A uniquely Alaskan experience with exclusive intimate access to eagles and raptors, and a rainforest walk.
Experience Alaska’s newest and most intimate raptor presentation and exhibit. Take a guided nature walk exploring the wildlife and ecology of the preserve, and explore a historic sawmill, blacksmith shop, and totem park.
Here’s how your tour in the rainforest will fly.
You’ll begin with a scenic coastal drive from Ketchikan that takes you to Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, a private 40-acre reserve located in scenic Herring Cove. You’ll be greeted by a naturalist guide who will lead you on an informative half-mile nature walk surrounded by towering spruce, hemlock and cedar trees. During the spawning season, bears and seals feed on salmon in Herring Creek and Bald Eagles and other birds wait for scraps in the estuary. Seasonal ecosystem changes resulting in varying levels of wildlife activity.
Your walk leads into the 1,500 square foot flight auditorium and the highlight of your visit to the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. During a 30-minute, fully-narrated presentation, a handler from the Alaska Raptor Center will describe the unique physical and behavioral adaptations of the birds while showcasing their natural behaviors. The exhibit is designed so you’ll be able to see these birds flying very close by, and the grand finale will take your breath away, as a Bald Eagle is presented. Thanks to tireless recovery efforts by organizations like the Alaska Raptor Center, this regal bird is no longer endangered. Your tour also includes access to the custom-built raptor courtyard where you’ll have time to ask the handler more questions and photograph these amazing birds of prey close up.
More photo ops coming right up!
You’ll have time to yourself before returning to town, so you can explore the historic Herring Bay Lumber Company Saw Mill, and the totem park with its impressive 40-foot totem. Watch a blacksmith at work and shop for souvenirs in the General Store.
Please Note: This tour operates in all weather conditions. A portion of our proceeds go to the Alaska Raptor Center, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, for the rehabilitation of wild birds, education, and research.
Need to Know
Comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing and waterproof jacket are recommended
Shopping opportunities are available at the General Store
This experience includes walking for short distances over relatively level terrain, possibly with a few steps or slight inclines. Participants should be able to move into and out of buses or vans.
We were on a cruise and booked the 'Herring Cove Bear Adventure' before the trip.
It was a short bus ride to the Sanctuary where we were introduced to 2 guides, before setting off for a short walk onto the raised walkways.
It wasn't long at all before we saw our first Black bear and her cub, feeding on salmon from the river.
It was fantastic. The bears obviously knew we were there but were more interested in feeding.
A bald eagle then landed on a rock in the river close by and started feeding on salmon too.
A short walk through the sanctuary and we saw Otters playing in the sun before we were shown some rescued birds in captivity, (Owl, Bald Eagle & Hawk).
It was a fantastic experience to see these animals close up but still in the wild and we wouldn't have missed it for the world.
There Be Bears Nearby
Arriving in Ketchikan on an NCL cruise, I booked this trip separately. It exceeded expectations, even in the rain. Read on for details.
A short drive from the embarkation point, we met our guides (Lauren and Rena, who were perfect in their roles) who escorted us to the walking path after a short orientation. It was cool and raining which were apparently the ideal conditions for bears to be out fishing; and they were. We saw our first bear within 2 minutes, followed by what was probably a mom-bear and cub and a mom-bear and two cubs. They fished, prowled the stream swatted at fish, climbed trees and did their bear thing.
We walked the path for about 90 minutes, in the rain, engrossed by unbelievably active and close bears nearby.
Special shout-out to the guides, Lauren and Rena; upbeat, informative and worked as a team to spot the bears.
Tour guide ANTHONY was AWESOME!
We had a great day on this walking tour. Anthony was so informative, friendly and answered all questions asked. We even saw a bear fishing for salmon!