Anan Creek Wildlife-Viewing Site
Anan Creek, 30 miles south of Wrangell on the mainland’s Cleveland Peninsula, is a fine place to watch black and brown bears catching salmon and steelhead. A 0.5-mile boardwalk leads from saltwater to an observation platform above the creek, and a three-sided blind sits closer to the falls, where most of the action takes place.
The best time to visit is the peak of the pink salmon run, mid-July–mid-August. Forest Service personnel are at the trailhead and observation area to provide information. No food is allowed along these trails, and flash photography is discouraged. The creek is shaded by tall trees, and it’s often raining, making photography a challenge.
Because of Anan Creek’s popularity, permits ($10) are required, and a maximum of 60 visitors are allowed per day in July–August. If you’re traveling on your own, get the permit from the Forest Service office in Wrangell (907/874-2323, www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass). If you’re in a guided group, the guide already has your permit.
The Forest Service’s Anan Bay Cabin (518/885-3639 or 877/444-6777, www.recreation.gov, $45) is just 1 mile away on a good trail, but reserve early since it’s often booked months in advance.
Many visitors to Anan Creek arrive on flights by Sunrise Aviation (907/874-2319 or 800/874-2311, www.sunriseflights.com) from Wrangell or Taquan Air (907/225-8800 or 800/770-8800, www.taquanair.com) from Ketchikan.
A number of companies offer guided boat trips to Anan Creek, including Alaska Vistas (907/874-3006 or 866/874-3006, www.alaskavistas.com), Alaska Waters (907/874-2378 or 800/347-4462, www.alaskawaters.com), Alaska Charters and Adventures (907/874-4157 or 888/993-2750, www.alaskaupclose.com), and Breakaway Adventures (907/874-2488 or 888/385-2488, www.breakawayadventures.com). Expect to pay $210–265 per person for a trip that includes 4–5 hours on the ground at Anan (plus 1 hour or so each way in transit). If you’re more experienced in the wilderness, Breakaway also offers unguided tours to Anan for $107 per person for all day.
Those with a sea kayak may want to paddle along the east side of Wrangell Island to Anan Bay. En route, be sure to visit scenic Berg Bay, an area rich in moose, mountain goats, grizzlies, deer, geese, and other wildlife. A Forest Service cabin ($45) is available here, and a trail leads from the cabin along Berg Creek several miles into a cirque basin with old mine ruins.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition