Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory

This is MY rock!

Anan Creek is an ancient Tlingit native fishing site located on the mainland at the south end of Wrangell Island.  Anan Creek has the largest pink salmon run in Southeast Alaska, attracting significant numbers of black and brown bears to feast on the bounty during the months of July and August.

The U.S. Forest Service has developed an Observatory, an enclosed and partially covered deck area, that gives you an opportunity to watch the bears up close.  The Anan estuary and Observatory is only accessible by boat or plane. The observation platform and photo blind overlook cascading falls where the salmon jump up river and the bears catch their meal.

There is a half mile trail leading to the observation deck. It is possible that you could see bears on the trail.  Forest Service staff at the trailhead provide safety information. Guides charted in town will transport you to the site and escort you to the observation area. All visitors will need a permit from the US Forest Service. If you are using a guide, many times they may have a permit for you or will work with you to obtain your own if necessary.

Starting Friday, May 1, 2015 at 8am (Alaska Daylight Time) the public will be able to reserve permits on for the summer 2015 season. There may be up to 20 permits available for each day, which can be reserved in groups of four. Permits are required from July 5th through August 25th to visit the observatory. Visitation outside of this time period does not require a permit. provides a single point of access to information about Federal recreational activities and reservations. Reservations and payment may be completed on line at or by or calling 1-877-444-6777. The TDD number is 1-877-833-6777. The international call number is 1-518-885-3639. The cost is $10 per permit, with a reservation fee of $6 per transaction.

To accommodate last-minute planning, at least 4 permits will be made available in person at the Wrangell District Office during the season. More information on these in person permits will become available at a later date. 

For questions, please call the Wrangell Ranger District at 907-874-2323.

Click any thumbnail image to view a slideshow

Wildlife Observatory Bear Viewing Deck
A Bear at Anan Observatory - IS
Brown Bear in Anan estuary - CMR
Anan Observatory