AnAn Wildlife Observatory, Bears!

AnAn Wildlife observatory is on the mainland behind Wrangell Island near the Bradfield Canal.  It is a 62 NM roundtrip from Wrangell.  We took a tour on a local airboat from where we docked.  While the main attraction is watching bears fishing in AnAn creek if you focused only on that you would miss a lot.  For instance, harbor seas. 

Once you get to the mouth of the creek there is a three-quarter mile walk to the observatory.  It matches any walk I take in Sitka for beauty although the boardwalk is slippery with a lot of stairs going up and down.  In reality, you are not climbing very far.  Near the mouth of the creek there is a wildlife viewing platform from which we watched eagles and seals all going after the same thing that the bears upstream crave, pink salmon.

We traveled the trail in groups, each person has a forest service permit.  We are told to keep within arms’ length of each other because sometimes bears like to cross the trail to get to the creek.  We spread out further than that.  The guide led the way, his daughter took up the rear to keep the group together.  He was armed with a handgun, the daughter had bear spray.  I asked if he ever had occasion to use a weapon.  As I suspected the answer was no.  Although he said that the day before a bear crashed through the line along the trail nearly brushing the guide in its hurry to get to the fish.

The AnAn observatory is a little more than an hour from Wrangell harbor by airboat.

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