Anan Wildlife Observatory Site

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Anan Wildlife Viewing Area

The Anan Wildlife is located 30 miles southeast of the town of Wrangell. Anan Creek has the largest run of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska, which supports the high density of black and brown bears. The facilities consists of a covered viewing shelter, decks, photo blind, and an outhouse.

Planning your trip - Anan is a world class bear viewing site that is growing in popularity. From July 5 through August 25, visitation numbers are restricted to pass/permit holders.

Obtaining a permit – Due to changes anticipated in visitation due to the current pandemic, regulations regarding Anan Wildlife Observatory permits have changed. Visitors may obtain permits on to visit Anan independently or use these permits and visit Anan with an outfitter and guide. 24 permits per day are available on Please contact your guide directly for information regarding current social distancing guidelines required with booking a trip for the time period you are interested in. Visitors are expected to follow social distancing guidelines while visiting the site to the extent possible; onsite staff will be available to inform visitors of site conditions and current regulations regarding social distancing. If you have questions, please contact the Wrangell Ranger District at (907) 874-2323. For more information about authorized guide companies and available permits by authorized company, visit: 

Authorized GUIDING companies 

Getting There - The Anan Wildlife Observatory is accessible by boat or float plane.

Caution: The wet environment of SE Alaska creates very slippery and muddy trail conditions. The trail and conditions can be arduous. There are sections of the trail that have loose gravel, mud, and uneven ground. There are over 300 stairs from the Anan trailhead to the observatory deck. In addition, the photo blind, which is located at the bear observatory, is accessed through a stairway that is equivalent to 3 stories high.

You will be met at the trailhead by Forest Service personnel from late June to September. They will check your pass (if required) 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 onsite to provide current information on bear safety, trail conditions, and bear activity.

Be sure to check the Safety Information

At a Glance

Operational Hours: 8AM to 6PM July 5 through August 25
Authorized Guiding companies (60 permits/day)
Reservations may be made through (24 permits/day)
Rentals & Guides:
Fees $10/permit
Open Season: July 5 - August 25
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Wrangell
Water: No
Restroom: Outhouses, 1 at Trailhead, 1 at Deck
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Frequently Asked Questions

General Information


Mainland, 31 miles SE from Wrangell at Anan Bay across Ernest Sound from SE corner of Wrangell Island

General Notes:


Anan Creek is an area of rich history. The Stikine Tlingit clans had summer fish camps here and used Anan Creek’s large salmon spawning run to catch and preserve salmon for their winter food supply. Anan was unique because the large amount of salmon available made it possible to have several clans sharing one fish camp.

The abundance of salmon also drew non-native people to Anan Creek. In 1901, Pilot Fish Packing Company set up a large fish trap at the mouth of Anan that allowed few fish to make it up the creek. This lack of escapement was very destructive to the Anan salmon population. Commercial fish traps were outlawed shortly after Alaska became a state in 1959.

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