Southeast Alaska Birding Trail Wrangell

Anan Creek Bear Observatory

Anan is a world class bear viewing site.

Anan Creek and Wildlife Observatory is located on the mainland across from the south end of Wrangell Island, about 30 miles southeast of the town of Wrangell. Anan Creek has one of the largest runs of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska, which supports the high density of black and brown bears and other wildlife. Facilities at this site include: a trail, covered viewing shelter, decks, photo blind, and an outhouse.

Anan is a world class bear viewing site. From July 5 through August 25, an individual pass is required to visit the Wildlife Observatory and visitation numbers are limited to protect the site and the experience. The process of obtaining a pass for visitation from July 5 through August 25 is competitive so plan your trip early.

Obtaining a permit: Anan permits are reserved through or their toll free number 1-800-877-444-6777. Permits for the season become available on February 1st at 8 am (AKST). Additionally, four permits each day will also be made available through weekly lotteries held during the peak season. Lottery requests will only be accepted in person at the Wrangell Ranger District front desk. You can call 907-874-2323 for more information on this lottery. Authorized guiding companies must be used to provide transportation and support while visiting the site. Permits are not required outside of the July 5th -August 25th peak season.

You will be met at the trailhead by Forest Service personnel from late June to September. They will check your pass and brief you on trail conditions and safety. At the trailhead, you will also find an outhouse. During the peak viewing season of July and August, Forest Service interpreters are also at the viewing platform to provide current information on bear safety, trail conditions, and bear activity.

In addition to bears, watch for: American Dipper, Bald Eagle, and a diversity of gull species.


Located 30 miles southeast of Wrangell, Anan Creek is accessed by boat or floatplane.

Black bear
Black bear. Photo: Dave Shaw

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