Angoon is located on the western side of Admiralty Island, a place known as “kootznoowoo,” or the fortress of the bears. The island is home to the highest density of brown bears in North America.
Located 55 miles southwest of Juneau, Angoon is the gateway to Admiralty Island National Monument. The Tlingit community of 430 residents is perched on a strip of land between Chatham Strait on the island's west coast and turbulent Kootznahoo Inlet, which leads into the heart of the 1,493-square-mile island.
Things to do
A stroll through Angoon quickly reveals the resident’s strong indigenous heritage in the painted fronts of the 16 tribal community houses and their traditional lifestyle. A day in the village can be spent observing and gaining an understanding of the Tlingit culture.
More than anything else, though, Admiralty Island is known for its bears. The island has an estimated 1,500 to 1,700 brown bears living among the forested mountains, lakes and rivers. The top bear-viewing area is Pack Creek. The area’s extensive tidal flats attract a large number of bears that feed on spawning salmon. Within this area is the Stan Price State Wildlife Sanctuary, which includes a sand spit and an observation tower along the creek accessible via a one-mile trail. Most visitors are day-trippers who arrive and depart on floatplanes with guides from nearby Juneau. A permit system regulates the number of daily visitors. Information about permits, guides and nearby public-use cabins is available through the Tongass National Forest.
Several lodges scattered in and around Angoon offer world-class sport fishing and prime wildlife viewing. More than 90 percent of Admiralty Island is a federally designated wilderness and home to a wide variety of wildlife, including one of the highest densities of nesting bald eagles in the world, humpback whales, Sitka black-tailed deer and salmon. Angoon also serves as the departure point for many kayak and canoe trips into the heart of the national monument, including the 32-mile Cross Admiralty Canoe Route.