Renowned for exceptional brown bear viewing, 95% of visitors see at least one bear at this sanctuary
Flowing down from the high mountains on Admiralty Island's east side, Pack Creek spills into Seymour Canal at an area of extensive tide flats 30 miles south of Juneau. Pack Creek's healthy salmon runs during the summer attract a large number of brown bears that congregate at the mouth to feed on the fish, making the spot one of the best known in Southeast Alaska for bear viewing.
Within this area is Stan Price State Wildlife Sanctuary, named for an Alaskan woodsman who lived on a float house here for almost 40 years. The sanctuary includes an area that has been closed to hunting since the mid-1930s, and bears are most abundant from mid-July to mid-August, when the pink and chum salmon are running.
Amazingly more than 95% of the visitors to Pack Creek are successful in seeing at least one bear, usually a sow or sow and her cubs. During peak viewing periods, visitors may enjoy close-up views of five or more bears during the day or even several bears at one time.
Tourists might also spot Sitka black-tailed deer that inhabit the old-growth spruce and hemlock forests that surround Pack Creek. Other wildlife that may be spotted includes river otter, mink, marten and harbor seals. Occasionally Orcas and humpback whales are spotted offshore. Admiralty Island also supports the highest concentration of nesting bald eagles in the world and are commonly seen feeding on spawning salmon at Pack Creek. Raven, crows and gulls also take advantage of the abundant fish.