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Fortress of the Bear
Fortress of the Bear

Fortress of the Bear

4639 Sawmill Creek Road, Sitka, Alaska

The Basics

At the center, 30-minute tours are led by naturalist guides, generally with start times every hour. Following the tour of the facility, you’ll have time to view the bears on your own as they feed and play.

The Fortress of the Bear is a stop on many half- and full-day tours of Sitka, including both private and small-group options. The Alaskan city is known for its wildlife and Native American cultural heritage—as such, many tours also include a whale-watching cruise, a visit to the Alaska Raptor Center, or a stop at the Tlingit and Haida totem poles in Sitka National Historic Park.

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Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles
Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles
star-4.5
$73.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great overall experience!
Our tour guide, Deanna, was very knowledgeable and shared a lot of interesting information along the way. We got a good overall feel for Sitka! I especially loved the fortress of the Bears. It was so interesting seeing the Bears close up and observing their behaviors!
DEANN_M, Jul 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Sitka

star-4
Nice Tour
Leslie_L, Sep 2021
Premium Sitka Scenic Tour: Alaska Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bears,Totems!
The van was clean. The driver was friendly. His presentations were a good mix of information and chatter. He led us to believe that he owned the tour company. He told us more of his personal life fishing stories and political opinions than I cared to hear.
star-4
Beauty, History, Fun
Kevin_S, Jul 2021
Premium Sitka Scenic Tour: Alaska Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bears,Totems!
Deanna was great! She’s a native filled with lots of history and information. My deduction of one star is that Conine said masks were optional while on the van despite the fact that Alaska is at high alert level for COVID-19. Luckily, Deanna insisted everyone wear masks.
star-4
The Fortress of the Bears...
Michael_A, Aug 2021
Premium Sitka Scenic Tour: Alaska Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bears,Totems!
The Fortress of the Bears was very impressive. These animals are beautiful and very entertaining just being bears, playing in the water and competing for food. Wish we could have had more time than the tour allowed.
star-5
Great attractions
mszeto99, Sep 2019
Simply Amazing Sitka Tour: Fortress of the Bear, Alaska Raptor, & Totems
My four children under ten years greatly enjoyed this tour. The Fortress of the Bear and Raptor Center were highlights of our Alaska trip.
star-5
Great tour
P B, Jul 2019
Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles
Maria provided a fun and interesting tour. We learned a lot about local life and landmarks. The totem park was interesting and the walk down to the river was beautiful. The best part of the tour though was the fortress of the Bears. And the bonus at this place was the amount of bald eagles right above the fortress. And we got many great pictures of the Bears playing in the eagles flying. It was incredible! Maria was a big reason why we enjoyed the tour. I highly recommend this tour!
star-5
recommended
Michael_B, Sep 2021
Premium Sitka Scenic Tour: Alaska Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bears,Totems!
Excellent tour providing a great sample of all that Sitka has to offer. Would recommend without hesitation.
star-4
Quaint and beautiful Sitka
tkttran, Aug 2018
Sitka Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles
Overall, Robin, our guide, did a great job introducing us to Sitka. It's nice to be shown around by a local. Just wished we had time to do the totem park, we didn't get to stop there at all. The rainforest was lovely, and seeing the salmon ready to go upstream was fantastic. Fortress of the Bears is a great sanctuary, and the folks there are offering a great service. Although rainy, the tour was worth it, and Robin handed out big umbrellas, which helped.
star-5
Sitka sightseeing
Bhikhu_P, Aug 2019
Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles
We were pleasantly surprised by this tour. Easy pace, plenty of time, great local guide. Good value for money.
star-5
Great Excursion
NANCY_A, Sep 2021
Premium Sitka Scenic Tour: Alaska Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bears,Totems!
A great excursion! Tanya our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Well worth the money. I highly recommend it.
star-4
Sitka
jarheadalpa15, Aug 2018
Sitka Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles
Really small town.a lot of rain there a lot of fog and low lying cloud's hard to see anything..but nice quiet place..it was the last Port we saw on Amsterdam Holland America.right after this Port 1 of the crew went overboard.then our cruise went to hell. Please think about booking with Holland America.for if anything goes wrong you are screwed..we lost the last half of our cruise and all Holland gave us was possible 10 percent off our next cruise..do not book with Holland America..we waited 6 years for our 40 the anniversary cruise.and only got half..of what we paid for..well news flash.. I'm not wealthy I work hard for my money..I had to save for 4 years to surprise my wife..for nothing...I can't take that time back..I wish I could.. you see I'm a retired veteran that just got back a few months ago after 21 years in the service..I just wanted to give her something to let her know how much I love her for being by my side all these years..and for waiting for me to come home...I blew it for trusting Holland America cruise..she forgives me thinks I did great.in the surprise I gave her.. please don't trust . I did.. please understand I love my country and fought for it for 20 years. I am so blessed to come home healthy.not all my brothers had that chance..yet we love our country..so don't thank me i made it.. please thank and keep in your 💓 our sons and daughters that are putting all on the line for us..for they are my heros,.
star-4
Seeing the bear sanctuary...
Beth_M, Sep 2021
Premium Sitka Scenic Tour: Alaska Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bears,Totems!
Seeing the bear sanctuary and bird sanctuary was our highlight We would of liked to see bears have more room to roam but know this is a non profit organization and they are doing the best they can.
star-5
Informative
silver2lining, Sep 2018
Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles
Learned quite a bit about the local culture, plants and habitats. The scenery from pier to Fortress of the Bear was beautiful.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • This is a great stop for families. Naturalists offer kid-friendly explanations, and children under 7 get free admission.

  • Plan to wear bug spray or protective clothing, as there are sometimes mosquitos here.

  • The Fortress of the Bear is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

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How to Get There

The bear sanctuary is located at 4639 Sawmill Creek Road, about 5.5 miles (8.9 kilometers) south of Sitka. Even if you’re not visiting as part of a tour or shore excursion, some cruise operators offer shuttles to the sanctuary. Another option is the Sitka blue line city bus, which drops passengers 200 yards (183 meters) from the entrance.

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When to Get There

The Fortress of the Bear is open daily from May through September, with hours that vary in the off-season. Keep in mind that the last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing. In order to offer a more natural environment for the bears, there is no set feeding schedule at the sanctuary.

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Where to See Wildlife in Sitka

Brown bears aren’t the only bucket-list wildlife you’ll encounter in Alaska. Whale-watching cruises on big and small boats offer the chance to see humpback whales, orca whales, minke whales, and more. Next, visit the Alaska Raptor Center, where bald eagles and other fierce flyers can be spotted in both enclosed facilities and the surrounding forest.

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