A delightful eight-mile coastal drive takes you to the exclusive Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, a private reserve located in the forested mountains at rustic Herring Cove. This pristine natural environment is home to bald eagles, black bear, seals, a variety of birds and other species attracted by the major salmon runs in the abundant marine estuary. In addition to wildlife viewing opportunities, this tour enables you to see and photograph live eagles up close, interact with reindeer, and to observe a master native totem pole carver at work.
You will be greeted by your naturalist and guided along an improved trail through the heart of the dense forest, amongst tall stands of hemlock, spruce and Alaska cedar. The forest floor is covered with mosses, wild flowers and a variety of berries. Stops will be made at strategically located viewing areas. Your guide will lead you to a protected open estuary, where you follow Eagle Creek along an elevated wooden boardwalk overlooking grassy wetlands. Major runs of salmon return to spawn here. Watch and listen to the symphony of bird activity in this spectacular setting.
During the spawning season bears and seals feed on salmon in Eagle Creek and the likelihood of viewing these fascinating animals is good. Bald eagles and other birds wait for scraps in the estuary. Sitka black tail deer, mink and marten also frequent the area. Seasonal ecosystem changes result in varying levels of wildlife activity. If you like nature, you will love this tour.
At the conclusion of the half-mile trail hike you will have an opportunity to visit the Alaska Wildlife Foundation, a non-profit organization. Take the opportunity to interact with and feed their Alaskan reindeer as well as see raptors up close as a raptor specialist explains the heritage and habitat of the different species. Following these great photographic opportunities, you will be guided through the historic Herring Bay Lumber Company sawmill, established by legendary pioneer Ben Fleenor. Observe a master native totem pole carver at work and enjoy his many works in front of our General Store. Explore the interpretive displays and enjoy complimentary refreshments while browsing in the General Store.
Included: Rain ponchos if necessary. Complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, tea and a smoked salmon snack in general store. Admission to the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center.
Please Note: Wildlife sightings not guaranteed. Requires approximately 1/2 mile walk on possibly uneven terrain through forest. Not recommended for guests with mobility issues.
Duration: 2.75 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal.)
- Rain ponchos if needed
- Spotting scopes at the sawmill estuary
- Complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, tea and a smoked salmon snack
- 1/2 mile walk on uneven terrain through forest. Not recommended for guests with mobility issues.
Duration: 2.75 hours. Tour times below are approximate:
- 1 hour roundtrip narrated scenic tour to Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary
- 10 minutes safety briefing
- 50 minutes trail hike and exploration
- 10 minutes wildlife viewing at the sawmill
- 10 minutes at the Alaska Raptor Center
- 10 minutes with master totem carver
- 15 minutes in the gift shop before returning
- This tour meets at the Liquid Sunshine Rain Gauge. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.
Will I see any wildlife or bears on this tour?
Wildlife is abundant in Southeast Alaska and sightings are possible on any tour. Bears are often seen during the late summer salmon spawning season, however cannot be guaranteed!
Are there any age restrictions for children?
There are no age restrictions for this tour.
Can I bring a backpack?
Backpacks, small bags, and purses are allowed on this tour.
Can I bring my own food or drink?
Food and drink are not allowed on the tour.
Are food and drink included?
Complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, tea and a smoked salmon snack.
Are there any physical requirements for this tour?
Guests must be comfortable walking medium distances on uneven terrain.
What type of clothing should I wear?
Layered clothing and waterproof outerwear are recommended.
Not seeing answers to your questions?
Check out other frequently asked questions here!