In parts of Alaska, bears outnumber people by a large margin. But where to see them easily and safely? Pack Creek on Admiralty Island is famous. But we like Anan Wildlife Observatory
, near Wrangell, even more. Anan Creek gets so jammed with salmon it looks like you could walk across fish and never touch water. The area draws as many as a hundred bears each July and August—and is one of only a couple of places in the state where black and brown bears fish the same stream at the same time. The U.S. Forest Service maintains a viewing platform over a small waterfall, and when the bears feed there, you can be close enough to see a bear’s nose twitch when he digs into a salmon.
Info: See Anan Jul 5–Aug 25 with Alaska Vistas ($252; alaskavistas.com) or Breakaway Adventures ($220; breakawayadventures.com).
While you’re there: For humpback whale–watching, take a boat to Point Adolphus, south of Glacier Bay. A good longtime outfitter is Gustavus-based Annie Mae Lodge (tours from $120; May 25–Sep 5; anniemae.com).