We'll do our very best to ensure you'll GoBe an explorer in Alaska. Please note there is very limited space available on this tour and all reservations must be reconfirmed. Thanks for your understanding.
Neets Bay Bear Watch Expedition
Ketchikan, Alaska, USA
- DeHavilland seaplane flight: Travel with a seasoned pilot, experience the classic Alaskan way to travel, and enjoy fantastic views from a guaranteed window seat.
- Bear watching: See bears close-up from a secure, covered viewing area. They're in summer feast mode and hungrily fishing in the stream at a salmon hatchery.
- Wildlife spotting: You may also see eagles, Sitka black-tailed deer, mink, marten, seals, and other creatures in their natural habitat of the Tongass National Forest.
- Expert guides: Hear your pilot's anecdotes through your personal headset and learn from a naturalist at Neets Bay. You'll also receive a souvenir guidebook.
About this Ketchikan tour
Take to the skies for an expedition that packs all the authentic features of the Last Frontier into one exciting adventure. Spawning salmon? Check. Feasting black bears. Check. Incredible wilderness views? Check. A true Alaska experience? Double-check.
But more than seeing sights, you'll gain insights. You'll understand the interrelationship among the salmon and bears and fishermen here in the Alaska wilderness. It all begins when you step aboard your seaplane and fly to Neets Bay. You'll see Ketchikan's shoreline and the Tongass National Forest, with its spectacular rainforests and mountain peaks. You'll think your pilot chose the scenic route. But up here, every route is striking.
Arriving at Neets Bay, you'll take a short, easy walk to the hatchery, where your guide describes the bears' seasonal behavior, habitat, and favorite meal (yes, it's salmon). You'll visit the hatchery and learn about its crucial role in enhancing the number of salmon available for commercial and sport fisherman and in protecting the numbers of naturally reproducing salmon. So enjoy your next meal of delicious Alaska salmon even more, having seen for yourself that it's a sustainable, responsibly sourced seafood.
You're at Neets Bay during the most exciting season. Spawning salmon are swimming upstream and wildly leaping up the cascading water and the hatchery's fish ladders. The timing is perfect for you – and the bears. You'll see them by the stream, feasting on a salmon smorgasbord to pack on the pounds they need to sustain them through long months of hibernation. Next year, they'll emerge hungry from their dens. The salmon will return to spawn. And Alaska's circle of life continues.
The amazing Alaska state fish
Although wild Alaska salmon begin their lives in freshwater streams, they soon travel to the saltwater ocean. They live most of their lives in the ocean before returning to reproduce and die in the very stream where they were born. To navigate the long and arduous journey home, salmon rely on their sense of smell (it's better than a dog's), ocean currents, and the moon's gravitational pull. No GPS required.
Please make your way to the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau (KVB), 131 Front St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
Carry-on bags are not allowed on the aircraft due to space limitations. Storage is available at the floatplane base if needed.
Travelers must be able to climb steps into aircraft. 1/4 mile walk along the walkway can be uneven and slippery at times.
Air Tour, Adventure , Family Friendly
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages. Babies under age of 2 years must sit on the lap of an adult or pay for a full seat. Children 2 years of age and older require a seat.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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