Know Before You Go:
The Nature of Pack Creek
From its headwaters 4000 feet above sea level, Pack Creek descends rapidly to the ocean salt water in upper Seymour Canal. Sediments are deposited at its mouth, creating a 400-acre estuary. These mudflats are an important source of food for many animals, including bears, which feed on clams, shellfish and other creatures.
Of course, the main reason bears are here are the pink and chum salmon returning to spawn in their natal stream. Peak bear viewing usually follows the return of salmon to Pack Creek, usually the first week on July.
The Pack Creek ecosystem is home to more than just brown bears; Admiralty Island contains the highest concentration of bald eagle nests in the world. Other birds, mammals and marine life thrive in this rich ecosystem of old growth rain forest and coastal marine environments.
For generations the bears of Pack Creek have witnessed many visitors come and go. Most visitors behave in a consistent and predictable manner causing the bears to become accustomed to human presence. Unlike most bears that don¿t have regular exposure to humans, Pack Creek bears frequently see predictable behavior from humans each summer, allowing them to continue their normal foraging behaviors without being disturbed by our presence. This behavior modification is delicate as bears are extremely sensitive to people in unfamiliar areas, human movement and noise. Following the rules will provide a more enjoyable and safer experience for your group as well as all those after you.
Admiralty Island is inhabited exclusively by brown bears.
These coastal brown bears are akin to "grizzlies" of the interior and easily distinguished by a large hump of muscle over their shoulders, as well as a dish-shaped face.