Sunday, 31 August 2014

Anan Creek Black Bears, July 2014

Anan Creek Bald Eagles, July 2014

Anan Creek, SE Alaska Introduction, July 2014

Anan 2014 Introduction
This year I was lucky enough to make a fourth visit to Anan Creek, staying in the Forest Service Cabin located about a mile from the bear viewing area. This is an area I love to return to for its tranquil atmosphere, and the abundance of black and brown bears at the salmon stream from early July to August. Up to 60 people are allowed to visit the bear viewing area, but careful supervision from the rangers minimise the impact upon the bears. Humans have shared this area with bears for many centuries, and they are habituated to our presence. Food is strictly prohibited though, so they have not learned to associate people with food, and there have been no significant conflicts with bears. Access is usually by jet boat from Wrangell, but it is also possible to travel from Ketchikan via float plane. It can be challenging from a photographic point of view, as light is restricted in the river valley during the frequent cloud and rain, but harsh if the sun does come out. Access to the platform is not allowed in the softer, warmer light of the evening, but this is time when it's magical to watch the sea from the deck of the cabin. If you're a lover of nature, and have the opportunity to visit Anan, do not hesitate. You may also be interested in my photographs from the very different bear viewing experience of McNeil River on the Alaskan Peninsula, which I visited immediately after Anan (see below for links). This is an even more remote area with purely brown bears, and heavily restricted access to visitors.

Harbour seals viewed from the boat on my journey to Anan

Anan Bay Forest Service Cabin

The boat which brought me to McNeil at the mouth of the lagoon

Two views of Anan lagoon from the trail to the plaform

Anan Creek from the viewing platform

The lower falls from the photo blind (the upper falls are no longer open to visitors)

The boardwalk through the forest on the trail to the bear viewing area