Take a naturalist-guided walk through a Ketchikan rainforest sanctuary and wildlife preserve.
The Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary is a 40-acre private preserve of temperate rainforest bordering the Tongass National Forest. Take a guided nature walk exploring the wildlife and ecology of the preserve. Visit a historic sawmill, explore a totem park, and view a featured raptor at the Alaska Raptor Center Ketchikan exhibit.
Here’s how your rainforest exploration will surprise and delight you.
You’ll start out with a scenic eight-mile coastal drive to rustic Herring Cove and the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a temperate rainforest, nestled into the Tongass National Forest. When you arrive, a naturalist guide will be on hand to take you on a 0.75 mile guided rainforest exploration along an improved trail amongst stands of hemlock, spruce and cedar trees. The forest floor is covered with mosses, wild flowers and a variety of berries. Your guide will lead you to a protected open estuary where you follow Herring Creek along an elevated wooden boardwalk overlooking grassy wetlands.
During the seasonal spawning season, bears and seals feed on salmon in Herring Creek. Bald eagles and other birds wait for scraps in the estuary. Sitka black tail deer, mink and marten also frequent the area. Weather, tides, and seasonal ecosystem changes result in varying levels and type of wildlife activity.
Everything here is alive with color and cultural history.
After your trail walk your opportunity to learn about the natural history, wildlife and cultural traditions in the region continues. You’ll be guided through the historic Herring Bay Lumber Company sawmill, seeing saws and machinery that powered this mill. Keep your camera ready as you see a bald eagle at the Alaska Raptor Center exhibit. Explore the first Tsimshian totem pole park in the country with its impressive 40-foot totem and 13 poles carved by the same artist. Before your return to town visit the General Store and pick up a souvenir of your uniquely Alaskan experience.
Please Note: This tour operates in all weather conditions.
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.
Great Seaplane Ride with Bear Visit to Anan Creek
Incredible seaplane ride with a great pilot (very informative). The highlight was going to Anan Creek and seeing the bears feed on salmon. They are literally 2-3 ft away (you are on a deck overlooking them).
My kids (ages 22-28) wanted to see bears on our trip and we saw at least 10 of them. It was early in the season, so bears were not guaranteed. We hoped to see brown and black bears, but only saw black ones (and no cubs) but still well worth the trip. We booked on our own way ahead of the cruise as there are only so many permits issued a day in the area (6 on our day, and 2 were already taken). The seaplane ride takes about 30 min each way and is beautiful. Then you get out with a guide and do a short hike (15-20 min) to the ranger station at Anan Creek--need to be able to walk a mile over rocky terrain. You are there approx 2 hours seeing all the bears up close (approx 30 are there at a time when we went from other AK cities). It was really a once in a lifetime experience. Highly recommend!
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!
Great place to visit - walk way gives great views of bears with their young fishing and climbing trees. Penny & Riley were great at showing us around and spotting the wildlife.