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Home to the densest population of brown bears in the world and lush rain forests, Admiralty Island is the definition of true undisturbed wilderness.
Known as Kootznoowoo (“fortress of the bear”) by the people of the Tlingit tribe, the island is home to nearly one million acres dedicated to the Admiralty Island National Monument. Sprawling old growth rain forests of red cedar, Sitka spruce, and western hemlock greet coastlines of the icy blue waters of the North Pacific. Alpine meadows, plush grasses, and numerous creeks and lakes are abundant with wildlife – most notably, the brown bear.
The bears of Admiralty Island outnumber the small population of humans three to one, with nearly 1,600 bears in the wild. Visiting the Stan Price State Wildlife Sanctuary at Pack Creek gives a glimpse into the lives of the bears and their natural habitat as they hunt for salmon in the summer months. The observation area was named after Stan “The Bear Man” Price, who lived on a floating cabin in Pack Creek during the 1940’s and developed a deep connection with the bears of the area. He raised several orphaned cubs and pioneered protecting the animals against bear hunting in the area.
Bears aren’t the only flourishing wildlife on the population. Over 5,000 bald eagles nest along the coast, making it the highest concentration in the world. Visitors can also catch sightings of Sitka black-tailed deer, Pacific salmon, and humpback whales in the area.
Admiralty Island is sacred to the Tlingit tribe and it’s easy to see why. With a dense, lush landscape and bountiful wildlife, visitors to the island are immersed raw, thriving wilderness that few others get to experience.