Wrangell Visitor Center
293 Campbell Drive (Nolan Center)
Wrangell Convention and Visitor Bureau
P.O. Box 1350
Wrangell, AK 99929
Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory
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 Anan Wildlife Observatory on the Wrangell District of the Tongass National Forest offers an exceptional Alaskan wildlife viewing experience where a variety of wildlife, including brown and black bears, can be seen. 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.
Access to the site is carefully managed by the Forest Service and the number of visitors is limited to 60 per day to ensure a high quality viewing experience. Access to the observatory is controlled through daily permits during the peak season which runs from July 5 through August 25. Anan Wildlife Viewing Permits are currently $10 each plus a $6 reservation fee per transaction.
There is a high demand for daily passes so those wishing to visit Anan should obtain their passes early in the year (at least 6 months in advance). There are four ways to obtain passes. One is to make reservations through an authorized guide. Authorized guiding companies are listed on the Tongass National Forest website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3836485.pdf under Charters in the Business Directory on this site. Another way is to purchase a permit on the national reservation website at: www.recreation.gov. A third way is to reserve the Anan Bay Recreation Cabin at www.recreation.gov. Reserving the Anan Bay Cabin includes up to 4 daily viewing permits as part of the cabin reservation, although viewing passes must be purchased separately. The fourth way is to apply at the Wrangell District Office for a limited amount of permits distributed through a weekly lottery held during the peak season. Passes are not required outside of the peak season.
For more information on experiencing this amazing place, please visit the Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass and scroll down to Bear Viewing and follow the links to Anan. Or contact the Wrangell District office by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 907-874-2323, or write to Wrangell Ranger District, c/o Anan Reservations, P.O. Box 51, Wrangell, AK 99929.
To accommodate last-minute planning, at least 4 permits will be made available in person at the Wrangell District Office during the season, but an application must be made a week in advance. More information on these in person permits is available below.
For questions, please call the Wrangell Ranger District at 907-874-2323.
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