Wrangell Wildlife Viewing
Anan Wildlife Observatory
A large run of pink salmon in Anan Creek during July and August attracts wildlife to the area. The main attraction is the chance to see both black and brown bears feeding on salmon. Black bears tend to feed nearer to the falls, where the covered viewing platform is. Brown bears are more often seen farther up or down the creek. Black bears will typically (but not always) retreat if a brown bear ventures too close to their fishing spot. Chances of seeing black bears at Anan Creek in July and August are high; brown bears are seen less frequently. Harbor seals follow salmon into the lagoon at the mouth of the creek during high tide. Dozens of bald eagles flock to the creek in early to mid July.
- Black Bear
- Brown Bear
- Harbor Seal
- Pink (Humpy) Salmon
There is a lower viewing platform near the falls at Anan available to viewers on a limited first-come, first-serve basis. This covered platform provides an opportunity to view bears closer to the creek. Ask the interpretive ranger at the observatory about accessing the lower platform.
- Hiking Trails
- Interpretive Signs
- Within Walking Distance
The USDA Forest Service maintains a viewing platform next to Anan Creek’s lower falls. A moderately strenuous, ½-mile boardwalk trail with stairs leads from the “lagoon entrance” where visitors are dropped off by boat or floatplane. Good walking shoes or boots are highly recommended. Bears are sometimes seen along the trail. Interpretive rangers are stationed at the entrance and on the viewing platform, but not along the trail. On guided tours you will be accompanied to the falls. If using a trasnporter, you will be on your own on the trail. A strictly enforced pass system limits the number of visitors to 60 per day between July 5th and August 25th. Commercial tours to Anan Wildlife Observatory include your day use pass. This is a popular destination, and booking your trip several months in advance is strongly encouraged.
Plan to spend at least: 2 - 4 hours
█ Best Month
- Best Month July
- Best Month August
Anan Wildlife Observatory is located 30 miles southeast of Wrangell, and is accessed by floatplane or boat. Check with the Visitor’s Bureau for information about guided tours and transporters to Anan.
Wrangell Convention and Visitor’s Bureau 1-800-367-9745 USDA Forest Service, Wrangell Ranger District 907-874-2323 A list of authorized guides and transporters can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/districts/wrangell/anan_guides_transporters.shtml Anan permits are available at http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/recreation/wildlife_viewing/ananobservatory or by calling the Wrangell Ranger District.
USDA Forest Service page on Anan Wildlife Observatory http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/recreation/wildlife_viewing/ananobservatory.shtml