A uniquely Alaskan experience with exclusive intimate access to eagles and raptors, and a rainforest walk.
Experience Alaska’s newest and most intimate raptor presentation and exhibit. Take a guided nature walk exploring the wildlife and ecology of the preserve, and explore a historic sawmill, blacksmith shop, and totem park.
Here’s how your tour in the rainforest will fly.
You’ll begin with a scenic coastal drive from Ketchikan that takes you to Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, a private 40-acre reserve located in scenic Herring Cove. You’ll be greeted by a naturalist guide who will lead you on an informative half-mile nature walk surrounded by towering spruce, hemlock and cedar trees. During the spawning season, bears and seals feed on salmon in Herring Creek and Bald Eagles and other birds wait for scraps in the estuary. Seasonal ecosystem changes resulting in varying levels of wildlife activity.
Your walk leads into the 1,500 square foot flight auditorium and the highlight of your visit to the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. During a 30-minute, fully-narrated presentation, a handler from the Alaska Raptor Center will describe the unique physical and behavioral adaptations of the birds while showcasing their natural behaviors. The exhibit is designed so you’ll be able to see these birds flying very close by, and the grand finale will take your breath away, as a Bald Eagle is presented. Thanks to tireless recovery efforts by organizations like the Alaska Raptor Center, this regal bird is no longer endangered. Your tour also includes access to the custom-built raptor courtyard where you’ll have time to ask the handler more questions and photograph these amazing birds of prey close up.
More photo ops coming right up!
You’ll have time to yourself before returning to town, so you can explore the historic Herring Bay Lumber Company Saw Mill, and the totem park with its impressive 40-foot totem. Watch a blacksmith at work and shop for souvenirs in the General Store.
Please Note: Rain ponchos are available, if necessary. This tour operates in all weather conditions. A portion of our proceeds go to the Alaska Raptor Center, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, for the rehabilitation of wild birds, education, and research.
Need to Know
Comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing and waterproof jacket are recommended
Shopping opportunities are available at the General Store
This experience includes walking for short distances over relatively level terrain, possibly with a few steps or slight inclines. Participants should be able to move into and out of buses or vans.
Anan Creek Bear Viewing Tour our of Ketchikan – Excellent Flight, Outstanding Guide
Last year, Taquan (pilot Dave and guide Mark Phillips) did an excellent job at getting us to Anan Creek. However, due to our ship's limited time in port last year, along with poor tidal conditions, we were not able to actually get to the trail head and take our tour. This year, we again booked our Anan Creek tour with Taquan and we were not disappointed. From the bus drive to their terminal, to their check-in and flight briefing process, to the flight itself, and to the tour guide - Taquan offers a safe, informative and exciting tour.
The check in and safety briefing process was thorough, yet efficient (quick). We met with our pilot, Eric, immediately after the safety briefing, and he walked us down the pier to our plane. Eric got us situated on the plane, and then our tour guide arrived. To our pleasant surprise, our guide from last year - Mark Phillips - was again our guide this year! Within a few minutes we were skimming across the water and taking off from Ketchikan. Eric provided some commentary on various landmarks while we were en route to Anan Creek, and Eric's 45 minute flight from Ketchikan to Anan Creek was smooth and comfortable. At one point as we got near Anan Creek, we encountered a rain squall, and Mark and Eric communicated and made some adjustments which ultimately allowed us to safely land at the Anan Creek landing site.
For any tourists taking a float plane to Anan Creek, it is important to be aware that at low tide there can be significant logistics regarding where/how you get to the Anan Creek trailhead. When we arrived at Anan Creek, it was low tide - and Eric brought the plane to a small dock that was far enough off shore to avoid grounding the plane. Taquan had arranged a small boat to transport us from the dock to the shore, and that worked out very well.
If you remember any tip from this review, it is this: if you want to avoid the potential hassles and delays of low-tide arrivals at Anan Creek by float plane, make sure ahead of time that your pilot knows to putter into the entrance of the creek where the water is deep enough (even at low tide) for any float plane to drop off passengers just below the ranger briefing station. It is not worth your time, or the risk of grounding, to make land anywhere near the docks or the hut.
Let me say here that our guide, Mark Phillips, was awesome. Mark was friendly, knowledgeable, and he has the experience of having flown out to Anan Creek multiple times in the past. Mark was able to provide direct in-flight guidance to our pilot when weather conditions got a bit hairy. And Mark takes safety seriously: we were in bear country, and after we made land then Mark unpacked and holstered a weapon and bear spray - which made us feel safe on our hike.
After we got on land, and after Mark made the preparations for our hike to the bear viewing area, we met with the ranger at the base of the trail and listened to a briefing. We then set out on the approximately two-thirds of a mile hike up to the bear viewing area. As we got underway, Mark guided us in the proper way to group ourselves in case we encountered a bear on the trail. And Mark also provided expert commentary on plants and wildlife that we encountered on the hike. When we arrived at the bear viewing area, Mark helped us get signed up quickly so that we could get a slot in the bear viewing blind, and Mark continued to provide awesome commentary about different bears and occurrences that we saw when we were up at the viewing platform. I can't say enough great things about Mark; we highly recommend him if you can get him for your tour.
Taquan runs a great airline, they employ an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff (including expert guides), and our safety was their priority from start to finish. Taquan ultimately provided us with a fantastic and memorable tour, and we highly recommend them for anyone looking to take a flight/float plane tour out of Ketchikan.
Fun trip for the family
I flew to Ketchikan with a group of 9, 5 adults and 4 kids. We were visiting relatives and they set this up at Adventure Karts. I was pretty excited because the weather was predicted as sunny and warm.
When we got to the site we hung out for a bit and then were given an orientation speech by 1 of the 2 guides. Afterwards we suited up in rain gear bibs (even though it wasn't raining I'd recommend wearing) and helmets. Next the second guide gave instructions on how to operate the karts. I was pumped to get started. Make sure if you plan to drive you bring your drivers license.
First off the karts don't go super fast but I had expected that. you have one lead guide and the second guide trails the group. I was in a 2-seater and my brother had a 4-seater, with the kids. I had also brought along a GoPro and was able to mount it on the front of the kart, just make sure you bring the right mount.
The ride up was pretty cool but there were times when we had to go slow. Since it was a sunny day, it was dry and a bit dusty. If it is rainy or if it recently rained iy may not get as dusty. These are old dirt logging roads so it has multiple potholes and puddles. Additionally you won't have scenic views the entire time. I think the fun part was ripping through those old roads and really getting an off road feel.
The first stop we came to this beautiful spot that had a stunning vista. The guide stopped and we got out to take pics and hear them talk about the area. We took tons of pictures. Eventually we headed off to the next stop and walked about 2 minutes to view some waterfalls. Again we were able to take pictures and chat with the rest of the group. They did have a snack of granola bars and water, so don't expect having hotdogs and sodas.
The guide then brought us back down to the main area. It was a fun trip and the kids absolutely had a blast. They've never ridden a 4 wheeler or ATV before so this was a new experience for them.
Overall the guides were great and the 2 stopping points had really nice views. Since the karts get stretched out just remember to use the suggested hand signals to communicate with each other when driving. I wanted to do something different, get some great pics with great views, see something that is unique to Alaska/Pacific NW(logging roads) & make sure the kids come away feeling like they did something awesome and cool. Adventure Karts exceeded the expectations I had.
Thoroughly enjoyable – especially seeing a bald eagle and black bears in the wild
This was a real turn up for the books for us! We visited the forest as part of a guided tour from our cruise, and in addition to a very interesting nature walk led by our guide, Megan, when we reached the estuary full of salmon, we were rewarded with a sighting of not one, but two black bears appearing at the banks to feed, plus a scary looking bald eagle looking down from up above. Lots of other birdlife, including ravens and a giant blue heron, as well as the Raptor Centre and totem pole carver.