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, we will of course refund the full cost of the tour.
Q:What should we wear and bring?
For comfort, we typically recommend long pants, closed-toed shoes, and a light jacket, as the air is usually a bit cool in the air. Also bring a rain jacket, just in case!
Q:Can you see wildlife from the plane?
If you have sharp eyes, it's certainly possible to see wildlife on the mountains below. The plane flies low enough to distinguish individual animals, but of course the pilots have to respect local wildlife so it's not an objective of the flight seeing portion of this tour.
Q:Are we guaranteed to see bears?
Although most guests do, indeed, see bears at the salmon spawning grounds, we can never be entirely certain how the animals will be behaving that day, so we can’t fully guarantee sightings.
Q:What's the best time of year for spotting bears?
The salmon spawn typically peaks in mid- to late-July, meaning bear concentrations tend to eb especially high at this time. Black bears, however, make a home of this area for much of the late summer, so sightings are likely well into August and September.
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