See Alaska Bears Catching Salmon In Juneau!

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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!

Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour

Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights

Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure

Denali Adventure in Alaska Vacation
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Can You See Bears In Juneau?

Juneau may be Alaska’s state capital, but it is pretty remote. Hemmed in by water on one side and soaring mountains on the other, this town of 30,000 residents is cut off from the outside world. No road goes in or out, and the only way to transport goods or people to and from the city is by airplane or boat. Still, Juneau is a destination for wildlife enthusiasts, particularly for those who want to see Alaska bears catching salmon!

Why Do Alaska Bears Like Salmon

Salmon is a critical food source for grizzly bears. These bears, which inhabit the coastal regions of Alaska and can be found near Juneau, consume up to 90 pounds of fish per day during peak salmon season. The high-fat content of salmon provides the bears with the necessary nutrients to survive their long winter hibernation. Alaska bears excel at catching salmon because it helps them to gain weight quickly before winter blankets the state with cold.

Five Fun Facts About Alaska Bears and Salmon

  • Alaska bears like salmon because it is a high-calorie meal. A single sockeye salmon contains approximately 4500 calories, but the fattiest parts of the fish contain the most calories proportionally. Bears know this and prefer to eat the skin, brain, and eggs of the salmon when fish are in abundance.
  • Large and dominant male bears can catch 30 salmon a day during the salmon runs! Smaller bears that cannot compete for the best fishing spots or are less skilled at fishing may catch considerably fewer fish. But when it’s all said and done, Alaska bears eat a lot of fish in a single day!
  • When you see bears only eating the skin, brains, and eggs of a salmon, they are practicing good energy economics. At these times, a bear’s intake of calories is so high that it can ignore some excess fish. This behavior has been nicknamed “high-grading.” Like miners looking for high-grade ore, bears try to consume only high-grade fat to get them through their winter denning.
  • Alaska bears like salmon because they are easy to catch. Bears are opportunistic hunters, and they will feed on whatever is available. However, catching prey requires energy, and bears need to conserve as much energy as possible for the winter months. During the salmon's migration season, they swim upstream, which makes them easy targets for bears.
  • You may be wondering if Alaska bears only catch salmon. Salmon are one of the easiest fish for the bears to catch. Other fish, like Rainbow Trout, aren’t as easy to catch because they aren’t as abundant. The high density of salmon in streams and rivers during the salmon run provides bears with an easy meal. Other fish simply are too much work to catch!

Bear Watching Near Juneau

While there are many reasons to visit Alaska’s state capital, most tourists come to see the bears. Bears are an integral part of Alaska’s iconic mystery, bringing thousands of curious travelers to the state each year. Three of the most popular bear-viewing venues are located just outside of this city. Keep reading to learn more about where to see bears in Juneau!

  • Mendenhall Glacier/Steep Creek – During August and September, the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau offers some of the most accessible and affordable bear viewing in the area. The main attraction is the black bear population, mostly mothers and cubs. Brown bears also inhabit the area surrounding the glacier but tend to avoid heavily trafficked areas. The bears are drawn to the sockeye and Coho salmon that spawn in Steep Creek and an elevated boardwalk is accessible from the parking lot near the visitor center. Around a dozen female and juvenile black bears congregate to catch and feast on the fish, all within a few yards of viewing platforms. wild animals. Stay on the trail and give them space. Don't bring food or drink, not even coffee.
  • Pack Creek Wildlife Sanctuary – this wildlife sanctuary is located about 40 miles south of Juneau in the northeast corner of Admiralty Island. Native Tlingit people call the island “Kootznoowoo,” or the “Fortress of the Bears.” The island is home to an estimated 1,500 brown bears. The sanctuary is managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service to provide bear viewing opportunities with minimal impact to the bears. Brown bears frequently roam along the broad estuary and tidal flat at the mouth of Pack Creek, where visitors can view and photograph Alaska bears catching salmon and interacting with each other. From mid-July to mid-August, visitors can see five or more bears during the day. Tides, weather, fish availability, and the number and activity of visitors all affect bear behavior.
  • Chichagof Island - Chichagof Island is the fifth largest island in the United States. Accessible only by float plane or boat, most of the island is a vast, untamed wilderness. Located west of Admiralty Island, it is one of the best places to see brown bears in the wild near Juneau. If you want to see bears on this remote island, your best bet is to book a tour with a local guide who has extensive experience with the area and knows where to find Alaska bears catching salmon.

A Wild Adventure In Juneau

Juneau is home to a wealth of wildlife – not just bears! There are more animals than people in Juneau. While bears are a big draw for tourists, you can also see humpback whales and the occasional orca, or killer whale. Juneau’s whale-rich waters are also home to Dall’s porpoises and harbor porpoises, Steller sea lions and harbor seals, sea otters, and beavers. The area’s diverse ecosystem is also inhabited by one of the largest populations of bald eagles in the United States. This collection of wildlife is ready for nature enthusiasts to explore!

A Vacation To Remember In Juneau

No trip to Juneau is complete without a trip to see Alaska bears and salmon during the annual salmon runs. Alaska bears catching salmon is one of the most iconic sights to see in this vast state, and Juneau has many fantastic bear-viewing venues right outside its city limits. Enjoy observing these magnificent creatures in their native habitat, and marvel at the additional wildlife you can see on a wildlife viewing tour outside the state’s capital city. It may be remote, but Juneau has everything you need to create a one-of-a-kind Alaskan adventure that you will never forget!

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.