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Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory Site

31 miles SE from Wrangell at Anan Bay, (by boat or seaplane only), Wrangell, Alaska 99929
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1 Review
Type: Animals, Beaches & Lakes, Guided Tours, Nature & Gardens, and Hiking & Walking
Ages: All Ages
Cost: $

1 Review for Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory Site

April 08 2013
0 families found this helpful
"Long-ish boat ride, lots of BLACK bears!"

This place is a great photography paradise! In the middle of the cool, temperate rainforests of Southeast Alaska, this little gem boast great bear-viewing (something rare in Southeast on the islands) in a safe atmosphere. Run by the Tongass National Forest, the Anan Wildlife/Bear Observatory lets visitors take a short hike that is pretty easy from the ocean waters in Anan Bay to the viewing platform. From the large deck, you get to see a LOT of American Black bears. We weren't lucky enough to see any Brown bears, but the guides said there were two of them hanging around there--just our bad luck.

However, watching the eagles and black bears dine on salmon was really amazing. From a wildlife enthusiast point-of-view, it was not crowded like the shores of the Kenai River, since typically only those people who rode over with you are there! I think it's a great place for adults and older kids, but if you have a "spirited" toddler like mine, I'd say wait a few years until they can take direction (and potential danger) seriously. I felt like a slip or fall would be more likely than any bear issues, but you never know...TODDLERS can be unpredictable!

Bring a snack and some water, but you'll have to leave it on the boat--for obvious reasons! Definitely bring a camera, there will be great shots to line up your kids and then have bear(s) in the background. There is an area that is covered for getting "up close and personal" but still staying safe for great photo opps.

You don't have to worry about kids being quiet--the bears are used to many people through the area. So, we thought it was neat, everyone in our group (young and very old) seemed to be capable of the hike and seemed to enjoy the area. It does get a little bit long on the observation deck--since everyone wants to get great photos and take turns in the dark/covered viewing area. So--this is one other thing to consider with kids--you may want to bring a book or something small to entertain them for a while--I was even a little bored at the end as an adult. It's over an hour at the viewing platform and you cannot go back to the boat without a guide. There are primitive restrooms and that's it!

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