Haines Wildlife Safari

Wildlife Safari & Bear Viewing Tour

Visit Haines and the wildlife rich corridor of the Chilkoot River on this bear viewing tour. Experience the natural world of Alaska with an experienced naturalist.

Tour Photos

  • Brown bears frequent the Chilkoot River for easy fishing Brown bears frequent the Chilkoot River for easy fishing
  • Eagle fishing on the banks of the Chilkat River Eagle fishing on the banks of the Chilkat River
  • Brown bear paw print Brown bear paw print

Tour Notes

Port: Skagway
Duration: 6.25 Hours
Activity Level: Easy
Min. Age: none
Min. Weight: None Max. Weight: None
Food: Picnic style lunch
Provided Equipment: shared spotting scopes & binoculars
Recommended clothing:layers for warmth, and bring rain gear
Wheelchair access: No
Medical Restrictions: Guests need to be able to get in and out of the van & walk on uneven surfaces.
Liability Waiver Required

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Tour Description

Haines is home to magnificent wildlife and breathtaking views of the natural world! With an experienced naturalist as your guide, you will see and learn about the plants and animals that make up the ‘wilds’ of Alaska.

Your excursion begins from Skagway on a 45 minute high speed catamaran ferry to small town of Haines, Alaska. Upon arriving in Haines, we'll start with a narrated driving tour through historic Fort Seward, the first military base in Alaska. Leaving town, we will journey through the amazing Chilkoot Valley. On our journey to the Chilkoot River corridor, we take in coastal views along the longest fjord in North America, we may spot seals, sea lions, porpoise and whales feeding in these rich waters.

The Chilkoot River is home to some of the best bear viewing in Alaska! The river’s huge salmon runs bring good numbers of bears every year. Situated among rugged glaciated peaks, it is home to numerous brown bears, mountain goats, salmon, river otters, and innumerable bald eagles. This area is a birdwatchers paradise with abundant local and migratory birds. Powerful spotting scopes or binoculars will often allow close-range views of mountain goats grazing in high alpine meadows and nesting eagles on this tour.

After capturing images and experiencing the incredible natural beauty and wildlife of the Chilkoot River corridor, we’ll enjoy a seaside picnic of sandwiches, chips, fruit, and cookies. Following lunch, we will head to the mouth of the Chilkat River, home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world. Our final stop of the tour is habitat to all five species of wild Pacific salmon, drawing all of Alaska’s predators to its shores. The four ice-capped mountain ranges that surround the Chilkat River provide an unparalleled photography opportunities. A short drive back to town brings us to the ferry for the return journey to Skagway.

Do not forget your camera!!!!

This tour only operates July - September to maximizes our potential to view bears and eagles feeding on the spawning salmon. Bear and other wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. The tour stops can vary slightly according to maximum wildlife viewing potential.

We are able accommodate dietary restrictions with a minimum of 48 hours advanced notice, including gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, allergies, etc.

(~75 minutes) -Your friendly tour dock representative will meet you near the Skagway Small Boat harbor sign and restrooms. We will provide answers to any questions that you might have about your upcoming excursion and get you ready to board the ferry to Haines. We’ll help you board the comfortable ferry for the 50-minute narrated, scenic journey to Haines..
(~30 minutes) – Once you board your bus in Haines, we’ll depart for an interpretive driving tour of of Fort Seward & Haines.
(~30 minutes) – We will continue to Picture Point, where there will be a photo opportunity of the town of Haines. We will contunue toward the Chilkoot River.
(~ 180 minutes) – Visit the Chilkoot River and the Chilkoot Lake and look for wildlife! There will be time for a beach picnic with beautiful panoramic views of the Lynn Cannal and the surrounding mountain ranges.
(~ 60 minutes) – Once we wrap up with lunch we’ll head over to the ferry dock where you’ll have the opportunity to use the restrooms and take additional photos of Haines before enjoying the scenic ride back up the fjord to Skagway..
(~15 minutes) – trAfter completion of the excursion, and upon returning to Skagway, a short walk will bring you back to our original meeting point, just a few minutes’ walk or shuttle to downtown Skagway and all three cruise ship docks.
Where will I meet my guide?
Your guide will meet you 15 minutes prior to the tour start time to make sure all necessary paperwork is completed. If you are arriving by cruise ship, your guide will meet you at the end of the pier that your ship docks at. Otherwise the meeting location is the Small Boat Harbor sign. CLICK HERE to see a map detailing these locations in Skagway. Your guide will be holding a sign with the name of you tour.
Who are my tour guides?
Your guides are experts in the industry. They are fun, well-trained and passionate about guiding and sharing their expert knowledge about the history and natural wonder of Haines and Skagway, Alaska with you! Our staff all go through extensive training and hold current first-aid (mostly WFR and WEMT) certification. Many of our guides also lead courses and guided expedition trips for us both in Alaska and throughout the world.
Is there a bathroom?
Yes – restrooms are available on the dock prior to departing for your tour, on the ferry during your travel to Haines and on the dock once you arrive in Haines.
Do you cancel due to weather??
Our tours embrace Southeast Alaska’s unpredictable weather. Our excursions run rain or shine. If in a rare instance weather does cause us to cancel the tour you will be refunded in full and provided with assistance with finding an alternative activity for the day.
What if I have food allergies or dietary restrictions?
Just let us know when you are making your reservation. We have alternative lunch options to accommodate most dietary restrictions with advanced notice at no additional charge on all of our tours.

Booking Options

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*Price is per adult in USD, taxes not included.

Guest Comments

The Wildlife Safari in Haines was a highlight of our cruise. We saw a mama bear and her cubs fishing in the river, along with several bald eagles. Scott was a great naturalist and we really enjoyed learning about the local geography and natural history of Alaska!
- Susan R.