Firsthand Grizzly Bear Stories, News, and Updates From Alaska

Our Bear Stories Give You A Sense of What It’s Like On Our Tours

The great thing about working in bear country is that we collect a lot of firsthand grizzly bear stories. While they’re all entertaining, some of them really convey the amazing feelings that our guests experience on our eco-tours. Because we know our prospective guests want to know “what it’s really like to experience a wilderness bear viewing tour”, we’ve collected some of them here for you.

Check Back Often for the Latest Bear Stories

Check back here often for new firsthand grizzly bear stories from Admiralty Island, Alaska, so you can be sure not to miss out! Also, don’t miss this amazing video that does a great job capturing the magic of Pack Creek Bear Tours.

 

Juneau Carbon Offset The impact of a trip to Pack Creek is small, making it is easy to compensate for. Traveling in float planes and vans, there are some inherent impacts in what we do. In order to help balance these forces, Pack Creek Bear Tours supports the mission and efforts of the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund. The Juneau Carbon Offset Fund is an elegant program that allows our guests to have a positive impact by helping our neighbors and offsetting pollution. The Fund collects revenue from the sale of carbon offsets and directs it towards the elimination of oil-heating systems in the homes of lower-income southeast Alaskan families. Essentially, the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund provides us a balance, allowing us to realize our impacts and eliminate them elsewhere. Pack Creek Bear Tours would like to encourage you to be a part of this easy-to-do solution and offers you the opportunity to offset your small part of the impact inherent in a trip… Continue Reading
Night on Earth: Netflix We're celebrating the release of the new Netflix series "Night on Earth." In late August, 2018, Bjorn Dihle and I flew into a remote community tucked among glacial rivers and mountains. We were there as expert wildlife guides assisting the crew. Our arrival was timed with the moon. Big tides would be bringing pink and chum salmon into the clear water tributaries of this glacial river to spawn. The goal was to film bears and wolves fishing in the dark, a behavior that had never been captured at night. Night on Earth Wildlife enthusiasts know that dawn and dusk are the best times to see active animals. From a film perspective the challenge is that the best behavior occurs in the low or absent light. Our crew was just a small part of the global Night on Earth team using groundbreaking technology that would allow us to capture animals without the light of the sun. In Alaska, dusk is often… Continue Reading
Spring Bear Camp Our goal with any of our trips is to offer you the same trip that we would put together for our friends or family. We believe we have the best day trip to Pack Creek in terms of time on the ground, logistics, and guides. It's our job to put you in the best spot. On days off, you're likely to find our guides camped on Windfall Island. A short paddle from Pack Creek, this camp allows us to spend more time in the Wilderness and more time looking at bears. Bears, float planes, camping in style! Now we are offering this adventure to you as well, but with lots of added comfort features. After a day of paddling, exploring, and bear viewing, we'll return to camp. No sleeping on the cold ground, each wall tent has a cozy wood stove and sleeps two in comfortable cots. No freeze-dried dinner, your guides will prepare a fresh, locally-sourced meal highlighting Alaskan… Continue Reading
Bears and Humans Wait for Salmon I went out fishing before work. Rumors abound, there are fish around. I didn't catch anything, but I saw fish jumping. They are coming in! From their long pelagic sojourn, returning home. There has already been plenty of lyrical writing about wild salmon. I don't have much to add but this: Every year, it is a miracle. Every year it is a pulse of life that wakes everything in Alaska. They lift the sea. The tide lifts them. The bears are waiting for the fish. The people are waiting for the fish. It's about to begin!   Continue Reading
Happy Birthday Jane https://www.adventure-journal.com/2019/04/happy-birthday-jane-goodall/ This is such a classic story. An intense, committed young scientist, charismatic wildlife, a captivating narrator (Orson Welles!) and one of the great stories of meeting the "other." This is a well-trod narrative now, but worth watching to see how this genre started before watching Our Planet on Netflix. Observing Wildlife and Science While I am not a scientist, the personal study and of wildlife is still richly rewarding. I have great respect for the students of biology, evolution and ecology that slog away long hours gathering and analyzing data to answer questions about genetics or modeling in R. This documentary celebrates the value of field work. It's a good reminder to all of us to be observant out of doors. Meeting Animals and Seeing Ourselves Jane Goodall also balances the strange intersection of data collection and the experience of meeting another being that lives on our planet. The more I observe bears, the more comparisons to human behavior… Continue Reading
A Small Piece of Ken Leghorn’s Legacy Ken was guiding in Alaska before I was born. So I can't say much about his early years up here. I'll leave that to friends and family. They explored the wildest rivers in Alaska, chased bears in Russia and found perfect snow while backcountry skiing in Juneau. For me, Ken was the always-enthusiastic force that got me away from my desk and back out into the Wilderness. He was the kind of person you always wanted to say yes to. When I showed mild interest, he had me leading trips to Pack Creek. I was a few years past my days as a Wilderness Ranger with the Forest Service, still up on all my certifications, but firmly behind a desk. When a chance would come to fly out to Pack Creek on a sunny afternoon, I'd happily closed my laptop and head for the airport. When I would return home from a trip, well past dinner but the summer sun… Continue Reading
Chris Morgan, Jeff Bridges and the Grizzly Ecologist Chris Morgan made this lovely piece with Legend Jeff Bridges. I've been lucky enough to get to know Chris a little bit through my work in conservation. Chris is the real deal, one of the few people presenting natural history today with real bear skills. He's got passion too. I've never met Mr. Bridges, but if I do I'll thank him for his work with grizzlies. This video reminds me that we're so lucky to have places like Alaska. Alaska still has the wild places that allow bears to thrive. I'm excited for Chris's work in the North Cascades. Living around grizzlies is not easy but I can confidently report that it's worth it. Continue Reading
A Good Bear Encounter This past summer, I had a great bear encounter with a small group of guests. The bear was relaxed and walked by, maybe 10 or 12 yards away. Brown bears, or coastal grizzlies, are dangerous animals. While we can never say that bears are "safe," we can manage the risk and have really outstanding viewing. We purposefully go looking for bear encounters. At Pack Creek Bear Tours, we have years of experience reading brown bear behavior and body language. We've learned subtle ways of moving through bear country that increase the safety of every trip. A good encounter with a coastal grizzly might sound like a contradiction, but here's what it looks like to me. A good bear encounter starts with happy, wild bears surrounded by vast wilderness. A bear paradise, vast oceans with healthy oceans and abundant wild salmon. These are well-fed bears, with room to roam. We have to go to them, so it starts with a float… Continue Reading
July and August filling fast Hi folks, Early July has only a few seats left for Pack Creek. We have a scattering of availability in late July. Waterfall Creek presents some great opportunities starting late July, so check that out if your preferred dates are full at Pack Creek. August should be great at either Pack Creek or Waterfall, so take a look at both options. Feel free to call if you want to talk about the details of either trip. Hope everyone is enjoying a great winter! Continue Reading
The zen of watching bears. A Conversation with Northwest Navigation I spent some time chatting about bears and the Pack Creek experience with our friends at Northwest Navigation Co. (Home of the M/V David B). We team up with them for a few trips each year. Here we talk about the zen of wildlife watching and more. Hope you enjoy!       Continue Reading